Galveston Arts Center is pleased to present two exhibitions of work by Texas Master Piero Fenci. Fenci is the fourth artist to receive the honor bestowed by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft for making a significant impact in the craft field. Fenci was chosen a Texas Master for his outstanding involvement in the Texas craft community, his dedication and excellence in teaching, the innovative qualities of his work, and his exceptional craftsmanship.
Fenci's work has roots in the underlying craft tradition of functionality, while exploring the sculptural and conceptual realm of contemporary ceramics. HCCC Curator, Anna Walker, worked with Fenci to select pieces from four separate bodies of work created during the last five years. The selection highlights the variety of interests and influences in the artist's work, ranging from traditional origami and Japanese armor of the Muromachi period to Shaker hatboxes and tin ware. Fenci says, "I take these archetypes, filter them through my psyche, and intuitively connect them. My work, therefore, constitutes loosely rendered re-inventions of the past; they are my attempt to build a family tree of spiritual ancestors, a heritage of my own passions."
In conjunction with Battlements the Galveston Arts Center will present Piero Fenci: A Survey, bringing together examples of his ceramic works and working drawings from throughout his career borrowed from public and private collections.
For more than 35 years, Piero Fenci has distinguished himself as both an artist and an educator. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, he holds an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, and a BA in Latin American Studies from Yale University. Since 1975, Fenci has been a teacher and the head of the ceramics department at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. He has also spent time as a visiting professor at both the Nantucket Island School of Design and the Arts in Nantucket, MA, and the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Mexico, where he founded the first university ceramic art program in the state's history. Fenci's vessels are included in many private and museum collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art in Alfred, NY.
Both Fenci exhibitions are presented in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) being held in Houston this spring. The exhibitions will open during the March 9th ArtWalk and will remain on view through April 14, 2013. Curator Clint Willour will lead a gallery talk with the artist beginning at 6:30 pm during ArtWalk. The event is free and open to the public.