Green Hill Center for NC Art announces the exhibition Speaking in Species: A North Carolina Perspective on display June 14, 2013 – August 18, 2013. Speaking in Species, funded through a grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, presents the work of 27 artists, both seasoned makers and the next generation of makers, working in wood.
This exhibition, guest curated by Brent Skidmore, brings the art of woodworking to a new level. Skidmore is an Assistant Professor of Art, Director of Craft Studies at UNC-Asheville and maintains a studio at Grovewood Studios in Asheville. He received his MFA in Sculpture from Indiana University and a BFA in Sculpture from Murray State University where he was first introduced to wood as an artistic medium. Skidmore’s work and processes are included in a 2007 Lark Publication entitled “The Penland Book of Woodworking.” He has shown his work extensively across the country as well as internationally; showing in Finland and most recently in Dubai. Exhibitions of Skidmore’s personal work have included the Smithsonian Craft Show and SOFA Chicago.
Skidmore, and the group of artists he has selected for Speaking in Species, all bring an expressive language to the art of woodworking. “There are over 100,000 species of wood; think about the opportunity for an artist. Every specie of wood brings unique qualities and expressive characteristics. With the 27 artists assembled by Brent Skidmore in Speaking in Species, we get a glimpse of the enormity wood offers us in our lives and in art. From furniture to ornamentation and so much in between,” said Laura Way, Executive Director of Green Hill Center. Through the exhibition, Skidmore captures the role wood plays in daily life and its universality. “From cradle to grave, we interact, own and even inhabit things made of wood. From early on, we might encounter bassinets, spoons, bowls, ladles, beds, brooms, shoes, boats, and flying machines. We walk on bridges to houses in which we live, before finally being buried in a wooden box under a tree. Wood is ubiquitous, common and simultaneously complex all at the same time,” he said.
From his strong network of colleagues, Skidmore selected artists who embrace innovation, longevity and creativity. Fulltime makers, industry specialists and educators are all represented; each using wood in unique ways. Beyond the variety of experience and talent, the viewer will be exposed to an unexpected culmination of sculpture, fine craft, instruments, illustrations and painted surfaces in works both large and small in scale. Skidmore said, “I wanted a mixture of works ranging from traditional, like a Windsor chair, to the most
exciting wooden sculpture out there; works that would stand up well outside of the home boundaries.” The works range from functional furniture, like Richard Prisco and John Clark, to the monumental sculptural work of Stoney Lamar. This is juxtaposed to the visionary work of Elizabeth Alexander, Sylvia Rosenthal and others.