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2019 Artists-In-Residence Exhibition

Curator's Statement

In a world that seems to move so fast, Craft Alliance’s Artists-In-Residence program allows for an artist to focus on their studio practice, in the here and now, and create a sacred space for creativity. Each year, Craft Alliance welcomes emerging and mid-career artists from across the country who work with craft materials. Our Artists-in-Residence Program supports artists who want to develop their artistic investigations in a collaborative, community-based arts center. We encourage artists to explore with materials and expand on ideas within their studio practice. The residents ignite our studios with energy; they teach classes, work in our community programs, and offer the public a window into the creative and professional lives of artists. We are proud to presents the work of our 2019 class of Artists-In-Residence: Jeff Hornung, Erin King, and Whitney White. Each artist demonstrates dedication and passion for their studio practice.   
Whitney White started her ceramics residency in January 2019. Always fascinated by materials, Whitney’s love for ceramics flourished post master’s degree when she began creating in Craft Alliance’s clay studios. Her works orbit around notions of beauty that society has defined for women through a narrow lens. Whitney struggles with the tough beauty standards that are imposed on women as they age. Inundated with products that moisturize, conceal, reduce wrinkles and spots, Whitney collected them all. She grew to love her own collection of anti-ageing products; the small bottles, the packaging, the history of feminine physique. She acquired beauty product ads from the 1950s and 60s, investigating color palettes and messaging. Though she admired them, she also saw these lovely bottles as weapons of war. Constantly fighting with modern beauty standards, Whitney uses her work to stop time, to preserve time. Taking these little disposable products and casting them in clay instantly makes them fragile and delicate. She arranges and rearranges them again and again, creating small still life paintings of a time that once was, and curating artifacts from a practice, that, hopefully, becomes the past standards of beauty. 

Erin King began her fiber residency in July 2019. Erin relocated to St. Louis upon finishing her MFA at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She used her residency to continue her exploration of fiber’s rich history of recycling and repurposing materials. Growing up in a musical home, she was always drawn to instruments. It was a constant curiosity of systems and rhythms. During her MFA program, she began deconstructing instruments in her studio practice, turning instruments inside out and investigating how they work. Pairing this with the systems of creating historical fiber, she bridged comparisons between weaving and the arrangement of notes on a page. Both systems need rhythm and structure to be successful. The work in this exhibition takes Erin’s investigation a step further. The works are playful and surprising.
Jeff Hornung has been a part of Craft Alliance long before he started his residency in July 2019. He was teaching in our wood studio for many years, gaining inspiration by observing and engaging with former residents, and their passion for making. A successful artisan himself in the wood turning world, he found himself wanting dedicated mind space to push his material and explore personal narratives. Our residency was a perfect playground for him to do so. Jeff’s work plays with all materials and the visual dialogues they create. Through his research, he was constantly creating and allowing himself to fail with joy and passion. He grew to find his voice by coming full circle to the vessel form and applying the lessons he learned along the way. Embellishment, color, and texture are how Jeff expresses himself visually, with much success and dedication to continue to learn. 

We celebrate each of these artists and their works, and encourage them to continue creating.