If life imitates art, then these California exhibits just may inspire you to turn your home into a canvas for creative expression.
We love Ikea: It’s cheap and convenient. But sometimes your home is screaming for something unique and local. California Visionaries: Seminal Studio Craft, a landmark new exhibit at the Craft In America Center, highlights more than 40 one-of-a-kind works by some of the most innovative and important craft artisans in the Golden State over the last century. From inventive sculptures (such as the bas relief wood piece by Star Dann) to beautiful earthenware bowls by Laura Andreson, these lovingly handmade items should move you to ditch big boxes in favor of small makers. California Visionaries: Seminal Studio Craft, Featuring Works from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Craft In America Center, Los Angeles, March 2–May 4
Color me bold
Beige. Eggshell. Off-white. Blah. A bright splash of color can help elevate any room in the home from hum-drum to super-fun. Berkeley artist Masako Miki’s playful exhibit features oversized felt-covered sculptures inspired by the traditional Japanese folk belief in yokai or shape-shifters. Vaguely reminiscent of furniture, these semi-abstract pieces practically illuminate the exhibit space all by themselves with brilliantly-hued vitality. Whether it’s a rug, a pillow, a chair, or artwork, your home just might benefit from a similar color boost.
Back to nature
It wasn’t all sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. The ’60s were a transformative time for architecture and design in the United States, particularly in northern California. Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism explores one of the most influential embodiments of those ground-breaking ideas with an in-depth look inside this landmark community developed five decades ago on a breathtaking 10-mile stretch of California coastline north of San Francisco. And while Sea Ranch may be 50 years old, the principals upon which it was created—uncluttered design, economy of space, and, above all, architecture that conforms and takes its cues from its natural environment—remain timeless and relevant today.
Coming this fall: R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the home
Redecorating got you down? Opening this fall at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 should help reignite your love and respect for this craft. The exhibit showcases around 50 artists whose works embraced forms that had historically been dismissed and overlooked in the world of fine art as feminine or limited to the home. Often featuring floral, arabesque, and patchwork patterns, these intricate pieces lovingly borrow from such sources as Islamic architectural ornamentation, American quilts, wallpaper, Persian carpets, and domestic embroidery.
Main photo courtesy of Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art