Alumni On View: Celia Butler at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston

Casey Polacheck (left), Areca Roe’s photograph, Calder Kamin, Career Services Assistant (right)

Last weekend I made a quick visit to my hometown, Austin, TX, for my exhibition opening at grayDUCK gallery. The exhibition Tamed Territory runs through August 20 and features work by Areca Roe, Casey Polacheck, and me! Last fall I proposed a three person show about nature, including Areca’s photos and my ceramics, to grayDuck’s gallery owner, Jill Schroeder. Jill added Casey, a painter and recent BFA from UT at Austin, to the exhibition roster.

The rest of my weekend trip was spent in Houston, touring all of the museums and art centers. You may not be aware, but Houston is a substantial metropolitan city with many opportunities for artists to create, be seen and be employed. This is something alumna, Celia Butler (fiber ’07), has realized since she moved  in August 2011 to become an artist in residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. The HCCC residency program supports emerging, mid-career, and established artists working in all craft media, including but not limited to clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media. A juried selection is held annually to award five artists a three-to-twelve month residency. During her time as a HCCC AIR, Celia received a 200-square-foot studio, a monthly stipend and a small, quarterly housing/materials allowance.
Across the street from the HCCC is the Lawndale Arts Center. They also have an AIR program for regional artists. Artists have full access to their studios 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receive a $500 monthly stipend for the duration of the program together with an initial $1500 materials allowance. During the residency, participating artists present workshops or presentations to the general public. Before entering the LAC gallery, I spent sometime checking out the mural in progress.

Sugar Gazing by Celia Butler

Currently up at the LAC is their annual juried call-for-entry exhibition, The Big Show on view through August 12. Guest juror, Marco Antonini, Gallery Director for NURTUREart, Brooklyn, NY, selected six artists to receive a $500 cash prize for their exhibiting work, and Celia’s photo “Sugar Gazing” was a winner! Visitors to the LAC are also welcome to vote on their favorite piece using QR codes printed on every artist’s label.  Now with her residency over at the HCCC, Celia has taken a position as professor of art at the Houston Community College.

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