Shows to See: August/September 2013

Shows to See: August/September 2013

C. Carl Jennings, Gate

C. Carl Jennings, Gate. Photo: M. Lee Fatherree, courtesy of Forrest L. Merrill

CA / San Diego
Mingei International Museum
Struck by Modernism: C. Carl Jennings, California Artist-Blacksmith
Aug. 24 – Feb. 23, 2014
C. Carl Jennings (1910 – 2003) was a third-generation blacksmith and first-generation art-school grad, a pioneer who pushed his craft well past what he called “plain blacksmithing.” Yet he has remained a half-hidden treasure outside the community of midcentury California artisans that he helped build and inspire. Jennings’ highly individual approach to his medium imbued his sculptures, chandeliers, gates, and other work with drama and elegance.

DC / Washington
National Museum of the American Indian
Grand Procession: Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection
to Jan. 5, 2014
The centuries-old traditions of Plains and Plateau Indians dollmaking are translated into contemporary craft in 23 figures, the dazzlingly detailed works of five artists: Rhonda Holy Bear of the Cheyenne River Lakota; Jamie Okuma of the Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock; and Joyce Growing Thunder, Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty, and Jessa Rae Growing Thunder of the Assiniboine/Sioux, who carry on the art as a part of their family heritage.

LA / New Orleans
LeMieux Galleries
Shannon Landis Hansen: BA-ROKE
Aug. 3 – Sep. 28
New Orleans artist Shannon Landis Hansen’s motto might be “If it ain’t broke, break it.” She takes a hammer to ceramic figures, cups, dishes, and other smashables, then reassembles their parts into ornate compositions that call attention to the impermanence of the original objects.

MA / Boston
The Society of Arts and Crafts
Creative Minds, Disciplined Hands: Selections from the New Hampshire Furniture Masters
Aug. 3 – Oct. 19
What could finely crafted furniture have to do with racehorses? The New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association, founded in 1993, had its first big win on the craft scene when it offered members’ work at an auction inspired by the horse sales co-founder Tony Hartigan remembered from his youth. It’s been running strong ever since, promoting New England’s deep vein of woodworking talent. Artists in this show are Ted Blachly, Jon Brooks, John Cameron, Timothy Coleman, Garrett Hack, Sam Norris, Richard Oedel, Brian Reid, William Thomas, and A. Thomas Walsh.

MI / Bloomfield Hills
Cranbrook Art Museum
Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America
to Oct. 13
From tailfins on cars to sleek office furniture, Michigan moved the look of the mid-century nation toward the future. In a time of prosperity, the state’s industries prompted design challenges galore and attracted forward-thinking designers to tackle them. 

OR / Portland
Bullseye Gallery
Joseph Harrington: Landscape Portraits
to Aug. 31
Joseph Harrington sculpts ice with salt, arriving at shapes that evoke the rugged and rural spaces of his native Britain. The moment he achieves the form he seeks – and working against time, as the ice continues to melt – he casts the ice into glass, creating a lasting image of transience.

PA/ Philadelphia
Snyderman-Works Galleries
New Work by Ruth Borgenicht
Aug. 27 – Sep. 28
Knights-errant, know this: Ruth Borgenicht’s medieval-inspired ceramic chain mail is for no jousting match. Her meticulously wrought works provoke questions about defense and permanence, in a breakable medium that utterly foils those notions.

TN / Smithville
Appalachian Center for Craft
Dorothy McGuinness: Beyond the Basket Form
Aug. 12 – Sep. 23
Trained in classic American, Native American, and Japanese basketry using natural materials, Dorothy McGuinness now mostly works with watercolor paper. After painting the paper and cutting it into strips with a pasta-maker, she weaves it into a fantastic array of structures, freed in her designs by the paper’s flexibility and endless ability to absorb color.

WA / Tacoma
Museum of Glass
Benjamin Moore: Translucent
to Oct. 20
Benjamin Moore has honed a minimalist aesthetic in his career of more than 30 years. The refined pieces in this exhibition are another benchmark in the ACC Fellow’s quest for clarity and simplicity of form.

WI / Milwaukee
Milwaukee Art Museum
Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel
to Oct. 13
Norwegian immigrant Amund Dietzel made Milwaukee his home after traveling the early 20th-century carnival circuit
as an illustrated man and, on the side, tattooing others. At a time when tattoos were widely reviled, he was renowned for his artistry and sent many a freshly inked sailor off to battle in both world wars. Jon Reiter, a contemporary comrade-in-colorful-arms with his own Milwaukee practice, assembled this collection of Dietzel’s “flash art” – tattoo designs – and other items that tell the story behind the pictures.

WY / Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, Western Design Conference
Sep. 5 – 15
Studio and ranch tours, a gallery walk, Taste of the Tetons, an art auction, a Wild West Artist Party, and the Design Conference’s juried show of fine Western crafts (Sep. 5 – 8) are among the human-made attractions; the mountains do the rest.