News / Arts & Entertainment

Museum Hits Milestone With '40 Under 40'

"China Tree" made of Chinese porcelain soy sauce pots by artist Joey Foster Ellis. ( VOA/C.Premoshis)
"China Tree" made of Chinese porcelain soy sauce pots by artist Joey Foster Ellis. ( VOA/C.Premoshis)
The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a display by 40 artists under the age of 40.

The show includes works in many media, from glass and ceramics to non-traditional materials such as yarn and light bulbs.

Matt Moulthrop, a third generation artist, works with wood.

"Wood is a material that has a very natural element to it, and it's a revelation process because there's beauty hidden within that," he said.
Museum Hits Milestone With '40 Under 40'i
|| 0:00:00
X
August 02, 2012 4:07 PM
A Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. is celebrating its 40th anniversary with pieces by 40 artists under the age of 40. The show includes works in many media, from glass and ceramics to non-traditional materials such as yarn and light bulbs. VOA’s Julie Taboh spoke with one of the featured artists and has this report.

His father, Philip Moulthrop, is a famous woodturner, meaning he turns wood on a lathe. His grandfather Edward is also famous.  

Matt's intense immersion in that environment inspired him to follow in their footsteps.

“This was something that I never thought I could make a living at it, and they encouraged me to try and I took a leap and I’ve been very fortunate,” Moulthrop said. "Hopefully, I'm measuring and building up to a lot of what was taught to me."

Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)
x
Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)
Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)
Clearly he has, given that one of Moulthrop's pieces, a vessel made of red maple, which is abundant in his home state of Georgia, is now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery show.

"The object of the piece was to turn the ordinary into something that is extraordinary," he said.

Nicholas Bell, who curated the exhibit to celebrate the Renwick's 40th anniversary, wanted to look to the future instead of the past.

“The number one criteria, besides age, was that things be good," he said. "You look for those things that pop out at you, that really grab you, and that give you a gut reaction.”

Moulthrop's piece was one of them. He's following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who've also shown at the Renwick.

“When I was looking at what was happening in wood art, I first went to Matt Moulthrop, because he is just as good as his father and his grandfather," Bell said. "But he’s doing things a little bit differently. He’s approaching the wood in a little bit of a different way, he’s finishing it differently, and his work is distinct from that of his father and grandfather.”

In addition to Moulthrop's piece, Bell chose other pieces which are diverse, thought-provoking and give the exhibit an intimate and interactive feel.

“We have everything from...an 18-foot-tall [5.4 meters] paper installation, to a tree made from Chinese porcelain soy sauce pots, to an entire shack made out of barn wood, to a room that you can go in and be enlightened literally by a wonderful light installation," Bell said. "We tried to do everything here.”

There's also a room where furniture and real, moving human figures are covered in crocheted acrylic yarn.

“What I want people to take away from this, is that craft is an incredibly broad field with a lot of energy," Bell said, "and that all sorts of different things are happening. It’s not just going to the museum and seeing something on a pedestal.”

Malthrop feels honored to be included in the display.

“I’m very excited about this induction and being part of this group and this exhibit,” he said.

He hopes his children will follow in his footsteps to become the fourth generation of Moulthrop woodturners.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”