The Executive Director's Cut: Summer 2015

The Executive Director's Cut: Summer 2015

2015 Emerging Voices Award Winners and Finalists

2015 Emerging Voices Award winners and finalists

All of us at the American Craft Council are passionate about our work supporting artists and ensuring that the craft community continues to thrive. Summer allows us to take time to evaluate our work and reflect on our accomplishments with you – our supporters. Thanks for your continued support!

We have launched several new programs in 2015 that will benefit the craft field for years:

Emerging Voices awards
This award recognizes artists still developing and defining their careers. The winners – one artist and one scholar, along with four finalist artists – represent an exciting vision of this field’s future. This program is ACC’s new version of the Young Americans program that successfully recognized emerging artists’ work in the past. Profiles of emerging artist winner Jaydan Moore (Penland, North Carolina) and emerging scholar winner T’ai Smith (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), along with the four finalists, appear in the June/July issue of American Craft. Their work is extraordinary. Look for a publication featuring all of the award winners later in the year. Thanks to the John and Robyn Horn Foundation and Mohawk Fine Papers for their support to make our new program such a success.

Hip Pop
This program brings the best and the brightest emerging artists to our national craft shows so they can debut their work in front of an established audience. The artists are grouped into pods of six, which makes participating in the show an affordable way to test the marketplace. It was a huge success. The artists gave us overwhelmingly positive feedback, emphasizing strong sales and how much they learned. Show attendees enjoyed seeing the new artists and their fresh aesthetic.

Let’s Make Inspiration Stations
Our Let’s Make program gives showgoers the opportunity to meet top artisans and industry experts at experiential workshops, all in a uniquely designed community-type structure. Our stations included a chance to try paper marbling, jewelry making, throwing a pot, and stone carving, just to name a few. The energy surrounding the stations was palpable and gave folks hands-on insight into what it takes to create the amazing pieces displayed at ACC shows.

Rare Craft Fellowship Award in association with The Balvenie
This is our second year presenting the American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Award, which recognizes and supports the maintenance and revival of traditional or rare crafts in America. All of us at ACC are delighted to welcome chef, author, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain (host of Raw Craft) as our lead juror for the award. The 2015 American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Award was presented to bladesmith Bob Kramer of Olympia, Washington. Other finalists for the award included blacksmith Elizabeth Brim (Penland, North Carolina), potter Mark Hewitt (Pittsboro, North Carolina), and basketweaver Mary Jackson (Charleston, South Carolina). Please see the exceptional videos highlighting each artist.

A few items we are working on that will be presented in the coming months:

  • A new visual identity that links all of our programs to ACC
  • Several new features on the ACC website to enhance the experience for members and website visitors
  • The revival of ACC’s education conference program, coming in the fall of 2016

As always, there is a lot happening here at the Council as we work with you to champion craft. Have a great summer!