Line is the thread that ties my sculptures and works on paper together. It is this simple design element that defines my sculpting and drawing.
“There is a palpable difference between a line that's alive and tense and somehow natural, and one that dies like a bum note. You can feel the vitality of Miró's line from your head to your toes, your hand clenching and unclenching in your pocket, somehow feeling in your own body the artist's concentration – the tensing of his wrist, the movement of his hand – as you follow the line on its way to nowhere. I imagine Miró holding his breath as he draws, and I hold mine too as I look.”
As in the Adrian Searle’ quote, I too, have emotions about lines and the stories a simple line can tell. The lines in my work can be seen in the twists and kinks that oscillate water from a dog's coat, or the knots and gnarls that hold a static tension and focus, as it waits for a ball to be thrown. Lines are bound with an eagerness that cannot be contained. I, too, am inspired by the line, and the gulf between a line that is alive and organic; a line that is mechanical and tense; a line with a gentle ending that makes you feel at ease or joyous; and a line that stops abruptly, taking your breath away.
Through lines, I have built a body of work that focuses on capturing the emotional or physical energy of a particular event, through sculpture or works on paper. How I achieve this depends on which process I use. In my abstracts, it is the least amount of detail that creates the most energy or life in a piece, and in my found object bronze work it is the detail that poetically expresses the human condition. For example, in “Heritage”, it is the detail of the frayed and moth eaten edge of an all too worn out felt hat that tells the story. In “It’s a Movement” it is the flawless posture presented with a turn in the hips that expresses a graceful confidence. In either case, I am engaged in an ongoing experiment with lines and materials, with an interest in narrative.
Houston-based artist Cindee Travis Klement works in sculpture, mixed media, and printmaking to consider the interrelationships of the human and natural worlds, and the energy and movement behind quotidian events. Trained in graphic design, she worked for decades in commercial real estate and home construction before beginning her career as an artist. In the processes of construction, she learned the techniques and materials of rebuilding and designing domestic spaces; she studied ferrocement faux bois with master craftsman Donald Tucker. This French technique of sculpting concrete to mimic wood connected her material interest in sculpture with her lifelong passion for the natural world and, specifically, the landscapes of her native Texas. Klement subsequently began working in bronze and hydro stone, eventually developing a body of work made from wire and rebar, covered in stainless steel lath, plaster, hydro stone, and various rusted wire cloths. In this new body of work, Klement considers how her materials and their relationships to light and shadow might capture the spontaneous movements and dynamic gestures of the world around us. She approaches her sculptures as drawings in space. Among other subjects, she has made sculptures that capture a hat blowing in the wind, a dog shaking water from its fur, a violinist performing, and a person rescuing a pig from floodwaters, always looking to the emotional energy and dynamism of often-unnoticed moments. In her monoprints for the 51.88” Art of resilience exhibition, Klement collected images of everyday heroes from the rescue and recovery efforts during and after Hurricane Harvey. Using her loose, gestural style, she makes prints that are simultaneously portraits of a community at its best and watery memories of the traumas of the storm. Her work is in the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport Collection and the Houston Flood Museum. She completed the Glassell BLOCK Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2018 and maintains a studio at Bermac Arts in Houston.
The need to create has always been a characteristic of my personality that I cannot turn off - it finds its way into every aspect of my life. Spending my early years on an isolated cotton farm outside of El Paso, Texas, I entertained myself with daily art projects. It was living in this desert environment that I first remember being mesmerized by the elegance and grace of cracked, decaying and twisted wood, and the energy and graceful movement caused by the intense west Texas wind. During my early twenties as a freelance graphic designer in El Paso, Texas I designed custom furnishings, and painted murals for interior designers. Struggling financially, I made my way into commercial real estate and learned about construction. Through my thirties and forties while raising my children my need to be creative was satisfied by remodeling and adding square footage on to old homes, knocking out walls, moving plumbing and electrical. For most of these jobs I drew my own plans, was the contractor, designer and custom painter. I often designed the home furnishings, light fixtures and sinks to fit exactly the remodeled spaces. While living in New Orleans and remodeling a home built in 1908 I discovered the historical french art form of ferrocement faux bois, which embraces the same beauty in nature that I have obsessively studied and photographed my entire life. When my youngest child left for college I decided it was time to refocus my creative energies. After two years of searching for a teacher I found Donald Tucker, an artist in ferrocement faux bois. With a little arm-twisting Donald agreed to teach me the chemistry and skills he took years to perfect. After creating a few pieces on my own I found that I wanted to take the craft of ferrocement faux bois to another level. I then began to research metals that would be compatible with the concrete. Bronze was the perfect alloy. A brief internship with bronze sculptor Bridgette Mongeon confirmed my interest in bronze. One day after assisting Bridgette she gave me a lump of clay and sent me home to sculpt my first piece to be later added to a faux bois bench. After sculpting my second piece I decided I needed to learn about the complete process of casting in bronze from the original carving or sculpture to the end of the process at the foundry. Enrolling in the foundry class at the Museum of Fine Art Houston Glassell Studio School and studying under the direction of artist David Medina has given me the opportunity to sculpt bronze pieces to accent my faux bois work as well as inspired me to create independent bronze sculptures. January 2014 was a major milestone in my career as an artist. The city of Houston, Texas purchased two small bronze pieces from me. “Heritage” is on display at the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal for international flights. A sculpting workshop with Simon Kogan in March 2014 opened up a more visceral, creative side of me that I did not know existed and has been exciting to explore. Fall of 2014 I decided to further explore this new form of instinctive creativity and enrolled in Brian Portman’s Mark Making and Gestures class and the Monumental Drawing Workshop at the Glassell School of Art. These were my first drawing classes in forty years. My goal in the class was to explore drawing in the same visceral and instinctive way I was enjoying sculpting. It takes complete focus to draw and sculpt not as I see others draw and sculpt but as is inherent and instinctive to the artist in me. I am encouraged to continue on this track as my first series of drawings “Happy Dog” was selected for the Works on Paper Exhibit 2015 and then my “Shake, Shake, Shake” series was selected for the Kinder Morgan Exhibit September 2015. I find that drawing works well with the sculpting as the sculpting is very physical and is difficult to keep up seven days a week. Drawing is also a faster process to complete and it is nice to have projects that do not take six months to years to complete as when casting sculptures in bronze.
Early in 2016 I discovered sculpting in wire. The process is a beautiful combination of drawing and sculpting…
April of 2016 I was accepted into the MFAH Glassell Studio School BLOCK 2016 fellowship. This program provided me with a studio on the school/museum property. I had 24 hr. access to the facilities and weekly mentorship was provided from the school, museum, art community and out of town visitors.
In the spring of 2017 I started applying my loose gestural style of drawing to printmaking. I love making monotypes with all types of ink but I particularly love working in watercolor. In sculpture, I continued to work on “Gust” as well as other bronze projects. I also started combining wire, wire cloth with steel reinforced plaster or concrete in my life size sculptures
In the spring of 2018, I completed the MFAH Glassell School Block XVIII studio program. The Block XVIII exhibition was second exhibition in the Levant Gallery and was curated by Joe Havel. I have relocated my studio to the Bermac Arts Building where I continue to experiment with physical and emotional energy, drawing, sculpting, materials and narrative.
EXHIBITS AND INSTALLATIONS
2019 -Houston Flood Museum, https://houstonfloodmuseum.org/hurricane-harvey-heroes-and-humanity/
2014 -Portable Works Collection, George Bush International Airport, Houston, TX
2018 -Merit award - 41st International WaterMedia Exhibition: Water Color Art Society-Houston, TX
2017 -2nd in Show - Conroe Art League Invitational, Conroe, TX
2016 -Honorable Mention - BUILD National Juried Exhibition, Ciel Gallery, Charlotte, NC
-Selected into the MFAH BLOCK XVI studio program
-Scholarship, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
2019 -Glade Arts Foundation, 51.88”, Art of Resilience, Four Artist Respond to Hurricane Harvey, March 27 - May 30, 2019
-42nd International WaterMedia Exhibition: Water Color Art Society-Houston, March 3rd - April 5, 2019
2018 -Kinder Morgan Exhibition, Music Visualizations, November 30th - March 1st, 2019
-The 13th Annual Open Call Exhibition, Animals, Art Car Museum, December 8, - February 24, 2019
-BLOCK XVII, MFAH Glassell Studio School, 5101 Montrose, Houston, TX
Curated by Joe Havel
-Fifth Annual Artspace111 Regional Juried Exhibition, Ft. Worth, TX
Juror – Christina Rees, Editor-in-Chief of Glasstire
-Kinder Morgan Exhibition, Creatures Exhibition
-41st International WaterMedia Exhibition: Water Color Art Society-Houston,
2017 -BLOCK XVIII, Williams Tower Gallery,
-The Art Cycle Project, “Trump This”, Art Car Museum,
-Nos Caves Vin, one person show, September - November
-Arts Brookfield, known and unknown, Allen Center,
-Superstructures, Print Houston, Interspace Gallery, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-Student Show, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-BLOCK XVII, Interspace Gallery, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-Texas National 2017, SFA Galleries, TX
Juror – Benito Huerta, artist and curator of the Gallery at UTA
-Line, Kinder Morgan, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
2016 -Student Show, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-Moments that Matter, Impasto Art Gallery, Longmont, CO
Juror -Barbara A. MacAdam Co-Executive Editor of ARTNews
-Regional Juried Exhibition, Houston Metal Arts Guild, Jung Center, Houston, TX
-Build, National Juried Exhibition, Ciel gallery, Charlotte, NC
Juror – Murray Whisnant, FAIA
-Bank of the Arts National Juried Exhibition, Craven Arts Council and Gallery, New Bern, NC Juror – Larry Wheeler, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art
-3rd Regional Juried Exhibition, Artspace111, Fort Worth, TX Juror - Eric Lee, Director of the Kimbell Art Museum
2015 -Kinder Morgan Exhibition, Student Show, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-Student Show, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
2014 -Kinder Morgan Exhibition, Student Show, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-Student Show, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
-Another Layover, Houston Arts Alliance Gallery
2016-2018 BLOCK Program, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
2013-2018 MFAH Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX
1974-1978 Graphic Design, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
-Houston Chronicle, Molly Glentzer, A woman’s place is in the museum, November 25, 2018, p. G2
-Texas Highways, Gene Fowler, Flights of Fancy, May 2018, vol. 65 issue 5, p.14.
-VoyageHouston Staff, (2018, March 28). Check out Cindee Travis Klement’s Artwork . VoyageHouston,
-Bridgette, Mongeon, 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft, Focal Press 2016, p. 255-6, 273, 300
-Ekphrasis 2016, Ekphrast Poetry and the Art That Inspired it from the 2016 Bank Of The Arts
National Juried Exhibition, p. 37