Rob and I had the pleasure of designing and building the exhibition for the most recent show, Made in WNC, at the Center for Craft Creativity and Design. We really enjoyed being invited by the CCCD to do the exhibition design for the show because of the way it aligned different elements of our practice into one trajectory. As individuals with fine art, craft, architectural, and retail backgrounds it was really fertile territory.
Because of the nature of the show and the nature of the objects in the space, we approached it from a place that mixed retail design with gallery severity. We wanted to create a design that was immersive to the viewer but didn't put itself before the individual artists. We also wanted to isolate each object and allow that which would typically be valued only for its functional or commercial nature be views as part of a much larger and important story about makers in the area.
Conceptually we landed the shipping container, the closest analog in manufacturing to the white gallery plinth, as our main organizing principal. Just as the white plinth can transubstantiate matter into art, the shipping container turns craft into the serialized artifact of commerce. This concept of container manifested in the show as four 6’x8’x10’ rectangular forms. The forms were developed using a system of whitewashed pine stock simply fastened together in varying orientations. This system was used to create a complex series of planes, screens, walls and shelves. Using this organizational logic we developed as much complexity within the rectangular forms as needed to house each individual artist uniquely.
The containers were scaled in a way to work proportionally with the space as well as force the viewer to have to physically meander through the whole exhibit to see it all. By integrating the design of the exhibit with the objects themselves we sought to create a whole that was greater then the sum of its parts. Retail spaces are excellent at implementing that logic to fuse identity with desire. We used that logic to fuse identity with education.
What is happening in western North Carolina and elsewhere with modern craft and commerce is the story of a larger moment in culture and we were happy to be involved with the telling of a small piece of that.
These shots were snapped during the construction and styling process - professional photos to come.
Work showcased includes SHELTER, Fehlo, A Little Weather, Iron & Ash, East Fork Pottery, Outra Textiles, Melissa Weiss Pottery, Blue Ridge Chair Company, Sketchbook Crafts, Element Clay Studio, Raleigh Denim, Billy Belts, Tsuga, Lightheart Tents, Appalatch, Mudtools, Hudson's Hill, Overlap Sewing Studio, Bow + Arrow Apparel, and Circle A Brand.