The Gang's All Here

The Gang's All Here

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Director of Education Tana Hargest; photo: Jake Armour

Please join us in welcom­­­ing our newest addition to the Minneapolis office, director of education Tana Hargest, who recently moved here from New York to spearhead the Council's educational and public programs. Hargest's goal is to "advance our understanding of craft and promote the forward edge of innovation and ideas in the field," she says.

Hargest spent the past 15 years steeped in contemporary art education, most recently as director of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited at venues such as MASS MoCA, Walker Art Center, and MIT's List Visual Art Center. 

"As a cultural producer," Hargest says, "I'm interested in promoting the value that creative engagement is key to fostering a healthy society. There is a confluence of ideas around the creation of a new craft culture, participatory learning, and defining the cultural commons. ACC seems perfectly positioned to advance this discourse."

There’s No Season Like Show Season

It's been an exciting few months, as 21,000 people visited 685 retail show artists' booths at the Baltimore Convention Center, and another 7,600 attendees browsed the 246 booths in Atlanta's Cobb Galleria Centre. American Craft Council staffers were delighted to meet so many artists and Council members and to see some truly sui generis craft. Some highlights:

At the ACC Baltimore show in February, jurors Elisabeth R. Agro and Heather Gibson of the Philadelphia Museum of Art bestowed awards of excellence on eight show artists. Jewelry artists Myung Urso (see "Slow Germination, Sudden Blossoming"), Taikyun Kim, and Pavel Novak, fiber artist Lisa Klakulak, ceramist Kent Harris (see "How Does Heritage Influence Your Work?"), and woodturner S. Ashley Murphy all wowed the judges with their designs and craftsmanship. Booth display honors went to Deb Karash for her walls of jewelry "pods" and to Walter and Margaux Kent, whose vintage-vibe booth perfectly complemented their wares made of antique and reclaimed materials.

In March, juror Junco Sato Pollack of Georgia State University's Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design presented awards of excellence to four artists at the ACC Atlanta show. Top honors for design went to fiber artists Patricia Palson and Gina Pannorfi and to sculptor David Bryce. Glass artist Michael Schunke was recognized for his sleek, strategically lighted booth.

By the time you read this, we'll have commemorated our 25th year of shows in St. Paul April 15 - 17 with a special reception, complete with craft-inspired cakes. We'll wrap up the season at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center, August 12 - 14. For more information on the artists and activities featured at the event, head to craftcouncil.org/sf. We hope to see you there.

 

Elizabeth Ryan is American Craft's interactive editor.