Ways to Engage at "Present Tense: 2019"

Create conversation on our main stage

Plan to engage Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, and Saturday morning.How do we unleash the catalytic potential of craft? Eight main stage moments have been designed to launch conversations around #craftecology, #craftnarratives, #craftcontext, #craftequity, #craftknowledge, #craftlegacy, #craftinclusion, and #craftculture. Let’s explore ways craft can have an impact on contemporary American life. Stage set presented in partnership with The Furniture Society.

View the full schedule

Make an impact through a Craft in Action workshop

Choose from six workshops when you register and dive in Thursday morning or Friday afternoon. Can we make something [together] to change something [together]? Experience the catalytic power of craft during two-hour hands-on workshops designed for you to contribute to a healthy craft ecosystem.

Workshop details

1. Craft [Ceramics] in Action: ElBowls and Social Practice 

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Facilitated by Michael Strand, professor of art and head of visual arts, North Dakota State University, trustee and engagement committee chair, ACC

Workshop Location: The Clay Studio, 137-139 N Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

What might be the most fundamentally useful extension of our hands? Michael Strand believes it might be a bowl. Somewhere, sometime, the first ceramic bowl was made. Someone dug their hands in clay and hollowed out the core of a vessel to improve the lives of those around them. This workshop challenges participants (ceramists and non-ceramists alike) to explore the essence of the objects we create – tools to improve the lives of human beings; an extension of the hands to feed and nurture the mind, body, and soul, for oneself and with others. We’ll transform raw clay to completed objects and develop a fully viable project in two hours or less.

In the course of this workshop, participants will learn how to make unique and beautiful bowls in less than five minutes. With a technical process learned and objects completed in under five minutes, the workshop will then focus on social practice project development. Through a series of exercises, participants will work with Michael to develop a fully viable project concept that will reimagine function and audience.

2. Craft [Textiles] in Action: “Southeast by Southeast”

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Facilitated by Melissa Fogg and Shira Walinsky, Mural Arts Philadelphia 

Workshop Location: Southeast by Southeast Hub, 2106 S Eighth Street, First Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19148

How can craft be a catalyst to help families connect to support systems and social services? How can craft provide economic and educational opportunities for new arrivals and refugees in a safe, sustaining environment.  What elements are needed for community-based creative making? Experience Philadelphia Mural Arts’s Southeast by Southeast vibrant refugee community-centered hub and generative programming efforts. In this workshop, participants will meet the residents, artists, social service providers, and craft practitioners from Burma and Bhutan who make Southeast by Southeast their own.

3. Craft [Digital] in Action: Technology & Craft

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Facilitated by Rod McCormick, professor of jewelry/metals, University of the Arts

Workshop Location: University of the Arts Makerspace, Hamilton Hall, 320 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

How can we use digital fabrication tools to aid the hand rather than replace it? How are craft artists using these tools today? In this workshop, we will enter the world of digitally assisted making.

Using a laser-cut acrylic sheet, laser-cut wood, and 3D-printed plastic, participants will make tools, jigs, stencils, signature stamps for clay or wax, custom sanding tools, dressmaker’s French curves, and more. Bring your ideas and desires or just bring an open mind and a sharpened pencil. Though Adobe Illustrator and Rhino3D will be available on the Makerspace computers, no previous software experience is necessary. Customizable digital files will be available so that beginners may gain hands-on experience operating the equipment.

The workshop will include a tour of the new UArts Makerspace, featuring Ultimaker 3D printers, Trotec and Epilog laser cutters, an OMAX ProtoMAX Waterjet cutter, a Roland MDX-540A 4-axis CNC mill, a Sh.opBot CNC router, a Janome MB-4S digital embroidery machine, electronics assembly stations, and an Enduring Images ceramic decal printer.

4. Craft [Writing] in Action: Improve your Artist Statement

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Facilitated by Megan Guerber, acting editor-in-chief, American Craft magazine, Kate Kramer, lecturer in critical writing, University of Pennsylvania, and Schiffer Publishing

Workshop Location: University of Pennsylvania’s Critical Writing Program, McNeil Building, First Floor, Writing Center, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Step into Philadelphia’s Center For Programs in Contemporary Writing in this workshop led by Megan Guerber, American Craft acting editor in chief, author Kate Kramer (Artists Write To Work, Schiffer Publishing), and Schiffer Publishing, where you'll learn how to write about your work in a succinct, organized, and compelling way. Divided into half-hour sessions, the workshop invites attendees to work one-on-one with an unbiased and supportive editor to improve their artist statement or another short piece of writing (under 300 words). Be sure to bring a printed draft of the piece you'd like to work on along with any questions or concerns you have. Tips and resources for gaining confidence as a writer will be available, along with an opportunity to purchase Kramer's helpful text.

5. Craft [Printmaking] in Action: The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM)

Friday, 2:30 – 4:30 pm.

Facilitated by FWM Master Printers

Workshop Location: The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Discover the FWM print studios and themes related to our current exhibition, Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living, in this screen-printing workshop. In support of Intersections & Innovation—the Friday theme for Present Tense—our workshop will celebrate FWM's deep history of textile-based work with hands-on activities, also providing an opportunity to view cutting-edge works in new media created by Satterwhite in collaboration with our studio team. Guided by our expert printers, learn the screen-printing process using designs inspired by Room for Living, and print your own unique tote to commemorate your experience.

6. Craft [Wood] in Action: Community Marquetry Project 

Friday, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Facilitated by A Workshop of Our Own

Workshop Location: The Center For Art In Wood, 141 N Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The ancient practice of wood marquetry involves the arrangement of intricately cut wood veneer on a surface. Though the practice is rarefied among today’s “fast furniture,” marquetry, which depends on differently hued and grained woods to create a compelling image or a pattern, is a metaphor for healthy communities. At The Center for Art in Wood, honored guests from A Workshop of Our Own will be leading a collaborative marquetry project that will require the hands of many to be completed. Whatever your skill or familiarity with the process or the material, we explore the power of craft by putting hands to work in the spirit of togetherness. The resulting work will be donated to a local women’s shelter.

Experience emerging craft in the Sky High Facility for Creative Work

Stop by throughout the conference to welcome new ideas and create future collaborations in this meditative, convivial space.

Sky High happenings

The Bureau of Craft Information 

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Pod 1

Presented in partnership with Schiffer Publishing, this space is a place to engage with contemporary publications and ACC’s historic archival material on craft practice, theory, and critical discourse.

Perceived Value: Object Stories 

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pod 2

Sarah Rachel Brown’s award-winning podcast, Perceived Value, will be recording on-site, as she conducts interviews with artists and creative professionals about their careers, personal lives, failures, and accomplishments.

“Present Posters” with Mohawk Fine Papers

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Pod 2

What better object for collective making than the “Present Tense: 2019” poster itself? We invited craft artists from all over the country to enhance the poster we produced on Mohawk Fine Paper as a blank canvas to create. Come check out the results.

Present Tense Speed-Networking Opportunity

Thursday, 2 – 3 p.m.

Pod 2

Whether you are a first-time conference participant, new to ACC, or a usual suspect, break the ice and meet new friends with Bruce W. Pepich, executive director and curator of collections, Racine Art Museum, trustee, ACC.

Object Stories in the Spotlight

Friday, 3 – 5 p.m.

Pod 2

This unique participatory platform puts makers in the spotlight for nine minutes to talk about their work as “an object” (descriptive), “my object” (personal), and “the object” (generative and catalytic) – all with the goal of sparking more interest and soliciting constructive feedback.

“Tense Present” Exhibition 

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Pod 3

Presenting the work, voices, and object narratives of the 2019 ACC Emerging Voices Award recipients at varying sites and through an accompanying publication, “Tense Present” considers the object as a lens for contemporary artistic and cultural production.

Step inside to hear stories from recipients Diedrick Brackens, (Los Angeles, California), Raven Halfmoon, (Norman, Oklahoma), Aram Han Sifuentes, (Chicago, Illinois), Luci Jockel (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Marisa Finos (Cranston, Rhode Island), and Bukola Koiki (Portland, Maine).   

See their work installed together at the BOK building, October 10 – 11 (open by appointment), curated by Sarah Darro, curator of contemporary craft, material culture, and design, 2019 ACC Emerging Voices scholar

Explore the craft capital (by day and night)

Venture out Thursday and Friday to experience Philadelphia’s thriving craft scene via your selected walking and bus tours, concurrent exhibits around town, and three after-hours events.

Discover Philly

Craft Ecology: Walking Tours

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Friday, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Venture out to explore Philadelphia’s craft ecosystem and the architectural fabric of the city. Led by Jennifer Zwilling, curator of artistic programs at the Clay Studio, and Christopher Storb, Dietrich American Foundation project conservator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and senior lecturer at the University of the Arts.

Craft Ecology: Bus Tours

Thursday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Friday, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Who’s doing what, where in Philadelphia? Jump on the bus to explore some of Philadelphia’s most inspiring maker spaces. Led by Leila Cartier, executive director of CraftNOW Philadelphia, Julie Siglin, executive director of the Wharton Esherick Museum, and Elissa Topol, vice president of CraftNOW Philadelphia and the women’s committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Tyler Craft Bash

Thursday. 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University,  2001 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Get a taste of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s interdisciplinary approach to cultural production and community engagement at the Tyler Craft Bash, featuring hot glass performance with an historical glass press, 3D-cast chocolate and ice cream informed by candy molds created by Franklin Fountain’s Berley Brothers, and a ceramics-throwing DJ mashup. Cash bar and small plates. Curated by Temple Contemporary’s Robert Blackson and Tyler faculty members Roberto Lugo (Ceramics), Sharyn O’Mara and Jessica Jane Julius (Glass), Jesse Harrod (Fibers & Material Studies) and Doug Bucci (Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM).

Doors Open on Philadelphia's Craft Capital

Friday, 6 – 9 p.m.

The Clay Studio, 139 N Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Center for Art in Wood, 141 N Third St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Celebrating the debut of CraftNOW's publication Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making (2019 Schiffer Publishing), two organizations engaged in making Philadelphia a healthy craft ecosystem open their doors, studios, and galleries. Kick off the evening at the Clay Studio to experience “From Storage To Studio” (remarks at 7 p.m.) and then head one block up to the Center for Art in Wood to discover “Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking” (remarks at 8 p.m.).

“Tense Present” Release Party @Paradigm

Friday, 9 – 11 p.m. 

Paradigm Gallery + Studio, 746 S Fourth Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19147

Let’s light up the night for ACC’s debut of “Tense Present” at Paradigm Gallery + Studio Don’t miss this dance party\ featuring the work and live storytelling of the ACC 2019 Emerging Voices Award recipients along with Paradigm’s resident craft artists.

Concurrent Exhibitions Presented in Partnership with CraftNOW

Experience Philadelphia’s collective craft capital by visiting exhibition spaces throughout Philadelphia, presenting some of the most honored and innovative artists working today in wood, clay, fiber, metal, and glass. Exhibition hours will vary.