Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to host Taking Shape: Celebrating the Windgate Fellowship, an exhibition that recognizes the considerable emerging talent in the field of craft. Organized by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) in Asheville, North Carolina, Taking Shape is the first group display of Windgate Fellows’ work, spanning a range of approaches, media, and processes. The exhibition features a selection of recent objects, completed by 2006 – 2010 CCCD Fellows, revealing a cross section of up-and-coming perspectives on craft.
CCCD asked Cindi Strauss, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to jury the exhibition. Strauss notes, “Craft continues to shift and respond to cultural and economic changes in the world, with younger artists often taking the lead in forging new paths to address these fundamental differences. Taken as a whole, the work in the exhibition clearly embodies the maxims used to describe craft in recent years.”
The Windgate Fellowship provides essential resources and experiences to the next generation of makers at an influential stage in their careers. To this day, the Fellowship, supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, remains the largest source of funding for emerging American craft practitioners. Since 2006, CCCD has annually awarded a total of $150,000 to 10 undergraduate seniors working in craft.
HCCC also receives support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation. With this funding, HCCC is able to award a three-year curatorial fellowship that allows a recent graduate student to assist with the coordination, installation, art handling, and registration of exhibitions. To date, two fellowships have been awarded. Current Fellow, Kathryn Hall, has played an instrumental role in bringing Taking Shape to HCCC and has curated six exhibitions in the past year and a half, gaining a wealth of experience in her brief tenure.
Taking Shape is a testament to the success of the Windgate Fellowship and the commitment of the Windgate Charitable Foundation to help organizations like CCCD and HCCC foster the craft community and shape the future of craft.