Houston Center for Contemporary Craft opening reception: Topsoil

Photo by the artist

Topsoil is an exhibition of work by three artists who harvest their creative sustenance from the mathematics, science and aesthetics of the planet's waters and terrains. As the most vibrant and rich portion of the earth's soil, topsoil yields the highest concentration of organic matter. This fertile ground fosters the growth and production of the living organisms that thrive on its nutrients just as it nourishes the imagination of these artists.

Houston artist and designer Kate de Para's trompe l'oeil fiber-based Rock Collection delightfully fools the eye. A camouflage of surface texture and form add mass to the collection, concealing the fragility of the lightweight Abaca fiber. Grains of salt mimic the gritty quality of a hard exterior, while complementing the beauty found within the layers of texture, pattern, and color of natural rock formations.

Drawing ties between earthly macrocosms and microcosms, New Orleans ceramist Sarah House interprets fractal geometry in nature to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the natural environment. This type of geometry identifies patterns found under the lens of a microscope, as well as those charted topographically. In the Ad Infinitum series, her sculptures represent waves of water that line the wall like a mountain range. In her composition of these water studies, House calls attention to the connection between fractal patterns in the minute ripples of the water's surface, as well as the depths of the mountains.

Working in Richmond, Va., Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer's mixed-media pieces replicate organic forms found in nature. By placing these forms in unnatural environments, she raises questions about the semantics of what is natural and what is manmade. Like a vine on a trellis, the delicate, glass root systems of Forced Roots push through Solo-cup bottoms that frame their irresistibly fine construction, demonstrating a vital resilience to their surrounding environment.

On view through May 25.



Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002


Admission is free.
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