News from Everywhere

News from Everywhere


Kresge Foundation fellowship recipient, Sioux Trujillo's Rhino/Squid, 2008, encaustic paint, cotton, thread. Photo/Joseph Ferraro.

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First Week, a trompe-l’oeil installation by Mary Temple on view through December on a fourth-floor landing in the Museum of Arts and Design, is the first in a series of “Art Encounters,” a joint project with Benjamin Moore & Co. that commissions artists to paint the stairwells of MAD… A monumental ceramic head form by Jun Kaneko is a highlight of the new Peter Kiewet Foundation Sculpture Garden at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE, home city to the Japanese-born sculptor since 1986… Imagine cocktails and hors d’oeuvres against the backdrop of spectacular art-glass windows in a historic home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. “After Hours at Wright’s Robie House” is one of the new programs at the celebrated 1910 Chicago residence, designed to provide viewers with a personal experience. The series is made possible by a $250,000 MacArthur Foundation grant to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.

Gifts & Grants
The architect Sidney Swidler fell in love with contemporary ceramics in the 1980s, and eventually amassed some 800 pieces by 300 artists from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. Now retired, he has made a gift of his collection to the Crocker Art Museum of Sacramento, ca, where it will be featured as one of the inaugural exhibits in an addition set to open next year.

As artists struggle through tough economic times, some relief comes in the form of grants from organizations like the New York Foundation for the Arts, which this year gave $7,000 each to 134 individuals for excellence in their respective disciplines, including Emily Barletta, who made Horizon, and 13 others in the crafts category (For the complete list, visit… The largest annual artist fellowships in the nation currently come from the Pew Charitable Trusts, which in 2009 awarded $60,000 each (an increase of $10,000 over last year) to 12 Philadelphia-area recipients in painting, playwriting, and folk and traditional arts–among them Vera Nakonechny, a master of Ukrainian embroidery (… The Kresge Foundation’s new fellowship program, administered by the College for Creative Studies, has awarded $25,000 apiece to 18 Detroit-area visual artists, including Sioux Trujillo, who made Rhino Squid. (

Awards & Honors
Diane and Marc Grainer will be honored for their support of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design at the annual Mint Condition gala October 3 in Charlotte, NC, where the museum’s Founders’ Circle will present them with its McColl Award. Avid collectors and advocates of fine craft, the Grainers have played leadership roles in organizations such as the James Renwick Alliance, Furniture Society and American Craft Council… The Craft Emergency Relief Fund has received an award for “leadership, creative thinking and outstanding service” from the Craft Organization Development Association. CERF also got a $75,000 grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation for spearheading the Coalition for Artists’ Preparedness and Emergency Response. (… Heath Ceramics, the California pottery begun by Edith Heath in 1948 and lately reinvigorated by new owners Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, was a finalist for one of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s 2009 National Design Awards, in the Corporate and Institutional Achievement category (the prize ultimately went to the Walker Art Center). In July First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a White House luncheon for the finalists and winners, who will be feted in New York City during National Design Week October 18–24. (… The modernist metalsmith Florence Resnikoff has been made an honorary lifetime member of the Northern California Enamel Guild, one of just four in the group’s history. A professor emerita at California College of the Arts and a state-designated Living Treasure of California, Resnikoff recently had three of her pieces—a pin and pendant from the 1980s and a bowl made in 2004—acquired for the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.

Otto Heino, an iconic California designer-craftsman known for his earthy pottery and legendary collaboration with his wife, Vivika, died July 16. The son of Finnish immigrants, Heino enrolled on the G.I. Bill in a pottery class taught by Vivika Timeriasieff at the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts. Married in 1950, the couple produced and taught ceramics on the East and West coasts before settling in 1973 in Ojai, CA. Martha Drexler Lynn wrote in her American Craft review of a 1996 exhibition of their work at the Frank Lloyd Gallery, “In their adherence to the ideal that ‘what you give away you keep forever,’ they exemplified an openness and accessibility in both their production and way of life that was at the heart of the midcentury studio craft movement.” The Heinos were made Fellows of the American Craft Council in 1900. After Vivika’s death in 1995, Otto famously succeeded in perfecting a rare yellow glaze, said to have been lost from ancient China, that the two had labored for years to reformulate. He once said, “I wanted a person to see a pot and know it was a good potter that made it, [that] he knew his glazes and he knew how to fire, so it’s a complete, honest pot.”

Dorothy Weiss, a dealer who showcased some of the best sculptural ceramics and glass by contemporary artists for over 25 years in San Francisco, died May 30 at her home in Piedmont, CA, at the age of 89. She was a partner in the gallery Meyer Breier Weiss from 1977 to 1984, after which she operated the Dorothy Weiss Gallery until her retirement in 2000.

An American will become artistic director of the Stedelijk Museum (Dutch for “municipal museum”) in Amsterdam in January. Ann Goldstein has since 2001 been senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, where she worked for over 25 years. She succeeds Gijs van Tuyl at the Stedelijk, which is set to reopen its renovated building in 2010… In other news from the Netherlands, Yvonne Joris will depart as head of the Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch (no relation to the Amsterdam institution) as of January 1. Joris became director of the museum in 1988, when it was called the Museum Het Kruithuis… Wyona Lynch-McWhite, former director of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, is the new head of the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA. Founding director Gretchen Keyworth remains as director emeritus and chief curator… Hunter O’Hanian stepped down as president of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado to become vice president for institutional advancement at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.