Curating the ACC Holiday Craft Hop

Curating the ACC Holiday Craft Hop

Hear from our co-curators: Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild and A Conspiracy of Strange Girls

curating the Holiday Craft Hop

The Holiday Craft Hop team assigns booths to more than 60 featured Minnesota artists.

It’s less than three weeks until our Holiday Craft Hop on December 2. More than 60 Minnesota artists will be at the historic Grain Belt building, which is home to ACC and RSP Architects. The best part about planning the event? Curating local artists and makers with Beth Novak and Danny Saathoff from the Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild (MNJAG) and Rhys Jones from A Conspiracy of Strange Girls (CSG). We asked Jones and Saathoff to share more about their organizations and the artists they’ve chosen to participate. We hope you'll join us to shop this massive holiday sale.

A Conspiracy of Strange Girls

Rhys Jones: When I started A Conspiracy of Strange Girls, it was really important to me that it not just be an art collective, but rather a creative collective. No shade on art at all, of course, (coming from a full-time artist), but the network of people I’d been gathering reached so much further than traditional fine art, and it’s always been important to me that that broader spectrum be at the core of CSG and our membership.

Being a co-curator for this event as a collective has really allowed us to showcase the breadth of both our membership and our extended network, and we’re very excited to bring our work to an even broader audience. The thing about being "strange girls" is that many of us have spent some portion of our lives feeling ostracized by that strangeness, and so we have found a great deal of comfort and validation in banding together with others of our abnormal ilk – finding solidarity and support in being who and what we are without shame. It feels very powerful to present that to the wider world as a united, affirming, creative front.

Fashion by Kindred Folk (left) and jewelry by Ann Erickson, curated by A Conspiracy of Strange Girls. Photos: Courtesy of the artists


Danny Saathoff: The Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild was founded to serve as an organization to connect metalsmiths and jewelry artists. We promote the work of our members and act as a conduit to help educate members and the general public on the merits of buying and collecting handmade, original jewelry from local and regional artists. We are very pleased to once again work with the American Craft Council to help curate the Holiday Craft Hop for 2017.

Our process for selecting the artists involved relying on an outside jury panel to choose the artists for the event. The jurors were Ruth Pszwaro, program director for the Grand Marais Art Colony; Michael Boyd, master goldsmith and jewelry designer from Pueblo, Colorado; and Kristofer Bowman, owner and curator of Upstate MN, a store specializing in artist-made goods in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The artists from MNJAG represent a variety of styles and backgrounds, from the formally trained metalsmiths with exacting skills and impeccable craftsmanship to the bold and daring self-taught artists who know that rules are meant as guidelines only.


A necklace by Bridget Clark (left) and a pair of earrings by Karin Jacobson, curated by MNJAG. Photos: Courtesy of the artists