CRAFT IN AMERICA: TEACHERS
Thursday, September 15 at 8:00pm* on PBS
Featured as part of PBS’ Spotlight Education programming, Craft in America: TEACHERS features renowned individuals who are committed to their own artistic visions and are equally committed to sharing their skills and passion for craft to new generations of students and artists of all ages.
Barbara Teller Ornelas (Tucson, AZ) and her sister Lynda Teller Pete (Denver, CO) are fifth generation weavers who were raised behind the Two Grey Hills Trading Post in New Mexico. In their family, weaving was a way of life. Their mother, Ruth Teller, and maternal aunt, Margaret Yazzie, instilled in them the belief that beauty and harmony should be woven into every rug. The yarns for their traditional Two Grey Hills tapestries, dyed natural colors black, grey and brown are from Aunt Margaret Yazzie’s sheep; shorn, carded and spun by hand. They carry on their family’s tradition by teaching family members to weave and by mentoring others. This legacy of learning is essential to Navajo weavers. Both sisters have won prestigious awards for their work at the SWAIA Annual Indian Market Place in Santa Fe, NM and other significant shows. http://www.navajorugweavers.com
Mark Mitsuda (Honolulu, HI) grew up in Hawaii and learned the art of glassblowing while in high school at Punahou School where he now teaches teenage students how to blow glass. He continued his studies at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, earning his BFA in 1992. He furthered his studies at Pilchuck Glass School (Stanwood, WA) and at the University of Hawaii. In 1995 he co-founded Glass Design Group, a glass studio with 2 classmates from Alfred, and in 1998 he accepted a faculty position at Punahou School as the glass instructor where today, he teaches and actively shows his work. His work is in numerous private collections as well as the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts.
Therman Statom, (Omaha, NE) sculptor, glass artist, and painter is known as a pioneer of the contemporary glass movement. His life-size glass ladders, chairs, tables, constructed box-like paintings, and small scale houses bewitch with vibrant colors and spontaneous line work. Born in Winter Haven, Florida in 1953, Statom spent his adolescence growing up in Washington, DC. After an experimental glass blowing session with Dale Chihuly, he was soon hooked on the spontaneity of glass blowing and its limitless possibilities. Statom went on to pursue studies at Pilchuck Glass School (WA) during its inaugural year, completing a BFA in 1974 from RISD (Providence, RI), and later at the Pratt Institute of Art & Design (NYC). His public artworks have been permanently installed in prominent locations including the Los Angeles Public Library (CA), Corning, Inc. Headquarters (NY), the Mayo Clinic (MN), and the Toledo Museum of Art (OH). His artwork appears in numerous exhibitions annually, including solo and group shows around the nation and internationally. http://thermanstatom.com
Linda Sikora (Alfred, NY) is a professor at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University where she teaches graduate students who are proficient at working in clay to produce utilitarian wares, sculpture, architectural installations and other conceptual work involving modern technology, using the state-of-the-art facilities at Alfred. The porcelain jars and teapots that are her personal work are known for their incredible form and polychrome surfaces. Sikora states, “Jars and teapots are at the front edge of my recent inquiry.” Through them, she explores form and meaning. Sikora received her diploma of Fine Arts from David Thompson University Center, Nelson, British Columbia and holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Sikora’s work can be found in numerous collections, among them the Arkansas Arts Center (AK), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MN), and the Northern Clay Center (MN). http://lindasikora.com
CRAFT IN AMERICA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing original handcrafted work through the Peabody Award-winning documentary series on PBS nationwide and the free-to-the-public Craft in America Center located in Los Angeles, which offers artist talks, exhibitions, workshops and a library. With fifteen episodes produced since 2007, CRAFT IN AMERICA 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. Ancillary projects include extensive websites providing hours of online videos and interactive learning materials, as well as museum exhibitions, and the Random House book Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects.
*check local listings
Photos courtesy of Mark Markley & Denise Kang
Additional images of all the artists’ work are available on