Published on: Wed, Apr 17, 2019
The Greater Denton Arts Council (GDAC) strives to put on unique shows. But the contemporary show, Materials Hard + Soft, is one of their most popular every year.
The show, which showcases pieces created in the last two years in a craft medium (clay, glass, fiber, metal, wood or mixed media), has art lovers of all ages intrigued by its unique pieces.
“A lot of people just stare at them, because they aren’t sure if it’s art or not,” says GDAC Exhibitions Coordinator Jenny Bates with a laugh. “You can see it in their minds, that it’s not the normal art they’ve seen.”
Materials Hard + Soft is in its 32nd year. It began in 1987 and was the brainchild of local artist Georgia Leach Gough. The exhibit continues to grow, with international pieces accepted now. Four countries, including the United States, are represented in the 2019 showing.
“It’s exciting to see art from all over the world here,” Bates said. “We are seeing more interest from people who are returning to this show, whether they had a piece previously shown or they’ve come all 32 years.”
More than 1,100 pieces were submitted this year, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Juror Janet McCall of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh selected the 70 works on display. The juror’s awards included: Noelle Mason (1st), Maria Valentina Sheets (2nd), Marie Butler (3rd) and Kim Rice (4th).
The most popular conversation pieces, though, have included Big Hair #5 by Teresa Larrabee, Da Rabbit by Aaron Calvert and Tutti Frutti by Wendy Gamon.
“We also get a lot of questions about the rabbit piece. What do the numbers mean, the symbolism, and people are looking at it, trying to crack the code. The artist didn’t tell me, so I don’t know,” Bates says with a laugh.
Tutti Frutti, a piece made of constructed polyester, has been a favorite for the younger crowd.
“Kids really love it. It’s been the piece they are drawn to,” she said.
Visit the Materials Hard + Soft exhibition at Greater Denton Arts Council, showing through May 4 at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. Admission to the exhibit is free. Greater Denton Arts Council is located at 400 E. Hickory Street and open Tuesday through Saturday.