I wanted to say something like “Heath Ceramics are on a roll right now!” but when have they not been on a roll? Their collaborative shows have been so special recently, becoming a big mark on calendars around when they concluded 2010 with their House Industries show, leading into Adam Silverman’s Color Blind, Ani Kasten’s show, and–of course–the Geoff McFetridge show, that was rightfully insane. This Saturday, Heath keep their good work going opening Marfa Amigos, a show that takes you on a trip to the little creative West Texas town all within the Beverly Blvd ceramics destination.
We stopped in yesterday afternoon, even though it was a bit rainy and gross, because we knew that we had to share the show as soon as possible. We missed the Saturday opening, which sounded like an amazing affair, full of Texas barbecue, tequila cocktails, Mexican beers, and even a performance by musician Amy Cook. We kept this all in mind as we entered the store, hoping to recapture the excitement from the night before, while soaking wet and concentrating on not slipping on anything.
Marfa Amigos collected work from various Texan artists who worked in conjunction with Heath, a Western marriage of new ideas married with classic, rustic craftsmanship. There were five main artists featured: the furniture of Jamey Garza (who also is one of the show’s organizers), textiles by Constance Holt, wood pieces by Pat Keesey, posters by El Cosmico, and recycled glass items and soaps from Marfa Brands. When you enter the space, Garza’s furniture seems to command all the attention, these large, loungey leather hides tailored to metal pins. Some of the leather items were braided, some of the metal frames were brightly colored, some came with ottomans, some were triangular, and there was a giant trampoline-like day bed, too: Garza’s pieces were very unique, old world/new world approaches to furniture. There were also some wood and metal tables and chairs that would be perfect compliments to these leather items, similarly as soft and smooth, but polished woods in place of polished leather.
Pat Keesey’s wood items were organized on a shelf, some reaching off of their spits and others contained in glass cylinders. His work was all hand crafted, unfinished-but-finished wood items ranging from platters to bowls to non-objective pieces to tools you could use in your kitchen. These items would be perfectly suited for table service combined with Constance Holt’s textiles, which were various, bright cloths and napkins to patchwork tiny looking quilt-like-hand towels to giant pillows that begged you to sit on them or lay in a bed of them.
Marfa Brands offered recycled glassware and fine natural soaps. The glasswares repurposing Topo Chico and Sol bottles into nice little water glasses. The soap is the product of local hands and goods, including Marfa goat milk and vegetables. Around the time you get to the Marfa Brands pieces, you start to realized that the Amigos are setting something up, which you notice at a large table dressed with Garza’s furniture, Holt’s napkins, Keesey’s tableware, Marfa Brands’ glasses, and Heath Ceramic’s bowls: the Amigos are great hosts. You could also notice a Geoff McFetridge vase full of flowers at the center of the table as well, who–of course–has to be an honorary Amigo.
El Cosmico’s posters and branding for the show lined the walls, these bright, lighthearted posters that look like they time traveled to the show from the 1970s. They are a perfect illustration of how these Amigos have a remarkable ability to combine techniques of the old West with modern sensibilities. It’s a friendly little show at Heath that invites you to take a seat and chill, as many people visiting on a rainy Sunday did.
Stop by and catch the Amigos for the next month or so, as they’ll be hanging out at Heath until May 6.