The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) presents Back to the Drawing Board, a series of 24-hour take-overs of Benchspace, CCCD’s gallery & workshop, intended to provoke conversation, expose process, and invite participation. These one-day, gallery take-overs, created by juried and invited collaborators aim to make the invisible creative process visible and provide a venue for experimentation, collaboration, failure, and innovation. The format of these take-overs is decided by the collaborator, and may include performance, installation, film, or exhibition.
Each take-over will take place 6 – 9 pm Friday and 10 am – 6 pm Saturday at Benchspace and will include a public reception from 6 – 9 pm on Friday evening.
Back to the Drawing Board has been made possible by the John and Robyn Horn Foundation and receives media sponsorship from Industrious Productions.
April 3-4, Performance Crafting: Hand in Hand, Tanya Aguiñiga (Los Angeles, CA)
May 1-2, In Song Sing On: The Songbook Project, David Wilson (Oakland, CA)
May 29-30, Blue Mountain, Mark Reigelman (Brooklyn, New York)
August 28-29, Material Iterations, Jennifer Bueno (Penland, North Carolina); Immigrant Citizenship Takeover, Aram Han (Chicago, IL); Domesterventions: Inventions for Domestic Interventions, Cheyenne Rudolph (Gainesville, FL)
Friday, April 3, 6-9 pm
Saturday, April 4, 10 am – 6 pm
For Performance Crafting: Hand in Hand, the fourth in her ongoing series of public, live, and often collaborative projects known as Performance Crafting, Tanya Aguiñiga invited visitors to learn the wet felting techniques best known in her furniture and product design, and apply it directly to bodies, experiencing the materiality of wool and creating a communal experience of making through care and nurturing. Participants created a chain of perpetual craft as they felted one another’s arms by lightly massaging wool continuously around the hand and forearm area in order to build up a thick layer of wool. Removed from the body and left to dry, the resulting hollow forms mark the collective action of making through care for one another.
Tanya Aguiñiga (b. 1978) is a Los Angeles based designer and artist who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design. She created various collaborative installations with the Border Arts Workshop, an artists’ group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. She founded the group, Artists Helping Artisans, through which she helps spread knowledge of craft by collaborating with traditional artisans. Her work has been exhibited from Mexico City to Milan. She is a United States Artists Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts, a GOOD 100 2013 Recipient and has been the subject of a cover article for American Craft Magazine and included in PBS’s Craft in America Series.
Friday, May 1, 6-9 pm
Saturday, May 2, 10 am – 6 pm
In Song Sing On: The Song Book Project is a contemporary version of the timeless tradition of collecting songs in printed form to support and encourage occasions when people can come together to sing. Since 2013 artists David Wilson and Colter Jacobsen have been soliciting submissions from a wide network of musicians for songs that participants felt would inspire a group sing-a-long. This collecting has happened informally and the songs have been amassed in a photocopied artist book that continues to grow as new songs get added into the mix. The process of collecting and recording songs honors the work of folkloric historians and sound archivists Alan Lomax, Harry Smith, Pete Seeger (Rise Up Singing), and others devoted to collecting song traditions.
Wilson and Jacobsen have held Sing-A-Long events using the Song Book at homes, outdoor campfires, and various institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Heliopolis Gallery (New York), and A.C.R.E (Steuben, WI). It is a nomadic project that seeks to absorb the traditions and input of each place that the project visits and leave behind copies of the book so that others can continue spreading the songs in their community.
For the Asheville edition of The Song Book Project, Wilson worked with each participant on Friday evening to transcribe lyrics and simple chord progressions so that the songs were easily playable and others could join in the singing. A recording of each contributor playing their selection was made to accompany the song book so that new songs can be learned and old favorites can be appreciated. On Saturday afternoon participants were invited to participate in a group Sing-A-Long. The ultimate goal of this project is for the Song Book to act as a tool to enable group singing, which proves to be one of the highest forms of community engagement and communing.
David Wilson is an artist and curator based in Oakland, CA. He creates observational drawings and orchestrates site-specific gatherings that draw a wide net of artists, performers, filmmakers, chefs, and artisans into collaborative relationships. He recently organized the experimental exhibition The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and received the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 2012 SECA Art Award. He has exhibited his work with SFMOMA, was included in the 2010 CA Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, had a solo Matrix exhibition at BAM/PFA, and has received grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation and The Center for Craft, Creativity, & Design.
Friday, May 29, 6-9 pm
Saturday, May 30, 10 am – 6 pm
Twenty-four hours do not seem like a long time. They are just one day in a life that will, on average, contain 27,000 days. Such an average day might consist of a couple car rides, a few meals, several hours of work and a handful of conversations. The average day is appropriately forgettable. But when these average days are combined with the average days of seven billion others, twenty-four hours become much bigger, and more significant. In just one day, fifteen billion cigarettes are thrown onto the side of the road, fourteen billion trees are cut-down and three billion gallons of sewage are dumped into U.S. lakes and rivers. An average day can have a disastrous impact.
Blue Mountain is a participatory, site-specific installation inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains and their role in Western North Carolina’s historically important and detrimental industries: tobacco, timber and textiles. This mountain range has played an integral part of North Carolina’s industrial success, simultaneously acting as a distinctive physical characteristic of the area.
Visitors will be invited to help recreate a mountain landscape in the gallery by cutting out wood block prints, squirting dyes onto the top of a metal mountain structure, and watching as a line of cigarettes, mimicking the Blue Ridge Parkway, is adhered to the gallery floor. The installations will attempt to reorient one’s perception of time and inspire a renewed collective consciousness about our surroundings.
Mark A. Reigelman is a Brooklyn based artist specializing in site-specific objects and installations. His work has been exhibited in public spaces, galleries and museums across the country. Currently, documentation of Reigelman’s project The Reading Nest is included in the exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. His project, Manifest Destiny! was recognized by Americans for the Arts as one of the top 50 public art projects of 2012 and site-specific installation, White Cloud, at the Cleveland Museum of Art was named as one of the top public art projects in the United States. French clothing company Lacoste recognized Reigelman as the Cultural Innovator of 2013 and was featured with his work in Details Magazine (NYC). He is a member of the American Design Club (AmDC) and co-founder of the New York based creative collective Art Stars. Reigelman has exhibited work worked with designers such as Jorge Diego Etienne, Isaac Mizrahi, GyBell, Ron Gilad, Dror, Montana Knox and Rockwell Group. Reigelman’s work has been included in publications such as The New York Times (NYC), New York Magazine (NYC), FRAME (Netherlands), L’uomo Vogue (Italy), Public Design (Korea) and Tele Star (France). Most recently his work was featured in the book, Unexpected Art: Serendipitous Installations, Site Specific Works, and Surprising Interventions, printed by Chronicle Books.
Friday, August 28, 6-9 pm
Saturday, August 29, 10 am – 6 pm
When comparing satellite images of earth taken days, months, and years apart, one can begin to visibly trace the effect of humans on the planet. These images act as a starting point for glass artist Jennifer Bueno, who references maps of air pollution or algae bloom in her formal work. By combining hot glass, watercolor, and oil paint, Bueno creates highly aesthetic, sculptural pictures of environmental change.
In Material Iterations, Bueno will explore how switching materials, as you would switch a camera lens, can similarly lead to new discoveries or revelations about both environmental change as well as the creative process itself. During the takeover Bueno will create new versions of two of her completed works, “Air Pollution over China” and “Algae Bloom in Lake Erie.” These doppelgangers will be made out of alternative materials, such as water, plastic, wet clay, plant material, projected light, and synthetic stuffing. Just as the properties of glass mirror the beautiful yet fragile nature of our environment, what might these new materials and making process bring into focus?
Jennifer Bueno grew up in Seneca, South Carolina. She attended Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in glass, and has earned two MFAs one from Bard College in sculpture and one from Alfred University in glass. Jennifer’s work combines the material of glass with satellite imagery in a way that alters perspective and shifts sensorial experience. Macro-images and microforms both sculpted and blown in hot glass combine to reference the poetics of human perception. She is interested in the intersection of worlds within the reality of our everyday lives. Her work has been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, LA and as the Tacoma Museum of Art in Tacoma, WA. She has been a resident artist at Pilchuck Glass School and at Corning Museum of Glass and most recently was a resident artist at Penland School of Crafts.
Immigrant Citizenship Takeover is a participatory installation where gallery visitors are invited to learn the U.S. Citizenship Test through the act of sewing. This is an iteration of a larger on-going social project, U.S. Citizenship Test Sampler, which addresses the socio-historic role of women and the function of non-citizen communities. Sewn samplers were used in Colonial America to teach young children needlework and the alphabet.
Aram Han: ”I am currently hand-sewing the 100 civic study questions and answers of the US Naturalization Test. I will sell the completed work for $680-the cost of applying for naturalization. This action is motivated by the history of educated adolescent women embroidering decorative pictorial samplers that functioned as signifiers of worth to potential suitors. My citizenship is thus contingent to the sale of the work. Additionally, I have been facilitating citizenship workshops at non-profit organizations, community centers, and schools around Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA. Through these workshops, I have been getting other non- U.S. citizens who live and work in the Unites State to contribute to the pool of samplers, which are also for sale for $680, with the full amount going back to the sampler-maker if sold. Thus, I use samplers to engage with the social and collective nature of needlework’s history, as well as to exhibit the value of non-citizen communities.
Over 70 of these samplers will be installed at the Benchspace Gallery for the 2015 Back to the Drawing Board Exhibition. In addition, I will activate the gallery with performances and I invite viewers to participate in sewing and citizenship test workshops. All visitors, whether citizen or non-citizen, are invited to stitch their own sampler with the option of exhibiting their finished samplers alongside the others or taking them home as a remnant of this gallery experience. Ultimately, I hope to spark conversation and dialogue around immigration and citizenship through the engagement of a diverse community of participants.”
Aram Han learned how to sew when she was 6 years old from her seamstress mother. For her art practice, her tools have become this needle and thread, and her medium is time and labor.
Han was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to Modesto, California as a child. She mines from her family’s immigration experience to address issues of labor and explores identity as a first generation immigrant. Han’s work has been shown in national and international exhibitions. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the LuXun Academy of Fine Art in Shenyang, China, Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA, Maryland Federation of Art in Annapolis, MD, and the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Babson College in Wellesley, MA and “U.S. Citizenship Test Sampler” at Chicago Artist Coalition in Chicago, IL.
She was also the 2013 Windgate Museum Fellow at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art(AAA) and independently curated an AAA oral history collection on craft. And she is currently a Bolt Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. Han earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011, and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Domesterventions: Inventions for Domestic Interventions
Domesterventions will consist of a series of live demonstrations of fantastical household products preformed by artist Cheyenne Rudolph. Taking on a satirical Southern female character, Rudolph will take viewers on a tour through three domestic scenarios, identifying strategically placed products and demonstrating their proper use. Each object’s function will relate to a particular task performed by the stereotypical “woman of the house,” offering a humorous and at times cutting insight into domestic social expectations.
Rudolph’s work subverts accepted and expected modes of feminine behavior by questioning the etiquette of the everyday, often assigning sexually provocative implications to mundane household routines. Combines elements of craft, etiquette, and gender roles, Rudolph’s work addresses issues women face regarding societal expectations, personal identity, and self-sacrifice.
Cheyenne Rudolph is a ceramic potter and performance artists in Gainesville, Florida, building functionally specific vessels from slabs. Rudolph creates whimsical vessels whose exaggerated proportions function like caricatures of modern time-saving devices, enticing the user to try on the role of homemaker. Rudolph received an MFA from the University of Florida and BFA from Murray State University in western Kentucky. She is currently and Adjunct Professor, Resident Artist, and Director of the 4Most Gallery Director at the University of Florida.
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD), established in 1996, is a national nonprofit organization that advances the understanding of craft through research, critical dialogue, and professional development in the United States. CCCD is located in downtown Asheville, NC in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.