Craft in America: QUILTS premieres on PBS December 27, 2019 (check local listings). The episode celebrates the vibrant community of contemporary quilters who make and share quilts, and who build community around this art form. In researching and filming QUILTS, we learned of wonderful teachers, blogs, guides, and other quilting opportunities across the United States. The following are just some of these resources, most of which are featured in the episode, for makers of all levels.
One of the episode’s featured artists, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, teaches classes and runs a popular quilting blog in addition to making her own dynamic and colorful quilts. Her pieces appear visually complex, but Wolfe is committed to demystifying her process and sharing her techniques. She is known for making quilts that look difficult to make, and then teaches quilters to make them. On her website, Wolfe offers online classes, templates and fabrics, as well as instructional videos.
The International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska also appears in QUILTS, giving viewers a unique look into their extensive collection. They have rotating exhibitions throughout the year, conduct research, and care for the over 5,000 quilts in their collection. If you can’t visit in person, there are online images of a selection of quilts from the collection, complete with information on the materials, maker, and origin. The museum’s website also highlights a Quilt of the Month, and explains their conservation practices.
Every year on the third Saturday in March, quilters and fans of the art form celebrate National Quilting Day (NQD). NQD is an opportunity to appreciate quilt making, recognize the labor of quilt makers, and connect with your international and local quilting community. The first National Quilting Day was held in 1992 in the U.S. and has since grown into an internationally recognized day of celebration. The day is marked by special quilting events, classes, exhibitions, and other community gatherings. The International Quilt Museum has participated for the past 10 years, hosting a free all-day event with hands on activities, lectures, handwork demonstrations, and more, and we highlight the Museum’s 2018 event in QUILTS. For more information and to stay up to date on National Quilting day 2020, visit the Quilt Alliance website or their Facebook page.
The Migrant Quilt Project, featured towards the end of the episode, is an opportunity for interested quilters to unite art and activism. The project, founded in 2004 by Jody Ipsen, invites quilters around the country to make quilts using materials collected at migrant layup sites (locations used for rest and shelter) in the Sonoran Desert. Each quilt lists the number of migrant deaths during a given fiscal year, including the names of every person who lost their life. For those unidentified migrants, the word desconocido, or unknown, is used instead. These quilts – patchworks of denim, work shirts, and other found textiles – carry migrant stories and highlight the brutal conditions under which people seek safety for themselves and their families. The quilts are exhibited throughout the country, including earlier this year at the International Quilt Museum, encouraging viewers to rethink our government’s border policies.
Founded over 10 years ago, QuiltingHub is a comprehensive network of quilting resources, all organized in one place. Founder Paul Johnson has compiled articles, shops, shows, guilds, museums, classes, and more worldwide – all organized geographically. Quilters can plan quilt-themed trips, find their local quilt shop, and access how-tos. The site also has a dictionary of quilting terms, useful to both experienced and amateur makers. For additional resources, quilters can visit one of QuiltingHub’s affiliates: QuiltGuilds.org, or QuiltersTravelCompanion.com, or QuiltersResources.com.
Starting with the opening afternoon of Consume: Handcrafting L.A. Restaurants, the Craft in America Center will be presenting talks between chefs and designers/makers that they have worked with. Check back as we add more talks throughout the run of the exhibition.
Please RSVP to events at [email protected]
Otium / Neptune Glassworks / Irving Place Studio
At 3pm, please join the Craft in America Center for a talk with Chef Timothy Hollingsworth of Otium, Uri Davillier of Neptune Glassworks, and Sabrina Judge of Irving Place Studio on collaborating and how the handmade came to shape the look of Otium. The discussion will be moderated by the curator of the exhibition and Director of the Center, Emily Zaiden.
Event page: https://www.craftinamerica.org/event/consume-opening
n/naka / MANO YA
This installment will feature Chef Niki Nakayama of n/naka and Design/Maker pair Zen Sekizawa and Mario Correa of MANO YA. This talk will be moderated by Center Coordinator and Assistant Curator Alex Miller.
Event page: https://www.craftinamerica.org/event/nnaka
auburn / Klein Agency / Humble Ceramics
This talk will feature Chef Eric Bost of auburn paired with Jon and Masa Kleinhample of Klein Agency and Delphine Lippens of Humble Ceramics.
Event page: https://www.craftinamerica.org/event/auburn
A talk with Chef Aitor Zabala of Somni about collaborating on dishes and the creative process behind the design of Somni and practices used in his cooking and plating.
Support for these programs provided by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, the Pasadena Art Alliance, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission
Craft In America Center Education Coordinator
The Craft in America Center is looking for an Education Coordinator to manage its education outreach program Craft in Schools with local K-12 underserved students, and to help maintain and manage our small museum space with a multitude of other projects.
Craft in America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation, and celebration of the handmade and its impact on our nation’s cultural heritage. The Center is a museum and programmatic space with a library located on Third Street in the heart of Los Angeles. Our space is used for rotating contemporary craft exhibitions, research, lectures, education outreach, and hands-on art workshops. The Center holds a small permanent collection of objects. The Center is an extension of the Craft in America project, which began with a Peabody Award-winning and on-going PBS documentary series. See: www.craftinamerica.org for more information about the overall project.
The Education Coordinator is a public-facing representative of Craft in America who is ideally articulate, friendly, and organized. He/she will have experience teaching students at various grade levels and working knowledge of standards-based art education practices. Knowledge of the contemporary crafts movement is a plus. An undergraduate degree in art history, museum studies, art education, studio art, or a related field is required. She/he should be a fluid, enthusiastic user of social media and have strong verbal and written communication skills. The Center has a small team and the candidate must be hardworking, detail-oriented, excellent at multitasking, able to troubleshoot with technology, resourceful, and flexible. The nature of the position involves various additional aspects of museum operations including but not limited to: collections management, library management, and exhibition installation.
Regular tasks and responsibilities include:
Developing and writing standards-based lesson plans for site visits and workshops
Coordinating logistics, scheduling, and communicating with artists and educators
Creating and implementing hands-on activities for children
Assisting with event/program management and planning
Interacting and engaging with visitors
Writing and posting blog, social media, and other website content
Assisting with exhibition logistics including loan agreements and shipping
Assisting with deinstallation and installation
Maintaining contact and library databases
This is a part time position that entails working some Saturdays each month Involves intermittent travel to participating local school sites Requires moving/lifting up to 40 lbs. of weight
Please submit a cover letter, cv and short writing sample to: [email protected]
Not only an artist, but a collector as well, Karyl Sisson produces her work from vintage objects that she has found over the years. Sisson takes the collected objects– such as measuring tape, vintage wax straws, zippers, clothes pins, and more– to create her sculptures. She manipulates these common, yet rare objects in ways that take a certain shape or form that fit to her liking. The forms that her works take are reflections of the images that she has seen in books such as A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science, Seeds: Time Capsules of Life, and Living Images: Biological Microstructures Revealed by Scanning Electron Microscopy, all of which are included in our library collection.
Although these books vary in topic, Karyl Sisson sees a common quality in each that influence the shapes and forms of her works. While Sisson does not directly imitate the images in the books, the patterns and shapes that are shown in the images provoke her creativity further and encourage her practice. For instance, the photographs seen in Living Images come from microscopic snapshots of various microorganisms. The forms that many of the organisms in the book take tend to be very unique and organic in structure, much like her works made from zippers and/or clothes pins. Following a similar concept, Seeds features close-up photographs of seeds that also take on unique structures and patterns. The images featured in A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe demonstrate how the mathematical principles are manifested into things like flowers, shells, plants, crystals, and the human body.
These books and other literature associated with Karyl Sisson are currently on display through July 6th, 2019 as part of the Karyl Sisson: Fissures & Connections exhibition for guests to flip through. Check out our Library during our open hours to take a look at the rest of the books in our collection!
Hello Craft lovers & friends! My name is Krystal Ramirez and I am this summer’s Getty Marrow curatorial intern for Craft in America Center. I am currently a student at the University of California, Riverside going into my final year of undergraduate studies. I will be receiving my Bachelors of Art in Art History & Administrative Studies with a concentration in Finance next spring. My short term goals include pursuing a Masters degree, working as a curator at a contemporary institution, and starting an art collective.
Today marks the end of my first week at the Center, and as someone who is new to the craft world, I have already learned so much about the overall intricacies of craftwork. I am lucky to have began this internship while two extraordinary exhibitions are up on display: Karyl Sisson: Fissures & Connections and Excellence in Fibers. These shows have given me a great introduction to craftwork, specifically in regards to materials and techniques that some artists use. These shows have also been a huge inspiration to my creativity, and have contributed to teaching me how to appreciate craft.
As someone who has been involved in the local contemporary art scene, I have never really explored craft until now. I had never realized before how involved craft art has been in contemporary art, yet how underrepresented these thoughtful and labor-intensive works tend to be. Being at the center has taught me much about the process and journey of creating craft pieces. I now know how to view craftworks in the way they should be, and now even have a personal interest in craft- and it has only been a week!
My biggest takeaway this week has been everything I’ve learned about craft art and the Center. I cannot wait to familiarize myself more with craft work, along with learning about the tasks and responsibilities of being a curator at a small nonprofit organization like Craft in America. Come stop by the Center this summer if you can to test me on my knowledge of all things Craft in America!
– Krystal R. 🙂
Ms. Sanchez’s 2nd graders from Grandview Boulevard Elementary visited the Craft in America Center for their first time yesterday to view the Excellence in Fibers IV and Karyl Sisson: Fissures and Connections exhibitions.
Although most of them did not understand what “fibers” meant before walking in to the Center, they quickly thought up ideas once they walked into the “Excellence of Fibers IV” exhibit. “What materials were used to create these works of art? Do you know what texture is? Does the art piece look soft, hard, fuzzy, rough?” Asking the students questions like these encouraged the students to perceive on their own what fibers was to them. Once they understood what fibers meant, we played a game of “I SPY” and students became a lot more aware of what different type of fibers were utilized: “I spy with my little eye, a piece made with yarn….a piece made with paper….a piece made with bark…”
After discussing the various shapes, forms, colors, designs, and lines delineated in the Excellence in Fibers IV exhibition, the students moved on to the Karyl Sisson: Fissures and Connections exhibition. The students were able to easily identify the materials used in Sisson’s work: Zippers, cloth, clothespins, and paper straws. They especially loved playing with the zippered sample that Sisson made specifically for visitors to play with. The students used clothespins to recreate and invent shapes that are similar to those in the show.
After the walkthrough, discussion, and Q&A with the artist, students were given a demonstration on weaving with paper straws. The students, teacher, and aide were absolutely thrilled that Karyl Sisson was able to teach a workshop on weaving. Students learned to work with an easy “over and under” pattern with paper straws. The end result being a coaster that they could take home to share and use.
Summer 2019 Curatorial Paid Internship at Craft in America Center
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship
The Craft in America curatorial intern will provide support and assist in various aspects of the planning, research and implementation of upcoming exhibitions over the course of the summer, in particular: Material Meaning: A Living Legacy of Anni Albers (7/13/19- 9/21/19) and Consume: Craft at the Modern Table (9/28/19-1/5/20). The intern will receive broad exposure to numerous aspects of the curatorial process during the course of the summer. The intern will be involved in the final stages of exhibition design, loan management, writing, graphic design, press and education outreach and take part in installation and programming for Material Meaning. In addition, the intern will contribute to loan management, and communications for the subsequent show, Consume. The intern will also help with planning Craft in America’s early 2020 exhibition at LAX including checklist preparation, loan logistics, and communicating with participating artists. Craft in America will be developing an engagement and cataloging plan for its library and small but growing permanent collection, and the intern will assist with this process. In addition, the intern will be involved in research, writing, designing, and editing web and social media content to support the organization’s programming, website, and PBS documentary series through work with Craft in America’s production team.
Craft in America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of the handmade and its impact on our nation’s cultural heritage. The Craft in America Center is a micro-museum with a public gallery, programmatic space, and library located on Third Street in the heart of Los Angeles. The Center is used for rotating contemporary craft exhibitions, educational outreach, events and hands-on art workshops. The Center holds a focused library of craft and art-oriented books, in addition to a small permanent collection of objects. The Center is an extension of the Craft in America project, a Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary series that has aired since 2007.
- Be of a group underrepresented in museums and visual arts organizations, including, but not limited to, individuals of African American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent;
- Be currently enrolled undergraduates. Students must have complete at least one semester or two quarters of college by June 2019. Students graduating in May or June 2019 are also eligible. (Students who are enrolled in a second BA or BS program are not eligible.)
- Reside or attend college in Los Angeles County; and
- Be a United States citizen or permanent resident.
Submit résumé (if possible), two letters of recommendation or contact information (phone/email) for two references (teacher, professor, former employer, etc.), and a description of how you meet the requirements for the position. Email all submissions to [email protected] Brenda Cruz, Education Coordinator with the subject heading “Internship.”
Deadline: April 29, 2019
On February 1, 2019, the Craft in America Center will celebrate a decade of serving Southern California as a craft-based non-profit museum and education center by expanding its space. Located in the heart of Los Angeles in the thriving West Third Street Business District, the Craft in America Center has become a nationally recognized destination for exploring craft. The Center was established in 2009 as an outgrowth of the award winning Craft in America PBS documentary series, which first aired in 2007.
Over the past ten years Craft in America has produced over 50 exhibitions, 85 talks and discussions, 35 workshops, 45 concerts, and over 150 other events including screenings, receptions, pop-up exhibitions, and more. Due to its growing reputation the Center consistently reaches or exceeds capacity at public events and workshops. The Craft in America Center will increase its physical presence to better serve the number of visitors, program participants, and students in our Craft in Schools program. A redesigned venue will allow a larger public audience to experience artworks, artist talks, and artmaking in person, as well as provide more gallery space to display our growing permanent collection.
The Craft in America Center is a library, workshop, storage and staff work space. The acquisition of additional space, donated generously by Freehand Gallery, will enable the Craft in America Center to better fulfill its mission to promote, exhibit and teach the artistry of crafts. It also allows for an improvement and upgrade on equipment, technology, and accessibility.
Freehand Gallery will also be renovated. As it has for the past thirty-eight years, the new Freehand Gallery will provide an excellent venue for the presentation of the finest craft. The genesis of the Craft in America project, Freehand Gallery is proud to collaborate with Craft in America and to offer a place for craft artists to sell their work in our burgeoning Los Angeles arts community.
The inaugural exhibition in the expanded space, California Visionaries: Seminal Studio Craft, Featuring Works from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection, will feature approximately forty, rarely-exhibited mixed media artworks by 20th century masters from across the state. The exhibition opening is on Saturday March 2, 2019 from 4-6pm and will feature a discussion with Forrest L. Merrill.
As mentioned in our previous post, we have hosted two new schools this January as part of our Craft in Schools educational programming. This week Firebaugh High School, which is part of the Lynwood School District, visited our Center for the first time. It was great having a range of grades 9th-12th and having them all learn our curriculum together. It was a great opportunity to also have these students meet Pomo basketry weaver Corine Pearce, who led an impactful conversation on how our cultural backgrounds have a significance in our personal art works.
These students came prepared with notes and questions because they were able to view Corine Pearce’s segment from our CALIFORNIA episode prior to their visit. When they arrived to the Center, they were already acquainted with some of the baskets and therefore led them to be more relaxed and comfortable with work on display in “California: Rooted.” However, unlike our elementary groups, Firebaugh students were very soft spoken and we had to ask students to share their thoughts rather then have them offer it freely. It is always a learning experience for the adults, as well as the adolescents, on how to hold an engaging conversation about craft with a younger generation. We always ask ourselves, how do they perceive the art at the Center and how can they best connect with it?
After much discussion pertaining functional and historical works in the exhibition, it was time for the students to hear a living and working artist talk about their practice. They listened and asked questions as Corine discussed her reason for basket weaving, her reason for carrying out such an important mission to her life, family and people. Students asked about the length of time involved in creating a basket and what the going price is.
Towards the end their conversation, Corine asked each student to share something new they learned from meeting her. Everyone was given a chance to speak. A majority of the expressed interest in dabbling in the art of basket weaving themselves and the classroom teacher assured us she will be obtaining supplies like Rattan in order to give her students a demonstration. In Corine Pearce’s words, “No matter what tribe or nation or group of people we come from, we all wove baskets, our ancestors wove baskets and we all have a basket inside of us.”
Craft in America is super excited to have two new schools partner with our Center through our Craft in Schools educational programming. One of the two, Grandview Boulevard Elementary, visited us for the first time on Friday, January 11. It was a rare treat for the Center to host a class of 2nd graders, and we were absolutely thrilled to meet them.
The students arrived with big smiles and loud thoughts that just could not be contained. This group of young people knew that their voices are powerful and they were ready to be heard. The problem was, who would speak first? As I asked questions like, “what do we see with our eyes?” and “what materials are being used?,” several hands rocketed into the air with “oooh, ooohs, me, me” following. We could go on forever describing furniture, baskets, shibori, and other functional craft pieces in our “California: Rooted” exhibition. We had them conversing as a class and then in smaller individual groups so that they could gather opinions by working together. Groups were split into the 5 most common traditional crafts: Team Metal, Glass, Wood, Fibers, and Ceramics. Each team worked together to identify works in the exhibition that used their respective materials.
Grandview Boulevard was our last LAUSD visit before the teachers in the district went on strike. The teacher was eager to bring her students in order for them to get as much supplemental arts education before the strike and it showed us how much these teachers want their students to learn. We admire all of the teachers we work with for going so far beyond what is expected of them.