Kids | Family
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents the exhibition Abigail Anne Newbold: Crafting Independence, on view October 4, 2013 through January 19, 2014. Opening Reception on Friday, October 4, 5:30 – 8:00pm.The opening will also feature two other new exhibitions: SPRAWL, in the Main Gallery, and The Maker’s Archive, in the Artist Hall.Other events during the Opening Reception:
5:30 pm – Artist Talk by Abigail Anne Newbold (Crafting Independence)
5:45 pm – Curators’ Talk by Susie J. Silbert and Anna Walker (SPRAWL)
6:00 – 7:00pm – Open Studios by Current Resident ArtistsAbout the exhibition:
Transforming Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s Front Gallery into a space resembling an encampment in a potentially post-apocalyptic landscape, Abigail Anne Newbold explores the role of the contemporary pioneer living on the outskirts of a cityscape. Having primarily shown her work in the Northeast, with its early settlement culture, Newbold turned to Houston to showcase her latest example of contemporary pioneering. In the last century, the city has taken ownership over its geography and resources, becoming what could be considered a modern example of the “final frontier.” By featuring her installation in Houston, Newbold sparks a dialogue around the city’s identity.Newbold’s installation, mirroring a commercial showroom, promotes a reemerging Do-It-Yourself culture couched within a landscape of mass-production. Filled with a meticulous assemblage of handmade products and repurposed objects, Crafting Independence illustrates how to survive in an evolving industrial socio-economic environment. In the spirit of DIY, Newbold’s line of modified objects privilege a lifestyle designed by and for the individual–the pioneer of the modern frontier. By using repurposed materials, Newbold encourages her audience to envision their own makeshift domestic space. Her environment bears a curious familiarity with many common household wares, making her ideas easily applicable to almost any lifestyle.At the same time, Newbold brings a high level of sophistication to the idea of encampment. Accented with bright neon colors, her collection includes garments made from repurposed materials, handcrafted tools suspended from synthetic-fiber rope, and patchwork timber-frame structures. Through a juxtaposition of necessity and comfort, practicality and sentimental frivolity, Newbold captures home as a concept housed within the objects and shelter that make up our environment. Creating a domestic discourse, her work begs the question of the dividing line between bare necessity and creature comfort. Perhaps, the answer lies within the couture-inspired, neon-lined fur vest. American fur trappers have sold animal pelts to provide warmth to their clientele since the birth of the nation. However, with its nod to high fashion, Newbold’s cropped vest speaks to a contemporary idea of survival—one in which both comfort and aesthetics have become necessity.About the artist:
Based in Massachusetts, Newbold explores themes of self-sufficiency, domesticity, and the intersection between craft and design production, drawing from traditional and modern techniques. Her most recent solo exhibition, Abigail Anne Newbold: Crafting Settlement, opened this spring at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH. She has recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit. Newbold received a 2012 Artist Award from the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts and a 2009 Kresge Artist Fellowship, among other distinctions. She holds an MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.