Shows to See: October / November 2018

Shows to See: October / November 2018

Published on Friday, October 19, 2018. This article appears in the October/November 2018 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Kim Lilot watch

Kim Lilot at Fuller Craft Museum

Courtesy of Mobilia Gallery

Native American artists show work with deep connections to their creative forebears – the original American makers – at Chicago’s Field Museum, the Samuel Dorsky Museum in upstate New York, and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, while at the Iroquois Museum in New York state, artists explain and explode stereotypes.
 

CA / Fresno
Fresno Art Museum
"Jenne Giles: Americana"
to January 6
As Jenne Giles states (or perhaps understates), “There are many people who feel bewildered by America today.” In the 24 soft sculptures and four felt paintings on display here, each based on an object with cultural meaning, she seeks to describe and navigate that feeling.

CA / Los Angeles
Craft in America Center
"Made to Play: A Retrospective of Wood by Pamela Weir-Quiton"
October 13 – December 1
More than 30 life-size circus animals, rocking horses for big kids, and other jubilant creations bear witness to Pamela Weir-Quiton’s description of her artistic mission over the past half-century: putting the “fun” in functional.

ID / Boise
Boise Art Museum
"A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass"
November 3 – February 3
The many forms glass can take – cast glass, tiny glass beads, pressed glass, and cameo glass engraving among them – are the focus here, with 29 works by 18 artists that address themes such as veterans’ issues, modern relationships, family, and nostalgia.

IL / Chicago
Field Museum
"Full Circle/Omani Wakan: Lakota Artist Rhonda Holy Bear"
to January 13
As a young dollmaker living in Chicago in the 1970s, Rhonda Holy Bear found inspiration in the Field Museum’s collection of Native American art and artifacts; its vaults and libraries were her research home. She returns to the Field with 16 of her exquisitely carved, quilled, and beaded figures, on view among objects she selected from the museum’s holdings for their influence on her work.

MA / Brockton
Fuller Craft Museum
"Uneasy Beauty: Discomfort in Contemporary Adornment"
October 6 – April 21
Seventy-five pieces of itchy, pinchy, poke-y, scratchy, or otherwise irksome jewelry and apparel get right to the point: What we wear affects how we feel, body and soul.

NC / Charlotte
Mint Museum
"Michael Sherrill Retrospective"
October 27 – April 7 
Michael Sherrill, mostly self-taught in glass, metal, and clay, came up with his own methods and tools to create intricate floral sculptures. He’s shared these discoveries throughout his 40-year career as a teacher at schools such as Penland, as the designer of the Mudtools line, and as an artist showing nationally and internationally.

NJ / Clinton
Hunterdon Art Museum
"Lace, Not Lace: Contemporary Fiber Art from Lacemaking Techniques"
to January 6 
The know-how lacemakers amassed from centuries of churning out collars, jabots, and doilies is now at contemporary artists’ fingertips. Here, 27 of them carry the craft forward in 44 intricate works of fiber and space – from two-dimensional images to large installations – that would make Vermeer’s lacemaker drop her bobbins in astonishment.

NY / Howes
Cave Iroquois Indian Museum
"Tonto, Teepees & Totem Poles: Considering Native American Stereotypes in the 21st Century"
to November 30
There are more than 500 tribes in the US, yet these richly varied groups have been lumped together and portrayed over the centuries as everything from keepers of spiritual wisdom to ruthless savages. Where did such individuality-obliterating notions come from, and why have they persisted? This show invites reflection, presenting stereotypes in pop culture, history, fashion, tourism, advertising, and sports, while more than 20 contemporary Native artists offer personal responses.

NY / New Paltz
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art
"Community and Continuity: Native American Art of New York" 
to December 9
For the past two decades, the New York State Museum has been collecting objects by contemporary Native American artists whose heritage is rooted in the state. More than 30 of those works, most acquired in the past five years, are on view alongside centuries-old artifacts from indigenous cultures.

OH / Canton
Canton Museum of Art
"The Matrix Series: Glass Art of Brent Kee Young"
November 21 – March 3 
In the surfaces of Brent Kee Young’s Matrix series, negative space and light are as important as the painstakingly flame-worked glass rods that shape them. Young, a renowned educator in the US and Japan, finds imagery in roots and rubble piles for his weblike forms.

PA / Philadelphia
Center for Art in Wood
"Merryll Saylan: This Is Your Life"
November 2 – January 20 
Merryll Saylan was on her way to an architecture degree in the 1970s when she first turned wood. Ignoring the flamboyant woodturning trends of the time (and her own rarity as a woman in the field), she developed her pared-down, meditative style: scraping rather than cutting the wood and applying surface colors and textures that evoke her environment, such as the constantly changing face of the salt marsh near her home. On view here are about 40 sculptures, bowls, vessels, and other works from throughout her influential career.

WA / Tacoma
Museum of Glass
"Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight" 
October 6 – August 31, 2019 
In the Tlingit creation myth, Raven takes the form of a crying boy to trick his grandfather into giving him the stars, moon, and daylight, which he releases into the world. Preston Singletary unfolds this tale in about 60 glass works – part of an immersive environment that includes audiovisual and multimedia elements – that reflect the Tlingits’ storytelling-centered design priorities.

Just 2,500 miles away as the crow flies, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts offers the perfect complement: “Raven’s Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast,” a historical overview, to December 30.