Who Is Pushing the Craft Field Forward?

Who Is Pushing the Craft Field Forward?

Del Harrow, ceramist

Del Harrow, ceramist

Right now, I’m inspired by artists who are thinking expansively about craft, particularly Aaron Pexa and Pallavi Sen. Rooted in glass, Pexa’s work embraces storytelling through material processes, object appropriation, video, and installation; Sen explores craft through the holistic integration of lifestyle and studio practice using printmaking and performance-based video. ~Samantha De Tillio, assistant curator, Museum of Arts and Design, New York

In contemporary culture, craft explores the depth of tradition and the complexity of innovation in different ways. Potter Matthew Metz is continually innovative, but from within the rigorous framework of studio pottery. On the other hand, Emerging Objects (run by co-founders Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello) are pushing the material and scalar possibilities of 3D printing, but through a material-oriented and craft-based practice. ~Del Harrow, ceramist, associate professor of art, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Three institutions I am watching very closely to see how they move forward with new faculty, updated curriculum, or new buildings are Kent State University, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Let’s watch and be inspired by their hard work. ~Michael Radyk, director of education, American Craft Council, Minneapolis

Just one short year after launching, the Craft Industry Alliance has grown to nearly 1,000 members. (I’m proud to have been an early member.) Founded by Abby Glassenberg and Kristin Link, the alliance is building a trade organization  – to bridge the gaps between makers and suppliers and to foster connections between craft professionals and resources that will further the community as a whole. ~Janine Vangool, publisher, editor, designer, Uppercase magazine, Calgary, Canada

To me, Chawne Kimber is taking quilting in a direction it needs to go. While quilts have long included images of cultural commentary, her work is opening up important conversations about race, identity, and politics at a time when we need it most. She is proving how much we all need craft, even when some may erroneously see it as obsolete. ~Betsy Greer, writer, editor, craft advocate, Durham, NC