ROSWELL, NM — The U.S. Postal Service today kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct.15) with new festive Piñatas! stamps at the 36th Annual Piñata Festival.
These Forever stamps come in four designs — two donkeys and two seven-pointed stars — celebrating the traditional Mexican fiesta favorite.
This is the third consecutive year the Postal Service has issued a Hispanic-themed stamp. In September 2021, USPS issued Day of the Dead stamps, and in July 2022, USPS issued Mariachi stamps.
News of the stamps is being shared with the hashtag #PinatasStamps.
“One of the reasons I feel proud to work at the Postal Service is because we are one of the nation’s oldest and most admired public service institutions. Part of that proud history is celebrating our multi-faceted heritage through stamps. Ours is truly a world culture, and our stamps allow us to weave together the many threads of our national tapestry, and piñatas are the perfect example of this,” said Isaac Cronkhite, chief processing and distribution officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service, who served as the stamps’ dedicating official.
Other participants at the stamp ceremony were Juan P. Oropesa, City Councilor, Roswell, NM; Timothy Z. Jennings, Mayor of Roswell, NM; Alma Salas, Board President, Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce; Felipe Flores, Jr., Western Division, Senior Director of Processing Operations, U.S. Postal Service; Yesenia Prieto, Executive Director and Piñata Maker and Artist, Piñata Design Studio; and Emily Zaiden, Director and Curator, Craft in America Center.
Read the full article.
We are honored and thankful to Joan Takayama-Ogawa, who donated this piece to the Craft in America collection.
PBS Broadcast Premiere December 29, 2023, 9pm and 10pm (check local listings)
[Los Angeles] – PLAY and MINIATURES premiere on PBS December 29 at 9pm and 10pm, respectively (check local listings). The episodes comprise the newest season of Craft in America. The Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary series has produced 15 seasons since 2007, discovering the beauty, significance and relevance of handmade objects and the artists who make them.
“Craft in America…[has a] knack for telling big stories… about the formation of culture, the purpose of creativity, the idea that the pursuits of beauty and utility are foundational to humanity.” – New York Times
PBS Broadcast Premiere December 29, 2023, 9pm (check local listings)
PLAY explores the intersection of play and artistry. From puppets to piñatas to unicorns, this hour reveals how artists use the tools of childhood to inspire imagination, celebration and wonder. The featured artists and institutions are Lorena Robletto, Roberto Benevidez, Calder Kamin, Schroeder Cherry, Skirball Cultural Center Noah’s Ark & Puppet Festival and Cotsen Children’s Library.
Lorena Robletto and Roberto Benavidez (Los Angeles, CA)
PLAY opens in Los Angeles with two artists’ distinct takes on the art of the piñata. Lorena Robletto creates festive and creative piñatas with fair labor practices at her business, Amazing Pinatas, while Roberto Benavidez takes a sculptural approach to the piñata, making work inspired by Hieronymus Bosch and medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Calder Kamin (Breckenridge, CO)
From Los Angeles, we travel to Colorado to Calder Kamin’s art installation at the Breckenridge International Arts Festival. She is committed to reusing and recycling in her art and sculpts from discarded plastic, creating a unicorn with old Mardi Gras beads and engaging the community to learn sustainable art methods.
Schroeder Cherry (Baltimore, MD)
In Baltimore, artist and museum educator Schroeder Cherry introduces us to his cast of handmade puppets. Cherry puts on puppet shows to share African American history with children and adults alongside his practice as a painter and collage artist.
Skirball Center Noah’s Ark and Puppet Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
Crossing back to the West Coast takes us to the Skirball Cultural Center, a Jewish educational institution that is hosting their annual puppet festival. This year, artist Chris Green joins to revisit one of the centerpieces of their children’s programming, Noah’s Ark, a vast installation featuring hundreds of animals crafted from found objects.
Cotsen Children’s Library (Princeton, NJ)
We track the legacy of one of the founding Board members of the Skirball, Lloyd E. Cotsen, to the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. Cotsen was a collector and philanthropist and the Cotsen Children’s Library now houses his vast collection of children’s books. We learn how children’s books enrich the lives and minds of the community and all of us through play and imagination.
PBS Broadcast Premiere December 29, 2023, 10pm (check local listings)
MINIATURES explores the world of tiny objects and the artists that make them. From folk art to marionettes to tiny furniture, the artists of MINIATURES reveal what motivates them to work at a scale that demands a masterful attention to detail. The featured artists and institutions are Mark Murphy, Alexander Girard, the International Folk Art Market, Leandro Gómez Quintero and Gustave Baumann.
Mark Murphy (Astoria, OR)
We meet Mark Murphy, a miniaturist living and working in Astoria, Oregon. Mark shares his process for creating intricately detailed miniature furniture. We travel with him to the Chicago International Miniatures Show and connect with his community of other remarkable miniature artists.
Alexander Girard (Santa Fe, NM)
We visit Santa Fe, New Mexico, to reveal the iconic 20th-century designer Alexander Girard’s passion for folk art through the “Multiple Visions” exhibition at the Museum of International Folk Art. In the 1980s, Girard transformed his collection of over 100,000 pieces of miniature folk art from all over the world into one expansive exhibition that has been displayed exactly as he designed it for over 40 years.
International Folk Art Market (Santa Fe, NM)
We travel the globe at the annual International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where artists and makers from around the world including Mexico, Peru, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Eswatini, and more share their practices and culture through miniature folk art and other craft traditions.
Leandro Gómez Quintero (Baracoa, Cuba)
From IFAM, we cross the continent and ocean and follow the model vehicles of artist Leandro Gómez Quintero to his home in Baracoa, Cuba. Leandro crafts his faithful recreations of vehicles like the iconic Willys Jeep with intricate detail and accuracy, using found materials to tell the story of Cuba and her people through his art.
Gustave Baumann (Santa Fe, NM)
Finally, we celebrate the prolific multidisciplinary artist, Gustave Baumann, who created paintings, woodblock prints and marionettes in the first half of the 20th century. Baumann was deeply inspired by the landscape and people of Santa Fe, and the city keeps his legacy alive today with their yearly Christmas marionette show.
ARTIST & INSTITUTION BIOS: PLAY
Lorena Robletto is a Los Angeles based piñata artist. After serving as a social worker for immigrant families and consulting for immigrant-owned businesses, Robletto turned her focus towards the artistry of piñatas and set up a shop, Amazing Pinatas, in the Los Angeles Piñata District. Her studio and storefront is now located in Mid City, where her team creates custom piñatas of any scale along with ready-made piñatas and various signature designs. She frequently makes props and commissions for the entertainment industry and other branded events.
Roberto Benavidez is a figurative sculptor originally from South Texas, specializing in the piñata form. After moving to Los Angeles, he rediscovered his passion for the visual arts and studied figure sculpting and bronze casting at Pasadena City College. Benavidez later switched to paper, a more accessible material than bronze, deciding to focus on the piñata technique, a familiar form from childhood. Benavidez plays with underlying themes of race, ephemerality, beauty and sin, layered with his identity as a mixed-race queer artist, with a focus on impeccable craftsmanship. Some of his otherworldly creatures could have stepped out of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. Currently, one of Benavidez’s ‘Painting Piñatas’ is on display in all LA Metro buses under the Through the Eyes of Artists poster series, and another landscape is on view at LAX Terminal 1.5 in Craft in America’s LA Scenes exhibition.
Artist, educator and advocate, Calder Kamin transforms trash into beautifully crafted creatures and opportunities to inspire others to be creative and courageous about the future. Nature’s endless ability to reuse and adapt motivates her to eliminate waste and reimagine it as art. Kamin’s creative reuse art projects and public workshops have traveled to museums across the states including The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The American Museum of Natural History, The Contemporary Austin, The i.d.e.a. Museum, and The Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Plastic Planet, her 2016 solo exhibition at Women & Their Work, was supported by a Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations Grant and the subject of an episode for the PBS series Arts In Context. She was the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s Art Truck Artist, the first AIR at the Beach Museum of Art, and Artist-in-Residence at BreckCreate, Landmark Apartments, the DoSeum and San Antonio’s Children’s Museum. Kamin is a board member of Austin Creative Reuse, a non-profit that diverts community waste to artists, crafters and educators as resources.
Dr. Schroeder Cherry, a native of Washington, DC, is now a Baltimore-based artist working with puppets, paintings and mixed media assemblages. Dr. Cherry captures everyday scenes of African American life, often set in barbershops and utilizing repurposed materials. He has worked in museums across the US, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum, Studio Museum of Harlem, J.Paul Getty Museum, The Baltimore Museum of Art and Maryland Historical Society. He has held senior grant maker positions at Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He is the Museum Curator at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art and currently teaches museum studies at Morgan State University. His works “are open-ended narratives inspired by travel, music, literature, folklore, and everyday events.”
Skirball Cultural Center
The Skirball Cultural Center is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. They welcome people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society. Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball is one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles.
Chris Green is a Brooklyn-based designer, director and performer. His theatrical and installation works have been presented nationally and internationally in venues including the Skirball Cultural Center, Lincoln Center, New York City Center, St. Anne’s Warehouse, Geothe Institute (Delhi), National Geographic Museum, La Jolla Playhouse, Teatro del Lago (Chile) and BAM Harvey. Since 2005, his design studio, Chris Green Kinetics, has received awards of excellence from the American Association of Museums, TEA, and a Regional Design Award from AIA. Recent projects include Firebird, with ten puppeteers and a full orchestra, Hagoromo, a puppetry and dance collaboration with David Michalek, David Neumann and Wendy Whelan, and This Is Hunger, a multi-media installation about hunger in America traveling across the country in an expanding tractor-trailer.
Cotsen Children’s Library
The Cotsen Children’s Library, a unit within Princeton University Library’s Department of Special Collections, is the benefaction of Lloyd E. Cotsen, ’50, and Charter Trustee, Emeritus. The curatorial division administers the research collection of illustrated children’s books, manuscripts, original artwork, prints and educational toys, hosts academic conferences on children’s books and publishes their proceedings, and sponsors fellowships for research. The outreach division of Cotsen serves children of all ages, families, librarians and educators. Campus visitors can explore Bookscape, a whimsical reading environment with its two-story bonsai tree, Wall of Books, exhibition space, and attend free weekly story hours and special events.
ARTIST & INSTITUTION BIOS: MINIATURES
Mark Murphy is a miniaturist who specializes in Arts & Crafts furniture including Greene & Greene and Japanese furniture. He studied at Ohio State University, with an emphasis on sculpture. He finished his studies at the Philadelphia College of Art with a BFA in woodworking and furniture design. Shortly after that, he moved to San Francisco where he started making scale furniture models. It was at that time he met the miniature house builder Pam Throop and started making pieces for her period American and English houses. Mark also does collaborative work with several other miniature artists including Mary O’Brien, Patricia Hartman, Patricia Richards, Lee-Ann Wessel and Annelle Ferguson. A Fellow of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, Mark has been teaching miniature furniture construction since 2000. He shows his work at miniature shows (The Guild Show in Hartford, CT, The Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures in San Jose, CA and the Chicago International Miniatures Show). His work is in private miniature collections and miniature museum collections including the Gateway Center in Maysville, KY and the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City, MO.
Alexander Girard (1907–1993) was a highly influential and prolific interior and textile designer in the 20th century. He designed interiors for restaurants, homes, offices, and aircraft. He created textiles, typography, and tableware. His work extended to exhibitions, toys, and an entire city street in Columbus, Indiana. Folk and pop art were inspirations for his bold, colorful and whimsical artwork. Girard was a defining figure in the history of the Museum of International Folk Art. He donated more than 100,000 objects from his and his wife Susan’s folk art collection. In 1981, this became the museum’s permanent exhibition, “Multiple Visions: A Common Bond.”
International Folk Art Market
The mission of the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, NM, is to create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide who celebrate and preserve folk art traditions. IFAM envisions a world that values the dignity and humanity of the handmade, honors timeless cultural traditions, and supports the work of artisans serving as entrepreneurs and catalysts for positive social change. Recognized globally as the largest market of its kind, IFAM provides an event for some of the finest folk artists to gather in one location, exhibit their artwork that is rooted in tradition and culture, and partake in cross-cultural artistic exchange. The earnings generated from the Market return to the home communities of the artists, creating long-term economic opportunity.
Leandro Gómez Quintero
Leandro Gómez Quintero uses paper, cardboard and found objects to create models of American cars and Jeeps, all of which are used as methods of transportation in his hometown of Baracoa, Cuba. They are individually hand painted and detailed to mimic the original vehicle. His sculpture represents Willys Jeeps from 1942–1955, as well as Dodge Power Wagons, GMCs, and Fords from the era. These sculptures are representations of what his community sees on a daily basis, and Leandro hopes to preserve and offer knowledge through his art, as well as reflect the history of transportation and everyday life in Cuba. Quintero says, “They bring humor and call attention to the fact that we are an isolated community within a country that has been isolated for many years. By showing the people a part of their everyday lives in a lighthearted way, they come to appreciate and can smile at some of the difficulties that we encounter in just trying to live our lives and getting from one place to another.” (Courtesy of International Folk Art Alliance, 2017)
(1881–1971) was an American printmaker and painter, and one of the leading figures of the color woodcut revival in America. While still a young boy, Baumann emigrated with his family from Magdeburg, Germany, to Chicago. He returned to Germany to study at Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich, and later attended the Art Institute of Chicago. After moving to Santa Fe in 1918, he became a leading member of the art community. Baumann was appointed area coordinator of the Public Works of Art Project of the Works Progress Administration beginning in the early 1930s. During this time, he also carved and decorated a large number of marionettes, with which he, his wife and other artists toured the state, acting out Hispanic and Native American folk stories.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
ABOUT CRAFT IN AMERICA
Craft in America is the Peabody Award-winning series on PBS exploring America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade. The series takes viewers on a journey to the artists, origins and techniques of American craft. Each episode contains stories from diverse regions and cultures, blending history with living practice and exploring issues of identity, ritual, philosophy and creative expression. Craft in America’s organizational efforts include educator guides that adhere to national standards and the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles.
To promote and advance original handcrafted work through programs in all media
To document the importance of handmade objects and the artists who make them
To provide a gateway to discover, explore and experience craft
To celebrate our nation’s cultures through craft
CRAFT IN AMERICA, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Lauren Over or Terry de Castro
Mary here, Craft in America’s Getty Marrow Undergraduate Intern for Summer 2023. I can’t believe it’s been ten weeks since I started my internship. I am amazed by how much I’ve learned about the world of craft in such a short time. I came to Craft in America having just graduated from college, with little awareness of opportunities to learn new creative skills outside of academia. Since then, I’ve been exposed to so many local artists and organizations dedicated to furthering the art of handmade craft. I am thrilled to be able to promote these opportunities to the creative-minded people in my life. Allied Woodshop, for example, offers woodworking classes specifically for women, trans, and GNC individuals. I don’t think woodworking is for me, but I am hoping to take a blacksmithing workshop at Adam’s Forge, another LA-based nonprofit, sometime in the future. I still treasure the advanced weaving workshop I took at the Craft in America center with Ferne Jacobs, and will definitely be back for more.
During my second week at Craft in America, part of my duties included attending an artist talk at the Center given by Jeff Oestreich. In preparation, I researched the legacy of Leach Pottery in the Midwestern United States as carried on by Bernard Leach’s students (Jeff Oestreich, Warren McKenzie, and Clary Illian). This helped me comprehend the significance of craft as a bedrock of community. Not only has this internship increased my understanding of the necessary administrative work which underlies the craft world, it has brought me closer to finding a place in my own community of fellow makers.
I am sincerely thankful to the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program for this opportunity, and to all the staff at Craft in America for making this such a positive experience.
Mary here, Craft in America’s Getty Marrow Undergraduate Intern for Summer 2023. Earlier this week, I participated in another shoot day for the Craft Video Dictionary. We filmed several woodworking techniques at Allied Woodshop in East LA. At various points throughout the day, I was awestruck by the skill and speed each artist brought to the table. Woodworking is not my area of expertise, but everyone from Allied was extremely helpful and communicative. The shoot went smoothly and I’m proud to say we filmed the creation of some humble yet beautiful objects. Everyone has been putting so much work into this project, and it’s exciting to see it grow continuously.
Allied Woodshop frequently offers beginning to advanced workshops, many of which are specifically reserved for women, nonbinary, and trans students. For more information, visit alliedwoodshop.com.
The Craft Video Dictionary is supported by the Decorative Arts Trust’s Prize for Excellence and Innovation. To learn more about the Trust or to become a member, visit The Decorative Arts Trust.
Header image: Martin Alexander turning beads and coves on a lathe.
Textile Society of America
December 29, 2022
As one of the last (though certainly not least) gifts of 2022, we had the opportunity to speak with Carol Sauvion, a true advocate for craft and the Executive Director of Craft in America, a multi-faceted project dedicated to promoting and advancing original handcrafted work through educational programs in all media. Notably, Sauvion is the creator of the Peabody Award winning PBS series Craft in America, a documentary series that celebrates American craft and the artists who bring it to life. In this interview, she discusses what we actually talk about when we talk about craft and her hopes for its future.
Read the full article here
Consuelo Jimenez Underwood was featured on PBS Newshour about her American flag works in the exhibit Flagged for Discussion at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Consuelo Jimenez Underwood was featured in the THREADS episode of Craft in America and exhibited her work at the Craft in America Center.
Mary here, writing from week 5 of my Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship. I can’t believe my time at Craft in America is half over! The diverse range of projects I’m working on have made the experience fly by.
My role at Craft in America is in digital communications, but the opportunities I’ve been given through the Getty Marrow program encompass much more than that. Yesterday for example, the Getty sent members of my internship cohort on a walking tour of public art in Long Beach. I had little experience in the realm of public art, but the Arts Council of Long Beach presented an informative snapshot of the entire process including conception, funding, community input and engagement, and conservation. A few weeks ago, the Getty Center hosted a leadership summit for this year’s internship cohort. We were treated to a series of lectures from Getty Marrow alumni, and encouraged to explore the museum’s exhibitions after the day’s activities concluded. My current immersion in craft gave me a new perspective on the value of handmade objects in museum collections.
Week to week, I’ve been working on a number of exciting projects. I am currently focused on conducting research for our upcoming Craft Video Dictionary project, supported by the Decorative Arts Trust’s Prize for Excellence and Innovation. The Craft Video Dictionary seeks to be a resource for craftspeople of all skill levels by providing a video encyclopedia of common techniques, materials, and tools spanning a variety of craft media. Contributing to this project has deepened my appreciation for the extensive knowledge and skill craftspeople bring to their work. I’ve also been promoting different facets of the Craft in America Center on social media. This includes our current exhibition, Couples in Craft, as well as the ever-expanding Craft in America library. The library houses a collection of over 3,000 craft books, catalogs, and publications, all completely free and open to the public. I would love to see the surrounding community utilize this more often!
A highlight of my internship so far was attending an advanced weaving workshop led by Ferne Jacobs, a prolific fiber artist whose work I’ve admired for years. I was thrilled when Craft in America agreed to let me film the event for social media while participating as a student. Jacobs is a gifted educator, and the small class size allowed her to spend ample one-on-one time with each participant. We had a great discussion about our individual goals, inspirations, and the creative process, receiving constructive feedback throughout. It was one of the most energizing creative experiences I’ve had – all because this internship gives me the opportunity to make my passions part of my job description.
On a related note, the exhibition “Ferne Jacobs: A Personal World” is on at the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art until September 24th. Thoughtfully curated by Craft in America’s own Emily Zaiden, the exhibition is a 60-year retrospective which includes rarely-exhibited works. It’s a great source of insight into the more esoteric themes in Jacobs’ work. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area.
Looking back on the first half of my internship, I am awed by how much I have learned about the world of craft. I am looking forward to the second half of this experience, excited about perfecting skills I have begun to develop.
IDEAL INTERNSHIP GRANTS
The Trust offers grants to museums and historic sites in support of internships that improve and promote inclusivity, diversity, equity, access, and leadership (IDEAL) in the museum field. The Trust seeks to fund summer and academic-year internships beginning in the summer or fall of 2024 for high school and undergraduate students. Internships should focus on the decorative arts and object-based research, exhibitions, installations, and educational programs. IDEAL Internship Grants can be up to $5,000.
Application Deadline: August 31, 2023
CURATORIAL INTERNSHIP GRANTS
The Trust underwrites curatorial internships for recent Masters or PhD graduates in partnership with museums and historical societies. These internships allow host organizations to hire a deserving young professional who will learn about the responsibilities and duties common to the curatorial field while working alongside a talented mentor. The goal is to provide mutually beneficial opportunities that will nurture the next generation of museum curators while providing essential staffing for the host. For this grant cycle, the Trust is offering a two-year grant with $45,000 available per year for the intern’s salary.
Application Deadline: September 30, 2023
DEAN F. FAILEY GRANTS
Dean F. Failey Grants support noteworthy research, exhibition, publication, and object-based conservation projects that present new scholarship on the decorative arts, craftsmanship, and historic preservation. Preference is given to projects that employ or are led by young professionals in the museum field, and the Trust aims to support colleagues and projects that represent the full diversity of the field. The Trust will award up to $25,000 during the upcoming cycle. The funding is typically divided among multiple recipients, with grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
Application Deadline: October 31, 2023
Mary here, Craft in America’s summer 2023 Getty Marrow Undergraduate Intern. Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying Craft in America to California State University Long Beach to shoot content for an ongoing project: the Craft Video Dictionary. CSULB is my alma mater, and returning to campus for my new job less than two months after graduating was surreal. The team set up in the school’s wood shop, nestled in the center of the fine arts building complex where I’d spent most of my time in undergrad. We were filming with Ryan Taber, head of the University’s Wood program, as he demonstrated a variety of woodworking techniques.
The Craft Video Dictionary is one of the most ambitious projects I’ll be working on throughout my internship. The project’s website, which launches later this year, will host an extensive library of videos illustrating craft techniques and their associated materials and tools. We filmed Ryan demonstrating a few common processes in furniture design. I had no prior knowledge of woodworking, but Ryan thoroughly explained each step to the crew. He advised us on presenting the material with clarity and accuracy throughout the day. I left with a deepened appreciation for the minutiae of furniture construction. It was one of the many ways this internship has helped me notice the subtle craftsmanship I interact with every day. The expertise and skill Ryan brought on set made me even more excited for the launch of this project.
The Craft Video Dictionary is supported by the Decorative Arts Trust’s Prize for Excellence and Innovation. To learn more about the Trust or to become a member, visit The Decorative Arts Trust.