Craft Alliance's Artist-in-Residence Series Is Better Than Ever

By Emma Thoelke
In Culture

The Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design has always been about exploring the power of craft and how it can be utilized as a tool of human expression. The four artists of the 2015 Artist-in-Residence program did just that, exploring the human psyche both as individuals and members of society through metal, fiber, and clay studies.

Works by Craft Alliance artists-in-residence: Top left, Grace Kubilius; top right, Robert Thomas Mullen; bottom left, Audrey Peck; bottom right, Norleen Nosri, courtesy of the Craft Alliance.

Works by Craft Alliance artists-in-residence: Top left, Grace Kubilius; top right, Robert Thomas Mullen; bottom left, Audrey Peck; bottom right, Norleen Nosri, courtesy of the Craft Alliance.

Norleen Nosri’s collection of work is a series of drinking and serving vessels clustered in holding structures of various sizes. The delicate, fluid shapes of the containers contrast with the thick, dense structures holding them, creating an overall shape reminiscent of undersea coral. Through these containers, Norleen was able to explore the act of giving and receiving in society, and how these actions bring people together.

Audrey Peck’s childhood affinity for the outdoors is explored in her artworks on display. Each piece is a juxtaposition of the natural and the industrial, featuring delicately carved wooden shapes to call to mind the natural world of her childhood.

Grace Kubilius’ work is perhaps the most avant-garde of the exhibition, featuring large-scale fabric pieces as well as photographs of unidentified models with their heads covered, wearing clothing she designed. This intersection of art and fashion provide her with the means to explore issues of self-image, the body and identity through a playful, fluid medium.

Belleville native Robert Thomas Mullen creates jewelry as a way of documenting the many different cultures he has been able to experience. His time in Estonia has had a definite influence on his works, as he repeatedly uses wood and fossils from the country in many of his works. His pieces are beautiful and wearable, but they are also undeniably sculptural art pieces rooted firmly in Robert’s exploration of the world.

The Craft Alliance Artist-in-Residence exhibition runs until July 5, 2015 at their Delmar Loop Gallery. For more information, visit craftalliance.org.

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