Materials: Hard + Soft

Once a year a treasure trove of beautiful and intriguing things sweeps into Denton Texas. I’m talking about the in-depth yearly exhibition that demonstrates the exploration of materials, and their application there of… Materials: Hard + Soft.

Akin, 2018. Chicago IL artist, KT Duffy. 3D printed PLA, cellophane, tablet and looped video. 17.5 x 13.5 x 6 inches.  Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Akin, 2018. Chicago IL artist, KT Duffy. 3D printed PLA, cellophane, tablet and looped video. 17.5 x 13.5 x 6 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

“Recognized as one of the premier craft exhibitions in the country, Materials: Hard + Soft International Contemporary Craft Competition and Exhibition, began in 1987 and was originally initiated by area artist Georgia Leach Gough. Now in its 32nd year, the exhibition shows the top national and international artists as we celebrate the evolving field of contemporary craft and the remarkable creativity and innovation of artists who push the boundaries of their chosen media.” - source: dentonarts.com/materialshardandsoft

Big Hair #5, 2018. Denton TX artist Teresa Larrabee. Stoneware, slip, under-glaze, wool and beads. 48 x 48 x 14 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Big Hair #5, 2018. Denton TX artist Teresa Larrabee. Stoneware, slip, under-glaze, wool and beads. 48 x 48 x 14 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

This exhibition was an incredible display of conceptual work and had a lasting effect on both the audience and the artists. Participating artist, Chad Hayward states, “I was honored to be a part of such a fantastic exhibition and to be included with so many other incredible artists. As an emerging artist it was a privilege to share my work with a new audience in Texas.”

Mirror Neurons, 2018. Milton GA artist Chad Hayward. Glaze and fired ceramics. 20 x 9 x 8 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Mirror Neurons, 2018. Milton GA artist Chad Hayward. Glaze and fired ceramics. 20 x 9 x 8 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

“Juror Janet McCall selected 70 works for exhibition at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center including works from 28 states and 4 countries including Germany, Canada, and Taiwan in varying media including metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, fiber, glass, and mixed media.” - source: dentonarts.com/materialshardandsoft

Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Several pieces within the exhibit resembled organic and natural shapes. Such is amplified in San Marcos TX artist, Wendy Gamon’s piece, Tutti Frutti. The name itself suggests a playful attitude and it does not disappoint. Wendy states regarding her work, “To me, the sculpture is a means to experiencing a whimsical, emotional response to a world of new possibilities..” … “Tutti Frutti is made from dyed manipulated fabric and clay. It was an exploration of gradation of colors and ambiguous shapes that creates a playful and inviting response.”

Tutti Frutti, 2016. San Marcos TX artist, Wendy Gamon. Polyester fabric, clay and acrylic paint. 15.75 x 10 x 10 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Tutti Frutti, 2016. San Marcos TX artist, Wendy Gamon. Polyester fabric, clay and acrylic paint. 15.75 x 10 x 10 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Not only did the exhibit display works that invoke a “soft” feeling, but several “hard” pieces as well. There were exceptional examples of ceramics, wood, found object assemblage and more.

Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

What is also interesting is juror, Janet McCall’s, passion “for building community through art through social justice themed exhibitions”. - source: dentonarts.com/materialshardandsoft

Baltimore MD artist, and fourth place winner for her piece, Redlining, Kim Rice states, “This particular show was important to me because of the Juror's focus on social justice. I was impressed by the work at the exhibit, along with the range of materials and voices heard.”

Janet McCall has been Executive Director of Contemporary Craft (CC) in Pittsburgh since 1995, and has curated or served as a juror for numerous craft exhibitions, to include Enough Violence: Artists Speak Out, and Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art, and Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home. Learn more at contemporarycraft.org.

Redlining Tapestries, 2017. Baltimore MD artist, Kim Rice. House wrap and HOLC maps. Two panels: 36 x 121 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Redlining Tapestries, 2017. Baltimore MD artist, Kim Rice. House wrap and HOLC maps. Two panels: 36 x 121 inches. Photo credit: Ginger Cochran

Materials: Hard + Soft will be on display in the Meadows Gallery, located at the GDAC, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201, until May 4, 2019. I greatly encourage all who are located in the D/FW area (and beyond) to visit this extraordinary exhibit. Visit here to view the works online and shop the Materials store.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com for application details.