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RSVP – Tree of Life: A Curatorial Talk with Cydney Pickens



Tree of Life: A Curatorial Talk with Cydney Pickens, Curatorial Fellow at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft | Wed, Oct 18,2023 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT | ZOOM

Join us for a discussion with Curatorial Fellow Cydney Pickens on the exhibition Tree of Life, on view now at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). Tree of Life showcases sculptural objects made from the African blackwood tree, also known as mpingo or Dalbergia melanoxylon. Native to Tanzania and the territory surrounding Mt. Kilimanjaro, this tree has a naturally dark, nearly black, colored core and other unique properties that make it a preferred choice of material for ornamental turning, carving, and use in woodwind instruments. This exhibition features figural sculptures carved in the Makonde tradition by Tanzania-based artists, Joseph Singombe and Pius Mtembe; ornamental turning by the late Texas-based artist James Harris; and woodwind instruments that explore the different methods artists are using when approaching this material.

Image above: James Harris, Clock Tower, No. 4, African blackwood, mother-of-pearl, brass inlay. Photo by James Harris courtesy of Bette Harris.


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