The Center for Craft is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing craft by fostering new ideas, funding craft scholarships, and backing the next generation of craftspeople, makers, and curators.
It is hard to describe all the ways in which the Center’s work manifests in the real world, because there are so many. They include the annual Windgate-Lamar Fellowships to graduating art students across the United States, the Craft Research Fund’s artist fellowship program and grants for scholarly craft research, materials-based research grants, curatorial fellowships, inspiring exhibits, co-working spaces for makers, the annual Craft Think Tank, and programming and education accessible online to everyone everywhere. Just recently I’ve enjoyed watching Center for Craft-hosted interviews with Cherokee basket maker Mary Thompson and Puerto Rican-descended ceramist Robert Lugo, as well as visiting the exhibit FABRICated with my son Nicholas in real life (masks on with strict attendee limits in place).
I have been struck especially by the Center for Craft’s commitments to diversity and inclusion and to conversation and dialogue—in facilitating learning and growth in craft and community, reckoning with craft’s history and our historical and present curatorial values, reinterpreting and reclaiming that history anew, and engaging proactively in visioning and supporting a more diverse and dynamic craft future and, I hope, the value of accessibility over exclusivity. These visions express themselves in many ways, including in the very diverse backgrounds and interests of the Center for Craft’s grant recipients.
The Center for Craft is kicking off its 25th-anniversary celebration on Wednesday, May 26, by holding a wonderful virtual benefit from 6 to 7 p.m. EDT. The featured speaker is Magdalene Odundo DBE, the renowned ceramic artist and Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts. Odundo’s work is in the permanent collections of nearly 50 international museums, including American museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts and Art Education, and she was made a Dame in the 2020 New Years Honours.
Here’s my ask: Would you help support the Center and, for my friends, also help me celebrate joining the board? Tickets for the fundraiser are $25—with larger donations also welcome—at http://bit.ly/CfC25, and you can learn more about the event at https://www.centerforcraft.org/25th-anniversary.
The event will also celebrate Craft Futures honoree Michael Sherrill, a materials-based artist experimenting primarily in the media of metal, clay, and glass. It will be hosted by cross-disciplinary artist Aaron McIntosh, who I recently had the pleasure of meeting virtually.
As my own form of celebration and support, I have decided to do a little personal giveaway of two of my books—books I worked on as senior editor, author, and/or juror when I worked at the book publisher Lark Crafts and then with the fabulous Lark Jewelry & Beading team. To be considered, register for the benefit at http://bit.ly/CfC25 and send me a note through my contact form telling me you have registered (honor system!) and including your full name and mailing address and which two books you’d like to receive. I will randomly select one winner on May 27 using an online number generator. The selections are:
- 500 Art Quilts, a gallery book juried by Karey Patterson Bresenhan
- 500 Judaica, a gallery book juried by Daniel Belasco
- 500 Raku, a gallery book juried by Jim Romberg
- 500 Vases, a gallery book juried by Julia Galloway
- Beading with World Beads (a project book with 16 project artists including Jamie Cloud Eakin, Candie Cooper, Jean Campbell, and Terry Taylor)
- Masters: Beadweaving, a gallery book curated by Carol Wilcox Wells
- The Penland Book of Glass (with chapter artists Paul Stankard, Shane Fero, Kristina Logan, Vittorio Constantini, Sally Prasch, Elizabeth Mears, Janis Miltenberger, Ingalena Klenell, Susan Plum, and Emilio Santini)
- Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry, a gallery book juried by me (and a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year)
This giveaway is just from me, not from the Center or from Lark. U.S. folks only for the giveaway, because I’ll be popping the two books into a Priority Mail box, although of course everyone is invited to participate in the benefit. Thank you very much for your support. And please share and spread the word!
UPDATE: We have a winner! Ronna Sarvas Weltman was randomly selected from entrants and chose to receive the books 500 Vases and Masters: Beadweaving. Congratulations, Ronna, and thank you to everyone for supporting the Center for Craft. If you’d like to support the Center, you can do so here: https://www.centerforcraft.org/support.