Returning to the Meadows Gallery at the Patterson Appleton Arts Center (PAAC) in February 2024 is the 37th annual Materials: Hard & Soft exhibition. Opening on the evening of Feb. 2, the internationally acclaimed MHS show pays homage to its founder, Georgia Leach Gough, who sought with the inception of this exhibition to elevate the art of craft and use of craft materials. The 75 pieces selected from the nearly 300 submissions for 2024 will feature works from seven categories: clay, fiber, metal, glass, paper, wood and mixed media.

This year’s jurors include Professor Ann B. Coddington of Eastern Illinois University for wood and fiber; Dallas-based artist Du Chau for ceramic; Associate Professor of Art and Associate Director of Technology, Space and Community at the University of Georgia, Mary Hallam Pearse, for metalwork; and Eileen M. Wallace, senior lecturer in printmaking and books arts at the University of Georgia, for paper and glass. Jurors will select one piece from each category for Best in Media, awarding the artists $300 each, and one piece from the entire exhibition recognized as Best in Show, for a $1,000 award.

GDAC’s new Exhibition Curator, Caitlin Spencer, is taking the reins of MHS for her first time this coming year. “I’m most excited to be collaborative with the jurors who selected the work and to talk about their vision for the show,” Spencer said. With her academic background in intersectional feminine experiences in art, Spencer looks forward to sharing MHS to uplift craft historically disregarded as “women’s work” and to push against the colonial notion of what can be considered fine art.