ASU Art Museum show, symposium explore the evolution of craft

August 8, 2013

The ASU Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts present "Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft," the first comprehensive museum exhibition to highlight their extensive craft holdings, including new international acquisitions in wood, ceramic and fiber. This exhibition and its accompanying catalog provide an international perspective on modern and contemporary crafts and the current level of innovation and experimentation in material studies.

The museum’s existing craft collection, which was initiated in the late 1960s, focuses on both established and emerging artists who are the driving force behind the model of rethinking craft. Recent acquisitions of work by national and international artists reflect current trends in the field. Established artists in the show include Peter Voulkos, Ed Moulthrop and Dorothy Gill Barnes. Emerging artists include Sonya Clark, Anders Ruhwald, Mark Newport and Alison Elizabeth Taylor. The exhibition includes approximately 100 objects in wood, ceramic and fiber. Jarbas Lopes, Cicloviaéra, 2006 Oisier (natural fiber vine) over bicycle Download Full Image

In conjunction with the Sept. 27 opening reception for the exhibition, the ASU Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center are also hosting “FlashBackForward,” a symposium on the state of contemporary craft, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 28. The keynote speaker is Jenni Sorkin, assistant professor of contemporary art history at University of California, Santa Barbara, with lectures by artists Wendy Mayurama, Garth Johnson, Christine Lee, Del Harrow and Erika Lynne Hanson.

That weekend, Arizona artist Paul Nosa will join the museum for a two-day sewing performance featuring his Solar Sewing Rover, a portable sewing machine powered by a solar panel or a bicycle with an electric generator. Nosa will create original images, which are machine-sewn on fabric patches, using word associations provided by guests at both the opening and the symposium. For more information about Nosa’s work, visit

The exhibition is curated by Heather Sealy Lineberry, associate director and senior curator,  and Peter Held, curator of ceramics, with assistance from Windgate Curatorial Fellow Elizabeth Kozlowski.

The catalog that accompanies the show is approximately 200 pages, with color images, a series of essays and brief perspectives dedicated to the existence of craft within a critical context, a comprehensive bibliography, artists’ biographies and an index.

Selected works from the exhibition will travel to five additional venues around the country, beginning in January 2014 (see schedule below).

"Crafting a Continuum" exhibition schedule:

Sept. 7-Dec. 7
Opening reception: Friday, Sept. 27
ASU Art Museum, Lobby, Lower Level South and Turk Galleries
Ceramics Research Center, Tempe

Jan. 30-April 27, 2014
Bellevue Arts Museum
Bellevue, Wash.

May 17-Aug. 10, 2014
Boise Art Museum
Boise, Idaho

Sept. 13-Dec. 21, 2014
Ft. Wayne Museum of Art
Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Jan. 30-April 15, 2015
Nora Eccles Museum of Art, Utah State University
Logan, Utah

May 30-Aug. 30, 2015
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston, Texas

This exhibition and accompanying programming was made possible with generous support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Nancy Tieken and Joanne and Jim Rapp.

Deborah Sussman Susser,
ASU Art Museum

Sarah J. Hough


ASU professor explores history of Mexican border towns in new book

August 9, 2013

A new book written by ASU professor Daniel Arreola was recently published by the University of Texas Press. Titled, “Postcards from the Rio Bravo Border: Picturing the Place, Placing the Picture, 1900s-1950s,” it explores the history of Mexican border towns through nearly two hundred postcard images of five significant towns on the lower Rio Bravo: Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras and Villa Acuña.

The images depict how certain sites within each city have changed over time, demonstrating how imagery, when systematically and chronologically arranged, can be as effective as text or maps in telling the geographical story of a place. With the images included in his book, Arreola argues that visual imagery has a definite influence on how people think about and approach different places, as well as how those sites have been pictured for tourist consumption. Daniel Arreola Download Full Image

A professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and Affiliate Faculty with the School of Transborder Studies, Arreola also is the author of “The Mexican Border Cities: Landscape Anatomy and Place Personality,” “Tejano South Texas: A Mexican American Cultural Province” and “Hispanic Spaces, Latino Places: Community and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary America.” His research interests include landscapes, cultural identity, place-making, Mexican-American borderlands and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

More information regarding "Postcards from the Rio Bravo Border," can be found here.

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Transborder Studies are both academic units in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

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