Shows to See: June/July 2018

Shows to See: June/July 2018

Artists shine in solo shows.
Published on Thursday, June 14, 2018. This article appears in the June/July 2018 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Pat Pruitt neckpiece

Pat Pruitt at the Albuquerque Museum.

Courtesy of the Albuquerque Museum

From the many, one: Furniture maker Judy Kensley McKie, wood sculptor Connie Mississippi, ceramists Sterling Ruby and Richard Saar, and mixed-media artist Federico Uribe star in solo shows this summer.

AL / Birmingham
Birmingham Museum of Art
"The Original Makers: Folk Art from the Cargo Collection" 
Jun. 16 – Dec. 30  
In anticipation of Alabama’s 2019 statehood bicentennial, the museum delves into its permanent collection for 176 folk art treasures by Southern makers, all part of a major gift. Quilts from the mid-1800s to the late 20th century attest to the state’s long and rich heritage in the medium.

AR / Little Rock
Arkansas Arts Center
"60th Annual Delta Exhibition" 
to Aug. 26
A beloved tradition, this exhibition is a slice of art life that shows off cutting-edge new work in a range of mediums by artists from the Mississippi Delta region. This year’s jurors are Les Christensen, director of the Bradbury Art Museum at Arkansas State University, conceptual artist Shea Hembrey, and Brian K. Young, director of the Baum Gallery at the University of Central Arkansas.

CA / Pomona
American Museum of Ceramic Art
"Discovering Saar Ceramics" 
to Sep. 16  
Richard Saar (1924 – 2004) was married to legendary artist Betye Saar for nearly 20 years. Their daughters Lezley and Alison are renowned artists, too. Somehow, amid all the family accomplishments, Richard Saar’s own work was overlooked for half a century. Here’s the corrective: a retrospective that covers his years as chief potter at his Saar Ceramics production studio, as well as the hand-built and wheel-thrown works he made on his own.

CA / San Francisco
Museum of Craft and Design
"Judy Kensley McKie: Cast of Characters" 
Jun. 2 – Oct. 28  
Judy Kensley McKie’s alligator benches, beagle tables, and zooful of other animal-inspired cast-bronze furniture are both adorable and exquisite, their art deco-inflected forms somehow amusing and beautiful at once. The focus of this show, curated by Glenn Adamson, is the partnership between McKie and master artisan Piero Mussi’s Artworks Foundry, whose moldmakers, casters, and finishers helped the artist herd her ideas into reality. Sketches, models, molds, and other process artifacts reveal the group effort behind these works of art.

IA / Des Moines
Des Moines Art Center
"Sterling Ruby: Ceramics" 
Jun. 9 – Sep. 9  
As the saying goes, a person’s right to swing their fists ends where the next person’s nose begins. Sterling Ruby’s art lives in that space where expression confronts restraint. The prolific artist’s influences and themes span craft and public art, aberrant psychology, graffiti, prisons, punk culture, masculinity, and consumption and waste. Many of his works in fabric, collage, and other mediums appear to be damaged, bespattered, or besmirched. Here, 30 clay objects offer a sample of his unique vision.

NM / Albuquerque
Albuquerque Museum
"American Jewelry from New Mexico" 
Jun. 2 – Oct. 14  
New Mexico has been a hub of jewelry making since long before it was New Mexico; some of the oldest pieces here were made around 1,600 years ago. While the state is most often associated with its wealth of silver Native American jewelry, this survey aims to trace the diverse adornment styles of numerous regional cultures over the centuries. Among the 300 or so pieces on view are works by some of the many contemporary jewelers who live and create in the Land of Enchantment.

NY / Long Island City
Noguchi Museum Akari: Sculpture by Other Means
"Akari Unfolded: A Collection by Ymer&Malta" 
to Jan. 27  
Sixty ephemerally light, sculptural paper lanterns from Isamu Noguchi’s Akari line, first produced in the early 1950s, are on view alongside a show of some 25 contemporary lamps they inspired.

NC / Asheville
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design
"Scale Up: 10 Years, 10 Fellows, 10 Projects" 
to Jul. 28  
The Windgate Fellowship is awarded annually to promising craft artists. In honor of the fellowship’s 10th anniversary, 10 Fellows received special project grants to explore scale, installation, and community practice.

PA / Philadelphia
Center for Art in Wood
"Connie Mississippi: Circle of Time" 
to Jul. 21  
Pioneering wood turner Connie Mississippi also maintains a painting and illustration practice, and this show of 16 objects is all about what connects her work in two and three dimensions: the artist’s spiritual, mystical, and physical explorations.

WI / Sheboygan
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
"Unseen Forces" 
Closing dates vary  
Three installations that you can see ponder forces that you cannot – among them magic, scientific principles, mysticism, faith, voodoo, and psychic powers. They are Renée Stout’s “Funk Dreamscapes from the Invisible Parallel Universe” (to Aug. 5), Iris Häussler’s “Tale of Two” (to Aug. 19), and Joy Feasley and Paul Swenbeck’s “Out, Out, Phosphene Candle” (to Sep. 2). Each asks in its own way: How do these invisibilities affect our senses and experiences, and the making of art? Also on view to Jul. 1, from the center’s collection of artist environments: “The Healing Machine,” the jam-packed shed in which Emery Blagdon (1907 – 1986) explored electrical energy and his belief in its power to heal.

WI / Wausau
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
"The World According to Federico Uribe" 
Jun. 2 – Aug. 26  
Pencils, piano parts, shoes, books: Miami artist Federico Uribe sees these and other everyday items as raw material for his sculptures and environments that burst with color, energy, and humor. A site-specific walk-in installation is the heart of this show.