Aranda\Lasch and Terrol Dew Johnson, view of Meeting the Clouds Halfway at Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, 2017, Tucson, AZ. Photo: Maya Heilman-Hall.
Meeting the Clouds Halfway presents a collaboration by Aranda\Lasch and Terrol Dew Johnson at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Tucson, Arizona. The exhibition showcases a collection of experimental new work that blends traditional Native American craft with contemporary design, representing a ten-year-long, cross-cultural exchange between Johnson and Aranda\Lasch that examines the ways in which pattern, rhythm, ritual, and memory influence the design process. The works on display, ranging from basketry to architecture, explore the Sonoran Desert as a place of inspiration, opportunity, and collaboration.
Aranda\Lasch is a design studio dedicated to experimental research and innovative building. Established in 2003 by Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch, the studio designs buildings, installations, furniture, and objects through a deep investigation of structure and materials. They have previously been awarded the United States Award and Young Architects + Designers Award (2007), the Architectural Record Design Vanguard Award (2014), the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2015), and named one of Architectural Digest's AD Innovators (2014). Their early projects are the subject of Pamphlet Architecture 27: Tooling. Aranda\Lasch has exhibited work internationally in galleries, museums, design fairs, and architecture biennials. Current projects include a flagship retail store in Miami, Florida; a banquet hall and outdoor theater in Libreville, Gabon; and an art park and museum in Bali, Indonesia. Aranda\Lasch continually experiments with furniture and products and their work is part of the permanent collection of the MoMA, New York. They are represented by Gallery ALL.
Terrol Dew Johnson is a community leader and advocate for Native communities. In 1996, Terrol co-founded Tohono O'odham Community Action (TOCA), a grassroots community organization dedicated to creating positive programs based on the O'odham Himdag, the Desert People's Way. As an artist, Terrol began learning to weave baskets in school when he was just ten years old, and is now recognized as one of the top Native-American basketweavers in the United States. He has won top honors at shows, such as the Santa Fe Indian Market, O'odham Tash, and the Southwest Indian Art Fair, and his work is featured in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Heard Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Jocko Weyland has been the chief curator at MoCA Tucson since June 2013. In 2006, Weyland founded the itinerant Elk Gallery, for which he curated thirteen solo and group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and Beijing. In 2011, Weyland organized The Peripheterists at Apex Art in New York, and in 2015, Sonoran Hot Dog Stand, an exhibition of eighteen Tucson artists at the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia. He is the author of The Answer is Never: A Skateboarder's History of the World (Grove Press, 2002), Danny's Lot (Dashwood Books, 2011 and 2015), and The Powder.
Alexandra Cunningham Cameron is a New York–based curator and writer specializing in twentieth-century and contemporary design. She established her position in the international design community during her decade-long tenure with Design Miami/the Global Forum for Design, overseeing the show's program as creative director and forging relationships with a prestigious roster of designers, architects, galleries, institutions, publications, and brands. Cunningham Cameron's current projects include independent and institutionally affiliated exhibitions and programming, corporate advisory, and editorial work for several design and architecture publications.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson's (MoCA Tucson) mission is to "inspire new ways of thinking through the cultivation, interpretation, and exhibition of cutting edge art of our time." Incorporated in 1999, MoCA is an artist-centered institution dedicated to the creative practices of living practitioners. MoCA provides a museum venue for avant-garde contemporary and emerging art with a global sensibility, particularly by artists with a connection to Tucson.