Wednesday, October 24, 2012
40 Under 40
I finally went to see 40 Under 40 at The Renwick Gallery, an exhibit featuring 40 artists under the age of 40 who all work in various craft media. The exhibit explores the future of craft and the changing notions of craft in the art world. I won't go into a large discussion here about craft versus art; I wrote a bit on that topic here. But I do want to write that the main impression I took away from this exhibit was one of scale. Several of the pieces are large, very large installations in fact, and they reinforced something I've been thinking about a lot this past year. I realized I have a tendency to think "small" when working on craft projects, whether because of time constraints or financial constraints or some other self-imposed limits. Restrictions can push us to new discoveries, but they can also force us to be too narrow in our approach. I've been making an effort to think bigger, not just in literal terms of the scale of my projects, but the reach of my work, the intended audience, the potential imprint. These are all very big and potentially scary ideas but necessary if I'm to continue to grow as an artist and maker. After all, isn't that why we're all here?
Photos aren't allowed inside the exhibition, of course, so I borrowed these from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's flickr pool for the show. (Click on images to go directly to source.)
To find out more about the artists whose work is pictured, please visit the exhibition site; there are links to short videos on each artist that introduce them and show a bit about how they work--fascinating stuff.