InLiquid’s newest exhibition, Confluence, celebrates Philadelphia’s rich history of crafts and its current community of crafters. The artists involved work in different mediums, showing that the art of craftwork can be one of the most diverse types of art. Here we look at four of the artists who have work in the exhibition; this is the first in a series of posts about Confluence‘s talented craftspeople.
Born in Spain and raised in Cuba, Adela Akers initially studied Pharmacy at the University of Havana. After receiving her degree, however, she was taken under the wing of the group Los Once (The Eleven) and started taking art classes. She moved to America and studied weaving at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 1960, and then received her degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1963. She moved on to become Professor Emeritus at Tyler School of Art from 1972 to 1995, during that time winning faculty research study grants from the school. Her weavings are mathematical. As she traveled around the world for her art and is bilingual, math is a universal language that is understood anywhere she goes. Her loom-produced textiles can be seen as journeys themselves, with lines roaming across the space, meeting and diverging as they take on their own personal voyages.
Anna Boothe received degrees in sculpture and glass from Rhode Island School of Design and Tyler School of Art, respectively. She taught at Tyler School of Art as a glass faculty member for 16 years and lectured at various other colleges and universities. One of Ms. Boothe’s latest accomplishments has been developing Salem Community College’s glass art degree program and chairing the International Flameworking Conference. Her glasswork deal with the subject of human interaction and motivation, or a battle between our internal and external selves. She uses her work to impart the delicate balance we must go through daily. For Boothe, glass is the perfect medium through which to convey meaning: it is fragile, yet strong, translucent yet not quite diaphanous. Her works in Confluence place equal importance between the brain and the heart and the strain they must go through for dominance in our selves.
Doug Bucci has been designing jewelry and objects since earning his MFA at Tyler School of Art in 1998. Bucci currently teaches in the Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM program at Tyler as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, in addition to teaching at the University of the Arts’ Industrial Design department. His art explores biological systems and diseases, but instead of delving into these subjects in through organic media, he takes a digital approach in order to simulate how cells form patterns. Through using computers to produce his art, Bucci can travel beyond what is possible in the analog world. This way, he is able to show us how human experience has extended beyond our mere bodies and immediate experiences into a whole new world of the digital, which can be both a blessing and a curse; his 3D printed necklace in Confluence, Islet/Black Sectional, especially shows that struggle, as it resembles an oversized chain that weighs down on the wearer.
Glass artist Jon Clark began his career while attending the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, where he was one of the members of the Famous First Glass Class at UW Madison of 1963, graduating in 1970. Clark traveled around Europe from 1969-1972 while he attended The Royal College of Art in the School of Ceramics and Glass. After completing his MA RCA, Clark came to Philadelphia in 1973 and established the glass program at Temple’s Tyler School of Art, where he taught for thirty-six years. While Clark works mainly in glass, the art he exhibits in Confluence consists primarily of watercolor paintings. These paintings, however, closely resemble glass in their texture and shape, taking the 3D nature of glasswork and translating it into 2D paintings that seem to float in midair, weightlessly. The glasswork that he does have in Confluence have the common thread of long tubes that appear much heavier. The juxtaposition between these works show Clark’s talent for manipulating our perceptions of glass, showing that they can weight- and shape-shift.
Be sure to come see Confluence at InLiquid’s Gallery! The show will be running until December 22nd. Confluence is presented in conjunction with CraftNOW Philadelphia.