"Studio Views" at the Museum of Arts and Design

"Studio Views" at the Museum of Arts and Design

LJ Roberts, Sarah Zapata, Xenobia Bailey, and Maria Hupfield offer an up-close view of the creative process in a unique exhibition.

Sarah Zapata at work in "Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field"

Sarah Zapata at work in her gallery-situated studio for "Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field.

Jenna Bascom, courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

As makers increasingly blur the lines between disciplines, experiment with scale and materials, and embrace performative and socially-engaged work, museums face a conundrum: How do you exhibit such work? Traditional models just don’t seem to do the trick.

New York’s Museum of Arts and Design attempts a solution with “Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field,” an exhibition suggesting that process is as important as product.

Divided into two sessions, “Studio Views” hosts four resident artists for two micro-residencies at a time. Each artist is a MAD Studios Program alumni with a focus on textile work. The first session, on view now, pairs young makers working from a queer perspective: LJ Roberts [see “Landing Places”] and Sarah Zapata.

LJ Roberts Studio Views ephemera

Ephemera guiding LJ Roberts work-in-progress, a full-scale conversion van inspired by queer groups who traveled the US via van. Photo: Jenna Bascom, courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

The show offers the residents a chance to step out from behind the creative curtain and work publicly in gallery spaces-cum-studios, where they can engage with museum-goers. Visitors are invited to stop by during open studio hours to observe the artists, ask questions, and witness the development of a work. They can also peruse an exhibit of video, ephemera, research materials, drawings, and studio experiments borrowed from the residents to learn more about what inspires them. Finally, a show co-curated by the resident makers contextualizes their work within the history of experimental craft. The pieces, ranging from the 1930s to the present, are gathered from MAD’s permanent collection.

The session with Roberts and Zapata runs through October 15. Starting October 20, craft giant Xenobia Bailey and performer Maria Hupfield take over until the exhibition ends on December 17, 2017.