We know you’ve been thinking about how you can cancel everything to get to the beach and eat ice cream by the bucket, but we have another solution to beat the heat. How about heading indoors to check out some contemporary art by a bunch of stellar crafters, makers and artists? Here are 11 exhibitions currently going on that are sure to give you an inspiration boost to get right over that summer slump.
1. NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial (New York, NY): Throughout the month of July, the Museum of Arts and Design has curated NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, an exhibition that spotlights various creative communities across the city’s infamous five boroughs. With 100 pieces from highly skilled artisans, artists and designers, this exhibit is sure to make you fall in love with the Big Apple and its residents. (via MAD Museum)
2. A Display of Gestures (San Francisco, CA): See a display of Jennifer Crupi’s handcrafted wearable works of art made from sterling silver and aluminum. Crupi’s pieces emphasize common gestures and postures and take a closer look at the importance of body language. (via San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design)
3. Transformation 9: Contemporary Works in Ceramics (Pittsburgh, PA): Clay has been used, decorated, coveted and collected for thousands of years, yet somehow this malleable medium continues to give way to innovative techniques, forms and functions. Head over to the Society for Contemporary Craft to see what happens when makers push the boundaries of this historic craft material. (via Society for Contemporary Craft)
4. Physic Garden (Atlanta, GA): The High Museum of Art has commissioned contemporary ceramicist Molly Hatch to create a two-story tall, hand painted “plate painting” in the museum’s lobby. The installation is comprised of 456 dinner plates and is 20 feet high by 17 feet wide. Hatch also designs her own line of ceramics for a little shop you may have heard of called, um… ANTHROPOLOGIE. (via The High Museum of Art, photo via Molly Hatch)
5. Empire of Love Shack (Los Angeles, CA): Installation artist Shrine is known for creating towering, site-specific shacks made out of found materials. His work has been featured everywhere from Coachella to Burning Man. This summer he’s moving indoors to LA’s Craft and Folk Art Museum, where a newly imagined shack will take over the lobby until August 24th. (via Craft and Folk Art Museum)
6. Florida in Fabric (Melbourne, FL): If you think quilting is for grannies, then the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts has a wake up call for you. The exhibit, on display until August 23, shows off some seriously awesome pieces by some of the best quilters the sunny state has to offer. (via Ruth Funk Center for Textiles)
7. Chromatic Patterns (Chicago, IL): Artist Judy Ledgerwood’s immense, intricate wall painting for the Smart Museum is part of an ongoing series of hers inspired by the chaotic rhythms of composer Morton Feldman. Ledgerwood’s massive, bright and wacky painting looks like the coolest wallpaper you’ve ever seen. Check it out in the lobby of the Smart Museum until Spring 2015. (via Smart Museum)
8. Zines and the World of ABC No Rio (New York, NY): You won’t find any glossy Vogue pages here. The Center for Book Arts shines a spotlight on fanzines and the DIY culture associated with them in this exhibit — on display until September 27th. The collection mixes original work with pieces of ABC No Rio’s (a collectively-run center for art and activism) extensive collection of over 12,000 zine publications. (via Center for Book Arts)
9. Fashioning Cascadia (Portland, OR): Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft examines the intersection of fashion and craft in this exhibition that runs until October 11th. The show features eight fashion designers and collectives and takes a deeper look into the social impact of sourcing locally. (via Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft)
10. Protective Ornament (Memphis, TN): If all that Game of Thrones binge watching has left you yearning for a little more armor in your life, then we’ve got great news. The Metal Museum is currently displaying a collection of over 80 contemporary pieces of armor. Curated by Suzanne Ramljak, editor of Metalsmith magazine, this exhibit explores the variety of ways in which today’s metal artists address issues of protection and empowerment. (via American Craft Council)
11. Texas Masters Series (Houston, TX): Sandie Zilker is the fifth artist to be featured in the Texas Masters Series at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, which showcases artists who have made a significant impact in their field. The jewelry maker is known for her experimentation in color, contrast, texture, pattern and form. This solo exhibition serves as a retrospective of her work over the past four decades. (via Houston Center for Contemporary Craft)
Know of any other awesome exhibitions going on that we forgot to mention? Please share with us in the comments below!