Changing States of Matter | Hillaree Hamblin and Grace Zuñiga

January 16th, 2018  |  Published in EXHIBITIONS, UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS

January 27 – March 3, 2018 Exhibitions
Opening Reception, Saturday, January 27, 2018, 7 – 9PM

Changing States of Matter | Hillaree Hamblin and Grace Zuñiga
Curated by Christopher Beer and Kelly Johnson
Front BOX

Changing States of Matter features new and collaborative sculpture and installation work by Houston-based artists Hillaree Hamblin and Grace Zuñiga, who explore the embodiment of memory, narrative, and intention through the methodical manipulation of materials. The artists interweave artificial substances like plastics, foam, and resin with raw materials like wood, metals, and thread, distilling poetic qualities from within. Animating these materials through ritualized processes of dipping, spraying, stretching, and molding, the artists carefully guide selected matter into new states of being. These transformed objects preserve the stories of their own becoming, while also reflecting the artists’ personal memories and offering moments of introspection.

Hillaree Hamblin collects and builds curious assemblages that she morphs into mutant crystalline shrines. Each object has its own formation narrative showing physical traces of its manipulation and growth, including tenacious crevices, dimples, and glops. Grace Zuñiga conjures considered, unyielding microcosms that display reverence to the materials they contain. Akin to altars, these mysterious fibrous systems seek meaning beyond their evolving layered forms.

Hillaree Hamblin is a fine artist and arts educator living and working in Houston, Texas. Her work has been shown in Germany, London and at various art spaces around Houston including Lawndale Art Center, Samara Gallery and Box 13 Artspace. In 2013, she received her Bachelor’s in painting from the University of Houston and graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from Houston Baptist University in May of 2016. She currently teaches art classes as both a private and adjunct instructor while working as a cofounder of OpenMFA Houston.

Grace Zuñiga was born and raised in Corpus Christi, and now lives and works in Houston. In 2007, she received her BFA from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, with a focus in photography. In 2010, Grace studied printmaking and papermaking in the UGA Cortona Program in Cortona, Italy, and in 2012, Grace received her MFA in studio art, with a focus in printmaking, from the University of Georgia, Lamar Dodd School of Art in Athens, Georgia. Grace has exhibited both nationally and internationally in venues such as The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, TX, and The Sharjah Gallery in Cairo, Egypt. In May of 2014, Grace completed a nine-month residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and has recently participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas.

Christopher Beer is a roving artist/curator/arts worker who currently makes his home in Houston, Texas. His work has focused around finding ways to engage the various audiences of his practice, with focus on how exhibition and art making can foster new ideas and modes of thinking through a constructivist lens. He trained as a visual artist at Michigan State University earning a BFA in painting, then studied curatorial practice; earning by an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art. He was member of a team that created a special exhibition at SOFA Chicago (2012), and was a fellow at Mildred’s Lane, where he collaborated with J. Morgan Puett and a cast of other artists to create the Labor Portraits Series (2014). He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. His curatorial practice seeks to examine interdisciplinary practices with intent of finding new, sustainable relationships among project partners.

Kelly Johnson is a curator, writer, and arts worker. In her work she seeks out connections between the body, environment, and spiritual experience. She welcomes opportunities to engage in creative projects exploring human relationships to space, geology, ritual and magic, body parts and functions, labor, and larger intersectional, queer feminist issues. She has worked in art spaces across the country and her writing has been featured in ART PAPERS, Recaps Magazine, and Bmore Art.

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