Arts / Galleries

Houston Art World Champion Celebrated in River Oaks by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft — Judy Nyquist Gets a Moment

When Craft and Art Come Together

BY // 05.25.23
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

At the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s 2023 Spring Luncheon, legacies and lifetime achievements were honored. Nearly 250 guests gathered at River Oaks Country Club to celebrate a legend in Houston’s art world: Judy Nyquist. Nyquist is not only Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s board president, but she is also an activist and philanthropist who has supported the Bayou City art community for many decades. 

As artful attendees feasted on a delicious lunch — River Oaks Country Club salad, basil angel hair pasta with grilled chicken and artichokes, and a dessert of Fancy Dainties gourmet cookies — HCCC board member Dori Boone delivered the welcome remarks. Nyquist, the afternoon’s honoree, then took the stage and introduced HCCC’s incoming executive director Leila Cartier, previously of CraftNOW Philadelphia. Cartier is slated to join the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft team in July. 

Co-chairs Lea Weingarten, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl and Emily Keeton delighted the audience with a slideshow that featured photographs of Nyquist with artists and exhibitions she has supported through her dedicated patronage. A lively conversation was then held between Nyquist and special guest — MFAH curator Cindi Strauss — with topics ranging from the honoree’s artistic inspirations to her history with HCCC. 

Naomi Peterson, Joyce Lin, Margot Becker, Molly Koehn mingle at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Spring Luncheon.
Naomi Peterson, Joyce Lin, Margot Becker, Molly Koehn mingle at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Spring Luncheon.

At the end of the luncheon, HCCC presented Nyquist with a gift: an illustrated porcelain plate by Craft Center resident artist Yeonsoo Kim. Kim is one of 21 artists featured at Reeves Art + Design’s exhibition “Friend of a Friend” through June 3. 

The crowd wrapped the afternoon with fierce silent auction bidding on crafty goodies including jewelry, sculpture and objects of art in a variety of media. Auction headliners encompassed past and present HCCC resident artists, a group that boasts such names as Stephan Hillerbrand, Mary Magsamen, Joyce Lin and Bennie Flores Ansell. Beautiful purple and pink orchid arrangements by In Bloom provided the perfect backdrop for photos and celebrations. 

Isabel Wilson, Craft Center curator and exhibitions director Sarah Darro make the scene at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Spring Luncheon.
Isabel Wilson, Craft Center curator and exhibitions director Sarah Darro make the scene at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Spring Luncheon.

PC Seen: The honoree’s family, husband Scott with daughter Sarah, and father Jerome Schultz with wife Linda Walls; Craft Center deputy director Mary Headrick and curator and exhibitions director Sarah Darro; Heidi Vaughan Gallery’s Heidi Vaughan and Cat Yue; Inman Gallery’s Kerry Inman; Hooks-Epstein Galleries’ Yvonne Garcia; Moody Gallery founder Betty Moody and Lee Pineda; in from New York, Christopher Rothko and the Rothko Chapel’s Thuy Tran and board chair Troy Porter; Lawndale Art Center executive director Anna Walker; collectors Melanie Lawson and John Guess Jr., Michelle and Frank HevrdejsJereann Chaney, and Leslie and Brad Bucher; Kathryn Rabinow; Phoebe Tudor; Letty Loya; Leigh Smith; Kelley Lubanko; Anne Chao; Zoya Tommy (who is about to reopen her gallery); and artists Edward Lane McCartney and Anna Mavromatis.

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