Shows to See: June/July 2015

Shows to See: June/July 2015

Published on Monday, May 18, 2015. This article appears in the June/July 2015 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Bennett Bean Sculpture

Bennett Bean sculpture. Photo: AMOCA

CA / Pomona 
American Museum of Ceramic Art
Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future: AMOCA’s 10th Anniversary 
to Jun. 28
AMOCA’s permanent collection of more than 7,000 objects represents the best of world and British ceramics, American studio pottery, and ceramic sculpture. As it celebrates its first decade, the museum is honoring its generous donors with a dazzling display of treasures from its collections, among them baroque vessels, teapots and cups, figures, animalia sculptures, and experimental works.

MA / Salem 
Peabody Essex Museum
Audacious: The Fine Art of Wood from the Montalto Bohlen Collection 
to Jun. 21
In some 100 works – 47 of them recently donated by Robert M. and Lillian Montalto Bohlen – artists have taken wood beyond its traditional frontiers, carving, painting, turning, and burning it to create vessels and sculptures with gorgeous forms and surfaces.

MN / Duluth 
Tweed Museum of Art 
Resurfaced and Reformed: Evolution in Studio Ceramics 
to Aug. 1
More than 75 masterworks by ACC Fellows Jun Kaneko, Karen Karnes, Peter Voulkos, Warren MacKenzie, and dozens of other luminaries offer a panoramic view of ceramics since the mid-1950s. (Panoramic views of Lake Superior are also available nearby.)

MN / Minneapolis 
Minnesota Center for Book Arts
The Contained Narrative: Defining the Contemporary Artist’s Book 
to Jul. 26
Boxes, wrappers, spines, stitching, bindings, digital devices – where does a book’s cover end, and its contents begin? What is a book, anyway? More than 70 artists reimagine the form in 100-plus works in this show, which runs through MCBA’s Book Art Biennial (July 23 – 26) and is part of the center’s 30th-anniversary celebration.

NE / Lincoln 
International Quilt Study Center & Museum
Ambiguity & Enigma: Recent Quilts by Michael James 
Jun. 5 – Feb. 23
Michael James has been exploring the eloquence of quilts for more than 40 years. He designs and digitally prints his fabrics, manipulating images to arrive at new ones that are evocative, often profound, and all his own. The dozen or so new works here well from the emotional and physical demands of caring for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease, making them among James’ most deeply personal.

NM / Santa Fe 
The William & Joseph Gallery
Kiss My Glass 
Jul. 1 – 31
Sean Hennessey and Jason Chakravarty go their own ways in subject matter: Chakravarty’s recent cast-glass work tends toward the semi-autobiographical, while Hennessey explores spiritual matters and the search for enlightenment in his wall relief sculptures. What they share in this joint show: an affinity for mixing glass with other mediums, a narrative eye, and a fresh attitude that invites viewers to think or to laugh.

NY / New York City 
Museum of Arts and Design
Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today 
to Sep. 27
In the 1950s and ’60s, recognition in painting, sculpture, architecture, and art history was almost exclusively reserved for men. That didn’t stop pioneering artists such as Lenore Tawney, Alice Kagawa Parrott, and Sheila Hicks (all ACC Fellows) from powerfully shaping postwar modernism in fiber, metal, clay, and other “alternative” mediums. Along the way, these artists helped build the nascent studio craft movement – and were a harbinger of the feminist movement that grew in its wake. In fourscore works, this show traces the vast and too often overlooked impact of these women in their own time and in ours, in their own country and across borders.

TX / San Antonio 
Southwest School of Art
Selfies: 50 at 50 
to Jul. 5
For five decades, this school has been a creative hub, attracting established artists to share their work and knowledge, and launching new ones. Some of these artists, among them Boris Bally, Sergei Isupov, Akio Takamori, and Ilze Aviks, were invited to create self-portraits to mark the anniversary. In these 50 or so works in clay, paper, metal, fiber, and other mediums, the artists become both participants in the show and virtual onlookers.

WA / Bellevue 
Bellevue Arts Museum
Jana Brevick: This Infinity Fits in My Hand 
to Aug. 16  
Jana Brevick’s metalwork and jewelry could occupy the space in a Venn diagram where art, math, science, and a wry sense of humor intersect. The laboratory and the cosmos supply imagery and inspiration for rings set with vacuum tubes or with metal spheres that look like tiny planets, a brooch inspired by the periodic table of the elements, even a necklace with a robot figure that has a complex hidden interior. This is her first solo museum exhibition. 

WI / Neenah 
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass Arts Festival 
Jul. 19
In a city best known for its paper mills, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, housed in a historic stone mansion, has more than 3,500 objects, ranging from contemporary art to early buttons; it also claims the world’s most representative collection of glass paperweights. The festival, in its 41st year, offers a juried art fair, food, family activities, and a beer garden (it’s Wisconsin, after all) on the museum’s lovely lakeside grounds.