Main Gallery

Wabi Sabi, Embracing the art of Imperfection
June 30 - September 30, 2018

The Southern Highland Craft Guild opens its third exhibition for the 2018 year with Wabi Sabi, Embracing the Art of Imperfection in the Folk Art Center's main gallery upstairs. It features 60 objects from makers of the Guild that showcase this traditional Japanese aesthetic of honoring the beauty of flaws. Works focus on juxtapositions of symmetry through gnarled wooden sculptures, rough textures in a wall hanging's fabric, or a woven pattern's simplicity.

Curator Nikki Josheff received an overwhelming number of submissions for this exhibition. "It has been exciting to see the membership's enthusiasm for Wabi Sabi," she said. "With our history of cultivating fine craft for more than eight decades, there's often an expectation of perfection within our community. Our jury process is rigorous, and done through peer-evaluation to uphold a standard within a designated media." Wabi Sabi encourages participants to let go of creative pressures, perhaps expectations of perfection, that may limit one's imagination. Instead, it challenges makers to work with flaws, or other brokenness within their process.

Guild member Sandra Rowland's quilted piece Nobody's Perfect delivers a message of acceptance with imperfection loud and clear with 'nobody's perfect' written on her wall hanging. Rowland says, "Rummaging around for something I'd misplaced, I turned up Mr. Potato Head. He fit the qualifications. Nothing's ever perfect, nothing's ever finished, nothing lasts forever!"

For woodworker Ray Jones, he often has to bypass areas of inconsistencies or irregularities in woods to create his clean and smooth boxes. "Instead of working around the void in this maple burl, I decided to highlight it in the design, and to celebrate the contrast between the natural, irregular surface of the burl," he says. Jones does however, find those inconsistencies to be equally enchanting and they often leave him curious about working with such deformations.

This exhibit is located on the second floor of the Folk Art Center in the main gallery through the end of September. All products are available for purchase, online and in the gallery. Shop below.