The Fort Worth Community Arts Center welcomes two distinct emerging artists Jihye Han and Ben Muñoz to the Shelia and Houston Hill Courtyard Gallery.
Ben Muñoz’s Compacted with Care examines the duality of the Muñoz’s life as a husband, father, and artist. The single sculpture is constructed from the Muñoz’s printmaking woodcuts and figuratively denotes life’s building blocks’ in which the artist reconfigures balancing between home life and artistic pursuits. The assembled sculpture resembles the wooden blocks formations he and his children build together during playtime.
Jihye Han’s Breaking Ground utilizing clay, cedar, and porcelain explores themes of separation and lonesomeness, drawing from the artist’s Korean heritage and North and South Korea division. Breaking Ground consists of two site-specific structures designed specifically for the Shelia and Houston Hill Courtyard Gallery. The sculptures leverage the previously installed cement plinth to reference Korean palaces and the dominant boundary of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. The two separate structures symbolize the separation of two families, the DMZ, and the artist’s own cultural experience living in Texas. Porcelain ribbons are placed throughout both structures, alluding to prayer ribbons found on the “Freedom Bridge” in South Korea. Each ribbon is a small message of hope that Korea will be unified one day. The fragility of the white porcelain ribbon further symbolizes life’s fragility and honoring those who have passed.
The three plinths that serve as pedestals for the Arts Council’s temporary sculpture exhibition program were designed by local artist Kris Pierce and commissioned for the City of Fort Worth’s Public Art Collection. Untitled (Plinths) are permanently sited at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. The artwork was inspired by the building’s striking architecture designed by Herbert Bayer, an artist and seminal member of the avant-garde Bauhaus school in Germany. Drawing from this aesthetic, Pierce’s designs derived from Bayer’s universal alphabet through a process of repetition, redaction, and refinement. Each sculptural plinth complements the existing outdoor sculpture exhibitions at each of the five museums within the Cultural District.
The three sculptures are free to view on the grounds of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center from August 28, 2020 through July 31, 2021