Arts & Crafts Today — A Different Perspective

When this crossed our desks we couldn’t help but share it with you. We love seeing companies that not only support but encourage their employees to go beyond the scope of their positions within the company. Not only does it inspire more creative thinking and exciting ideas but it keeps the content fresh for internal work as well.

Terence Hammonds, a printmaker at The Rookwood Pottery Company, is among a select group of artists to be featured in a high-profile exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

The exhibit, called State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, opens Sept. 13 and will feature 102 emerging artists, ages 24 to 87, from across the country. Hammonds’ work, titled “You’ve Got To Get Up To Get Down,” is among more than 1,000 artist submissions.

The interactive piece consists of five, 4-by-4-foot dance floors, a record cabinet and 12-by-13-feet of hand-printed wallpaper. It also includes about 24 Motown records. Viewers of the piece are encouraged to put a record on the player and dance.

“The piece is a return to my investigation of class and race in America, this time focusing the period of my mother’s entrance into high school 1964 to the year of my birth 1976,” Hammonds said. “The record cabinet and dance floors are covered in a pattern made up of hundreds of images from this time period. Dance floors are platforms where cultures are exchanged and created. Music is the driving force of that exchange. This piece is a tribute to that amazing period of social change. This is portrait of mother and the America she came of age in.”

Hammonds, 38, is a Cincinnati native who grew up in the neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine. He attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts before studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. His work has been exhibited in Boston, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and New York, as well as in Cincinnati. He joined Rookwood Pottery as an artist and printmaker in 2010.

Rookwood Pottery owner Martin Wade said Hammonds’ creative vision and willingness to take risks are a good match with the 135-year-old, handcrafted ceramics company.

“Rookwood Pottery is steeped in tradition – we still produce works from molds created in the 1900s. But we also are a forward-thinking company with its eye on the future, and artists like Terence are guiding the way.”

Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi and Assistant Curator Chad Alligood traveled to Cincinnati to interview Hammonds. It was one of nearly 1,000 stops made by the curatorial team during a yearlong journey to discover artists whose work has not yet been fully recognized.

“Each artist represents meaningful conversations happening in rural communities, small towns, and more densely populated urban centers all across the country,” Alligood said. “The artists are responding to the same things we’re all responding to in our daily lives. We hope that this exhibition will inspire new ways to experience contemporary art and the evolving narratives that make up our cultural fabric.”

The exhibit includes works on canvas and paper, photography, video, installations, sculpture, ceramics and other mediums. Together, the exhibit served as a “glimpse into the state of art in our nation at this moment,” Bacigalupi said.

“Presenting the exhibition at Crystal Bridges provides us an opportunity to see contemporary art in the broader historical context. By examining a wide range of works by artists from across the country, we can gain insight into our nation as a whole: our collective passions, challenges, and concerns,” he said.

From all of us here at, our best to you, Terence and congratulations on such a fantastic opportunity.

State of the Art will be on display through Jan. 19, 2015. For additional information on the exhibition, contact Beth Bobbitt at (479) 418.5700 or [email protected]. Or visit