Selected Projects

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MAW Collection of Oaxaca

The MAW Collection is a group of collectors who have together amassed contemporary Latin American paintings, prints, and sculpture; pre-Conquest Mesoamerican and South American ceramic and stone-works, masks, body adornment, and other collections from New Guinea.

 

Organizing and directing the curatorial management and acquisition project for the MAW Collection, the project included research into the symbolic indigenous mythologies and themes surrounding the culture of Oaxaca, travel to Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and lectures about the collection and how it can be a resource for community impact.

 

Culminating in December of 2016, the collection was donated and split between the Fresno Art Museum and the Museum of Latin American Art and included artists: Fulgencio Lazo, Leovigildo Martinez, Felipe Morales, Humberto Batista, Bonifacio Garcia, Juan Alcazar, and Charles Barth.

*Images courtesy of Fresno Art Museum and MAW Collection

 
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Vitality and Verve:

Transforming the Urban Landscape 

As a guest exhibition writer, I contributed an essay to Vitality and Verve, one of the first leading exhibitions in North America that opened its doors to new urban and contemporary artists, inviting them to transform the museum walls with ephemeral murals and multi-media installations.

 

This exhibition generated the largest attendance in the Long Beach Museum of Art's sixty-five year history. Organized by Ron Nelson and Rody López in 

collaboration with Thinkspace Gallery and POW! WOW! Long Beach, it celebrated local and international studio and street artists that were given the freedom to experiment within the museum space using new techniques to create dynamic large-scale works.

 

The participating artists included: Aaron Horkey, Alex Yanes, Andrew Schoultz, Audrey Kawasaki, Brendan Monroe, Brandon Shigeta, Cryptik, Esao Andrews, Greg “Craola” Simkins, Hot Tea, James Bullough, Jeff Soto, John S. Culqui, Low Bros, Meggs, Nosego, Nychos, Saber, and Tristan Eaton.

*Images courtesy of Karen Crews Hendon

 
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In Process: Andrew Schoultz 

Contemporary muralist Andrew Schoultz created a monumental installation and mural on the walls of the Monterey Museum of Art, and presented his wildly gilded Fall Outinstallation.  

 

The artist’s first solo museum exhibition, curated by Karen Crews Hendon, was a project that generated a high-energy impact that included paintings, mixed media sculptures, and prints that incorporated California’s history, the artist’s iconic historical American symbols, and his provocative political and environmental metaphors.

Influenced by 15th Century German map making, Persian miniature paintings, and street art, Schoultz’s installation was a dramatic example of how evolution can teeter on a fragile edge.

 

The museum collaborated with the Visual and Public Art students from California State University, Monterey Bay who assisted Schoultz with the preliminary stages of his most monumental installation. The community was invited to watch the artist’s process in creating the mural during his three-week residency.

*Images courtesy of Randall Dodson, Rick Pharaoh, and

  Karen Crews Hendon

 
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Return to the Sea,

Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto

Artist Motoi Yamamoto created his site-specific salt installation during his two-week residency at the Monterey Museum of Art.  The museum’s first collaboration with the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, we opened doors for viewers to witness the process and feel the energy in connection with the sacred ritual.

 

The artist’s use of salt emanates from a powerful personal experience surrounding the death of his sister and is traditionally used as a symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture.

 

At the culmination of the exhibition, the community was invited to engage in the dismantling ceremony of the mandala, each taking a handful of salt, setting intentions, and returning the salt to the sea.

 

Transformation in the community occurred with much feedback of gratitude in recognition of mutual healing and appreciation for integrating the local Japanese community and rituals.

*Images courtesy of Rick Pharaoh and Karen Crews Hendon

 
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Malin Lager

Textile artist Malin Lager, curated by Karen Crews Hendon, marked Malin Lager’s first museum show in California at the Monterey Museum of Art. Lager has exhibited widely in Sweden, and her work has been collected by the National Museum, Stockholm, among other institutions.

 

Lager creates astonishingly detailed wall works using a sewing machine and thread. Her masterful creations resemble illusionistic paintings that address evocative and challenging universal themes.  Her subjects range from lichen covered rocks, wet cobblestone streets, and profound portraits of her family and friends. Lager’s extraordinary artworks fabricated on stretched canvas are so expertly rendered and sharp that they are often mistaken for oil paintings. Her skill and artistry in this medium border on the implausible and must be experienced in person to be fully understood. Lager’s meticulous process begins with vividly colored strands of thread layered over a patched fabric background.

Using the sewing machine as an expressive tool, Lager’s stitches create crosshatched marks that incorporate a broad, colorful palette of threads from dark to light.

*Images courtesy of Karen Crews Hendon and artist Malin Lager

 

Big Shot Camera/

Extraordinary People: 

Portraits by Yousuf Karsh

The BIG SHOT Camera, developed by Columbia University, is an educational tool for interactive and experiential learning.  

 

Together with Guardian Stewardship and La Paz Middle School, we created an impactful project bringing art and science students to the museum to learn about photography, what we see through a lens, artist Yousuf Karsh and his subjects, and how to create their own photography.

 

Students were able to assemble their own cameras to see the engineering and science of a digital camera and capture their own images.  Many of the students had never been to a museum, owned a camera, or knew very little about photography. They enjoyed the portraits by Yousuf Karsh and took images of nature and their own friends around the museum campus.

 

Through this grant, the students were able to have a meaningful social and artistic experience and take their cameras and artwork home to their families. 

*Images courtesy of Karen Crews Hendon

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Auguste Rodin: Light & Shadow

from the collections of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and Guardian Stewardship

Light and Shadow was a collaborative and interactive exhibition for all ages staged amidst the theatric character of Rodin’s studio.  

 

Consisting of a selection of portrait busts and figurative sculptures, the unconventional design of the exhibition included replicas of Gates of Hell and Rodin’s work pedestals from the 1890’s. The experience included a silhouette stage for the audience to interact with light and shadow, and in-gallery flashlight stations with activity cards to explore how the artist finished his sculptures by manipulating shadows.

 

These experimental elements encouraged the viewer to take a closer look at the work of this celebrated artist’s perspective and his attention to line, form, and volume. Through specialy-designed gallery furniture, visitors were able to be in close promixmity with these reknown sculptures, which invited exploration into the artist’s mysteries that reflected movement and brought his sculpture to life.

*Images courtesy of Karen Crews Hendon and Guardian Stewardship

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Chuck Close:

Works on Paper 1975-2012

from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation

 

Chuck Close, co-curated by Karen Crews Hendon and Close expert, Brad Thomas, presented one of the most comprehensive collections of the artist’s works on paper. It featured etchings, linocuts, lithographs, screen-prints, woodcuts, anamorphic works, and paper pulp multiples of monumental proportions. The exhibition included the latest film documentary directed by Marion Cajori, and a separate teaching gallery dedicated to Phillip Glass, demonstrating how printmaking techniques altered facial expression.  

 

The comprehensive nature of the Schnitzer Family Foundation’s prints created a series of educational opportunities. Because the works on paper collection was the museum’s largest holdings, we welcomed this special exhibition to explore the dynamic and diverse printmaking processes. University professors collaborated by creating classes, labs, and lectures and together we bridged Monterey’s historical legacy artists, California Printmaking Society, and the active contemporary printmaking community. 

*Images courtesy of Karen Crews Hendon

 
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Arline Fisch: Sea Jellies 

Sea Jellies, curated by Karen Crews Hendon,was the first collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Museum of Art. A multimedia installation of life-sized jellyfish crocheted from color-coated stainless steel, nickel, copper wire and fiber, artist Arline Fisch created Lantern Medusas, Pink Sea Nettles and Moon Jellies that were suspended and illuminated amidst a radiant blue color. The exhibition incorporated live film from the aquarium and projected on the walls. As a multi-dimensional experience, the viewer was transported into the world of sea jellies to interact with these wondrous creatures through the eye of the artist.

 

*Images courtesy of Karen Crews Hendon 

 
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Uberyummy_Article[1]

ÜBERYUMMY

Contemporary Confections

and Objects of Desire

Überyummy, co-curated by Karen Crews Hendon and artist Alison Petty Ragguette, was an all sculpture and installation-based exhibition with artists who pushed the boundaries in the clay medium at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, California State San Bernardino.

 

The exhibition presented tantalizing environments that explored consumerism, transformation, artificiality, mass reproduction and extreme behavior. With an instant pop appeal, artists Tim Berg, Rebekah Myers, Kathy Butterly, Rebekah Bogard, Patsy Cox, Phyllis Green, Shane Keena, John Oliver Lewis,Charles Long, Phil Maberry and Scott Walkercreated sculptures that visually stimulated, aurally animated and tactually teased, which challenged the notions of gender, greed, gluttony, and glamour.

 

The audience encountered a range of perspectives that alternated between the surly and the savory, ranging from iconic objects such as kitschy cha-chas, souvenir curios, fantasy figurines, and mysterious anamorphic forms.

*Images courtesy of Robert and Francis Fullerton Museum of Art and       Karen Crews Hendon

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Ceramics: Post-digital Design

Post-digital Design, curated by Karen Crews Hendon, was an exhibition that fused the ancient medium of ceramics with postmodern concepts found in art, science, technology, and human consciousness.

 

Based on Mel Alexenberg’s philosophy that no matter what the medium, “interactive and collaborative forms result in a fusion of spiritual and technological realms,” this modish and very chicexhibition placed the work of designer and world-catalyst, Eva Zeisel side by side with contemporary ceramic designers: Nicholas Bivins, Mark Cecula, Heather Mae Erickson, Hiroe Hanazono, Klein Reid, Eric Miribito, Mia Mulvey, OTIS, David Pier, Peter Saenger, Shawn Spangler, Albion Stafford, Fred Stodder, Karen Swyler, and Gwendolyn Yoppolo.  

 

This exhibition incorporated artists whose emphasis was producing limited edition multiples through the use of molds that related to the mid-century modern design movement, and paid tribute to the Scandinavian architectural model influenced by the Bauhaus style. The artists employed minimalist aesthetics, produced clean, simplistic forms, organic curves and orderly compositions that referenced nature by design.

*Images courtesy of American Museum of Ceramic Art and

  Karen Crews Hendon

 
 
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Peregrinación:

Mexican Folk Ceramics

Peregrinación, curated by Karen Crews Hendon and MAW, presented a vibrant exhibition of Mexico’s post-revolution folk ceramics from small ceramic-production areas of Tonalá, Tlaquepaque, Metepec, Ocumichu, Capula, Coyotepec, Guanajuato, Acatlán, and Tecali.

 

We created a storytelling environment to demonstrate the influx of diverse cultures and highly stylized arts and crafts that reflected the cultures unique to each region. The artworks and tableaus highlighted celebratory myths, rituals, and embellished offerings, birth, death, transformation, and other festivals and traditions based in Mesoamericanand Catholic theology.

 

The exhibition included calavera catrinas, masks, skulls, tree of life sculptures, devils, mermaids, animals, imaginative spirit figures, whimsical tableaus; and religious icons such as our lady of Guadalupe, catholic saints, and nativity figures. Peregrinación also displayed utilitarian objects and tiles from Puebla, known for their famous Talavera style, which reflected the Spanish Majolica tradition introduced to Mexico at the beginning of the Colonial period.

 

The artists included: Angel Santos, Dolores Porras, Simeon Galvan, Guillermina Aguilar, Manuel Morales, Juan Torres, Antonio Pedro Martinez, Rosendo Rodriguez, Francisco Basulto, Salvador Vasquez, Antonio Mateos Suárez, Josefina Aguilar, Tiburcio Soteno, Carlomagno Pedro Martinez, and Candelario Medrano.

*Images courtesy of American Museum of Ceramic Art and

  Karen Crews Hendon

 
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Humana Ex Machina:

Kinetic Commentaries on the Nature of Being

Co-curated by Karen Crews Hendon and Johnny Sampson, Humana Ex Machina presented an all installation-based exhibition of four of the most influential contemporary kinetic sculptors in the United States: Gregory Barsamian, Arthur Ganson, Jim Jenkins, and Bernie Lubell at the Begovich Gallery, former Main Art Gallery, California State University, Fullerton.

 

Employing a variety of materials and devices including metal pistons, pulleys, wires, wheels, and eighteenth-century rotors fused with delicate wooden machinery, the 
mechanistic yet poetic devices commented on the paradoxes of human nature that stimulated and mimicked the animism of our environment.

*Images courtesy of M.O. Quinn, Eric Stoner, and Karen Crews Hendon

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