California Handmade: State of the Arts at the Sam & Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts
California Handmade: State of the Arts (June 7, 2015 – January 2, 2016) is an exhibition of innovative sculpture, furniture, textiles, jewelry and decorative arts by more than 80 visionary California artists, curated by Craft in America Center Director Emily Zaiden. The exhibition was mounted at the Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in the beautiful foothills of Alta Loma, CA.
The exhibition takes inspiration from the California Design shows originated by the Pasadena Art Museum in the 1950’s. Craft advocate and curator Eudorah Moore (1918‐2014), whose writings helped to define the studio craft movement in America, organized the last California Design exhibition in 1976. With nearly forty years having passed since the last of these important and influential shows, this exhibition seeks to refresh our appreciation of California artists in the 21st century.
The planning of the exhibition began with the identification of twelve core artists– six in Southern California and six in Northern California. Each of these core artists were asked to recommend six additional colleagues in their field, who Craft in America and The Maloof then invited to participate. Each artist submitted works created in the past three years, forming an astounding constellation of recent pieces from across the state.
The artists currently live and work in California, and many of their works draw upon uniquely California themes and imagery. Carol Shaw-Sutton employs twined linen to mimic the complex structure and patterning of a seashell in her White Sound. Victor De La Rosa’s Future Flags: Republica de California interprets the California state flag, depicting the official state grizzly bear in brightly colored serape material.
Some of the spotlighted pieces are by artists whose works were featured in the original California Design shows. Now in her 80’s, Kay Sekimachi still works regularly in her Berkeley studio. Her quietly elegant Homage to AM V and Homage to AM VI, a pair of woven squares in muted patterns, will appear in California Handmade.
It would be easy to dichotomize the selection of objects, sorting sculptural versus functional, design versus craft—but that would do a disservice to the intent of California Handmade, which is to highlight the expansive field of work being made by artists in California today. The state of our craft is anything but uniform.
A selection of additional work by the twelve core artists was on view at the Craft in America Center July 11 – October 3, 2015.
Artist List (alphabetical order by medium)
Ceramics: Clayton Bailey, Doug Blechner, Robert Brady, Sunshine Cobb, Arthur Gonzalez, Kevin Myers, Forrest Lesch‐Middelton, Gerardo Monterrubio, Vince Palacios, Steven Portigal, Richard Shaw, Susan Shutt‐Wulfeck, Sandy Simon, David Wulfeck.
Fiber: Natalia Anciso, Jim Bassler, Victor De La Rosa, Christy Matson, Tina Linville, Carole Frances Lung, Victoria May, Lesley Nishigawara, Geri Patterson‐Kutras, Jennifer Reifsneider, Kay Sekimachi, Carol Shaw‐Sutton, Joy Stocksdale, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.
Glass: Latchezar Boyadjiev, Joe Cariati, Nate Cotterman, Katherine Gray, Jaime Guerrero, John Lewis, Marvin Lipofsky, Jay Musler, Aya Oki, Dylan Palmer, Caleb Siemon, Susan Stinsmuehlen‐Amend, Hiromi Takizawa, Pamina Traylor.
Metal/Jewelry: Abrasha, Kristin Beeler, Steven Brixner, Petra Class, Jack da Silva, Marilyn da Silva, Sandra Enterline, Arline Fisch, Kris Patzlaff, Sondra Sherman, Helen Shirk, Christina Smith, Randy Stromsoe, Julia Turner.
Wood/Furniture: Garry Knox Bennett, John Cederquist, Reuben Foat, Matthew Hebert, Barbara Holmes, Bill Hunter, Mike Johnson, Christine Lee, Laura Mays, Yvonne Mouser, Wendy Maruyama, Brian Newell, Christy Oates, Darrick Rasmussen, David Wiseman.
Alternative: Tanya Aguiñiga, Jennifer Anderson, Elizabeth Boyne, Michele Burgess & Bill Kelly, Macy Chadwick, Julie Chen, Evan Chambers, Adrian Clutario, The Haas Brothers, Sonia Kim, Mary Little, Perla Yasmeen Meléndez, Harry & Sandra Reese, Dorothy Yule.