A $10,000 Individual Artist Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance allowed Jessica Kreutter the time she needed to work on her project, A Firefly was Once a Passing Shadow, which was on view at BLUEorange Contemporary in Houston, Texas, October 22 to November 23, 2016.
“The award gave me the gift of time and enabled me to spend 12 hours a day, six days a week in the studio without the burden of multiple jobs,” says Kreutter. “The expanded studio time allowed me to think, experiment, and do things I have never done before. It also allowed for failure.”
Kreutter graduated with her MFA in ceramics in 2010 and lived and made work in Denver, Portland, Knoxville, and her current city of Houston.
“Going to UT as a graduate student 10 years after finishing undergraduate school was a true gift,” says Kreutter. “To be able to immerse myself in making, thinking, and studying was a dream come true after a decade of making work while holding down numerous jobs to support myself. At UT, I allowed myself to invest in my art fulltime.”
Her investment has paid off. Since graduating, Kreutter has had several residencies and solo shows, been featured in numerous publications, and participated in public lectures and panels about art. Through it all, she has not forgotten the things she has learned from her time at UT.
“I learned how to more fully articulate my ideas and how to communicate them in my work. I learned how to fail and how to use failure to get somewhere,” says Kreutter. “I learned to value community and how important it is to have people around you that are fully engaged in making work even if it is completely different from your own.”
Kreutter was one of 23 artists in a juried exhibition titled From Space to Field, one of the four main exhibitions for Sculpture Month Houston. The exhibition was featured in the SITE gallery—a repurposed grain silo consisting of about 30 circular rooms with funnels on top.
“By choosing this path here in Houston, I am surrounded by an energetic, supportive art world of people working hard and doing amazing things,” says Kreutter. “The creative energy of Houston and the opportunities this city gives artists fuels a lot of great work.”