Awards and Honors
The clay sculptor Toshiko Takaezu, born in Hawaii to Okinawan parents in 1922, has been honored with the Konjuhosho Award, conferred by the Emperor of Japan on individuals who have made significant contributions to Japanese society. Officials from the Okinawa Prefectural Museum traveled to the artist's home state of New Jersey to present the medal to her in a ceremony at the Hunterdon Art Museum...Lois Etherington Betteridge, the distinguished Canadian silversmith, took home the Society of North American Goldsmiths Lifetime Achievement Award from the group's conference in Houston...At its 70th annual Wetherill Ball, the Philadelphia Art Alliance gave a Medal of Achievement to Sharon Church, jeweler and professor of crafts at the University of the Arts. Alliance president Carole Shanis and her husband, Joseph, got the Distinguished Service Award...Richard North and Patrick Doust, collectors of everything from quilts and ceramics to Native American Art, received the 2010 Ohio Designer Craftsmen Outstanding Achievement Award for their support of craft artists...Erin Endicott's Healing Sutra #3, a meditation on physical and psychological wounds, took Best in Show at Fiberart International 2010, the Fiberarts Guild of Pittburgh's triennial juried show, up through Aug. 22 at the Center for the Arts and Society for Contemporary Craft and then traveling.
The Oakland Museum's comprehensive collections of California art shine in its newly remodeled and expanded building, designed as a more participatory viewing experience, "a new paradigm for the way a museum engages the public." The 800 works in the reinstalled Gallery of California Art are presented thematically, highlighting the people, land and creativity of the Golden State...Primavera, a mosaic by the Russian-born, California-based artist Irina Charny has been acquired by the Crocker Art Museum of Sacramento for its permanent collection. On October 10 the Crocker unveils its new, 125,000-square-foot building with four inaugural shows, including "The Vase and Beyond: The Sidney Swidler Collection of Ceramics," a gift to the museum of some 800 contemporary vessels by 300 artists...The Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, has received the two largest exhibition grants in its 73-year history, to honor two Oregonian craft masters: $105,000 from the Whiteman Foundation for a 2012 retrospective of the work of ceramist and musician Betty Feves (1918-85), and $50,000 from the Western States Arts Federation for a weavings show by Laurie Herrick (1908-95) in March 2011. MOCC also got $40,000 from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, to support its integration with the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Grants and Commissions
Since 2006, the University of North Carolina's Center for Craft, Creativity and Design has provided opportunities for future craft artists and curators through its Windgate Fellowships and Museum Internships. This year, 10 graduating college seniors from craft programs around the country were selected as fellows. Each received $15,000 to pursue an 18-month creative proposal. Four current students were chosen as museum interns to work on projects ranging from a Margaret De Patta jewelry retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California to a Postmodernism show at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. For a list of 2010 winners and photo galleries of their work visit craftcreativitydesign.org...Kathryn Blumen, an arts management student at Carnegie Mellon University, is the 2010 Judy Chetayan Scholar at the Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, where she spent the summer helping to prepare the exhibit "DIY: A Revolution in Handicrafts" (Sept. 10-Mar. 26, 2011)... They do things big in Texas-like the 33-foot-tall DNA double helix sculpture in iron and dichroic glass by Stanton Glass Studio of Waco, commissioned for the stairwell of the new science building at McLennan Community College.
Barbara Bloemink, former curatorial director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, has become executive director of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, co...Florida Craftsmen, Inc. has a new director, Diane Shelly, formerly head of the ArtCenter Manatee...The Brookfield Craft Center closed its Connecticut campus in May after 56 years, citing the economic downturn. Board president Bill Markus appealed to the craft community for donations "If we can get back to a clean slate, there may be the possibility of reopening a new, improved Craft Center in the future" (brookfieldcraftcenter.org).
Glenn C. Nelson, the ceramist, educator and author of the classic Ceramics: A Potter's Handbook, died in Naples, FL, on April 17, six weeks shy of his 97th birthday. Nelson taught from 1956 to 1975 at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and established the ceramics department there. Besides training scores of potters, he was instrumental in building the ceramics collection at the school's Tweed Museum of Art. His book, first published in 1957 and re- printed in four subsequent editions, remains a timeless reference, offering design and technical guidance for studio potters with an overview of ceramics throughout world history. In 1960 Nelson married Edie McIntyre, secretary to his friend David Campbell, then head of the American Craft Council; she died in 1987.
The textile artist Lore Lindenfeld, 88, died April 8 at home in Princeton, NJ, two years after suffering a debilitating stroke, according to Peter Lindenfeld, her husband of 57 years. Born Lore Kadden in Wuppertal, Germany, she and her family fled there to Holland in 1938, the day after the Kristallnacht pogrom, and came to the United States the following year. She went on to attend Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where she studied weaving with Anni Albers and art with Josef Albers. As a textile designer in New York, she was a pioneer in the use of the handloom to make fabric samples for women's wear, at a time when designers typically did sketches only. Lindenfeld's art weavings, wall hangings, and assemblages are in the collections of the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Museum of Arts and Design, among others.
Stephen Beal, 70, a maker of pictorial embroideries noted for their wit, imaginative flair and deft use of color ("Give me color and I am one happy man," he once said), died April 26 in Loveland, CO, after a brief illness. His work was recently seen in two critically acclaimed group exhibitions, "Pricked: Extreme Embroidery" at the Museum of Arts and Design (2007), and "Men of the Cloth," a traveling show he organized in 1999. In 2008 Beal was the recipient of the Lillian Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Art, presented at the Textile Society of America Symposium by the Lillian Elliott Award Board.