Every two years, the American Craft Council recognizes the next generation of craft talent and scholarship with our Emerging Voices Awards. As we honor this year’s skilled group of changemakers and thought leaders, we have inevitably contemplated the future, the past, and change. Yet we’ve noticed, too, that the past is not as distant as it may seem and that many changes happening in the field today can be seen as continuations or reinterpretations of former movements more than radical new inventions.
It’s a theme that travels through many stories this issue.
Yinka Orafidiya of the Color Network, an online resource supporting clay artists of color, shares how the organization’s name is borrowed from a collective that was doing the same work 30 years ago. Their story is much like that of chef Sean Sherman, an educator on Indigenous cuisine, who writes for us about a tool passed down to him from his great-grandfather. “It is not only a personal connection to the past,” he says, “but a key to the future.” Similarly, the 50th anniversary of “Objects: USA,” a game-changing exhibition that shifted how handwork is seen and appreciated, is celebrated in two new shows that honor its continued impact on the field.
Every day is new and different. The world is not the same as it was when “Objects: USA” debuted. But even if the language and tools we use now are distinct from those of the past, they’re often inspired by what came before.