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Academy Art Museum Craft Show
October 16, 2021 - October 17, 2021
Robert Patterson, of Milton, Georgia, has been selected as this year’s Visionary Artist of the Academy Art Museum Craft Show, which will be held October 16 and 17 in Easton. Robert, a maker of visually modified wood objects, has never exhibited at the Craft Show and is looking forward to the opportunity.
When Diz Hormel, Craft Show Board Chairman, chose this year’s Visionary Artist for the Academy Art Museum’s Craft Show, she said, “The Visionary Artist for the Craft Show is a craftsperson who is doing something unique. Robert Patterson’s work is so beautiful and interesting, and I haven’t seen anything like it before.”
Robert, whose visual roots are in drawing and painting, got his design sense in art school. He has a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of North Carolina.
“My degrees in fine arts taught me a certain rigor of intellectual work – to be critical and demanding of my production. Originally, my main body of work was drawing. That combined with my heritage – both my father and my grandfather had backgrounds in working with wood and tools – led me to creating these pieces. My father worked with wood as a gun collector and my grandfather was an old-school carpenter and built houses from the ground up,” he explains.
Over the years, his artistic practice gradually developed into this series of wood objects. His art forms are predominately circles, or ellipses, chosen because they are a self-completing idea. The greatest amount of work for each piece goes into the preparation and execution of the surface treatment. Once the surface is ready, he applies dyes, stains, paint, ink, and other clear or tinted resins that gives each individual piece its unique qualities. He says he likes the worn, battered look of his surfaces. “I like to show I had a little bit of a fight in creating them,” he quips.
Robert’s objects are made of mostly wood but include elements of aluminum, copper, leather, paper, and cloth. “I use the wood as a substrate, and we go from there. Each piece is stacked high with layers which I guess would qualify the finished piece as mixed media,” he adds.
One of the definitive features of each piece is the stabilizing band he puts around the edges. “I wanted to create a band that wasn’t trying to hide itself. The band’s unique joinery is reminiscent of a Shaker joint, sometimes called a swallowtail “joint,” that is mostly associated with shaker boxes,” he states.
Robert says that 90 percent of the collectors who buy his art display it on their walls. “What I like most about creating these pieces is the variety I can achieve within the structure of it,” he says.
His work started getting accolades about six to seven years ago. There is a familiarity with his pieces, and the shapes are recognizable by his collectors. “I have been lucky for people to support me through their museum shops specifically,” he states. “I am looking forward to coming to Easton and introducing the work to a new group of people.”
The Craft Show will showcase a variety of artists and mediums. In the area of fine wearables, local textile artist Yuh Okano, of Chestertown, will bring her stunning silk scarves that project three-dimensional illusions and Shibori scarves and bags. Her creations are inspired by a deep fascination with the natural world. Before opening her own business, her creations were included in Donna Karan and Martha Stewart collections. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and is in its permanent collection.
Justin Cavagnaro, of Burning Both Ends Studio in Dagsboro, Delaware, will bring his sculptural and functional glass pieces. His unique marbles, pendants, paperweights, and bowls showcase his fascination with glass as a medium and his passion for the processes by which these pieces are created.
Dwo Wen Chen, of Three Wheel Studio in Providence, Rhode Island, creates a mix of eclectic and functional handmade ceramics and gifts. He works primarily in stoneware, with some explorations in earthenware and porcelain. His products include dinnerware, teapots, bowls, trays, trivets, and vases.
To reserve tickets to the Craft Show, visit academycraftshow.com. The Craft Show’s Preview Event will be held on October 15 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17, the museum will be offering a children’s craft drop-in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The craft project is free with a paid adult entrance.