September 23, 2010

An Interview with the CraftTexas Jurors, Part I

This Friday is the opening of CraftTexas 2010, the sixth in a series of juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. To give our audiences a better understanding of the jury process, our jurors have agreed to answer a few questions.

Below is an interview with Gail M. Brown. Gail is an independent curator of contemporary craft whose focus is to enhance visibility and education about contemporary craft in the larger visual arts community. She trained as a print maker at the Philadelphia College of Art, and she has been watching the contemporary crafts movement since the early 1970s. Her recent exhibitions have been hosted at Baltimore Clayworks, the Hoffman Gallery of Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Woodturning Center and many more.

Were you familiar with the exhibit CraftTexas Series from Houston Center for Contemporary Craft before being asked to be a juror?


Yes, I have several catalogues from previous CraftTexas shows in my library. I know the work of certain artists quite well.

When reviewing CraftTexas 2010 entries, did you see any common themes in the works submitted?

I recall some trends to large forms.

How did you choose what entries received the highest marks?

I respond to tactile work with thoughtful, arresting and often provocative content, to ideas and personal narrative. I look for passionate exploration of the chosen media. I look for a sustained personal visual vocabulary.

What advice would you give artists wanting to enter CraftTexas 2012, or juried exhibits in general?

Be personally self-critical: edit your work before you send it out in the world. Is the work you are sending out truly your ideas: that’s what I want to see. Make the juror eager to do her homework to see more of your work after this “introduction.” Make the images work their very best for you- you know best what you want to convey. Do the images do that for you?

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