Craft in Schools: Home and Inspiration Winter Reflections
As we welcome Spring, our Craft in Schools program proudly reflects on all that we accomplished earlier this year. Thanks to ongoing partnerships with K-12 LAUSD classroom teachers and various teaching artists, we were able to host several on-site field trips, virtual gallery talks, and hands-on craft workshops based on our recent Home and Inspiration Exhibition.
In these educational programs, students were conversationally guided through Visual Thinking Strategies, and journaling and sketch pad prompts as they explored fiber, ceramics, woodworking, and sculptural art. Students ages 8-18 were encouraged to share their curiosity, ideas, and critiques of how they viewed craft and art practices both past and present.
Several classrooms hosted on-site teaching artists, such as Paj Ntaub artist Mandora Young and textile artist Victoria May. Together, we learned about the significance of Paj Ntaub’s mesmerizing embroidery within the Hmong diaspora, while learning the foundations of cross-stitch embroidery. Our neighboring Rosewood Elementary 4th graders enjoyed a dynamic “human loom” weaving exercise as pictured above! And, several classes explored hands-on weaving as seen in Diedrick Brackens’ Kente-cloth inspired weaving. Our Craft in Schools program hopes to continue collaborating with and would like to thank the engaging classes at: Rosewood Elementary, Palms Middle School, Van Nuys High School, ArTES Magnet High School, and Fairfax High School.
Stay tuned for more family and Craft in Schools programming!
HOME / INSPIRATION Exhibits
As the longest Winter night in the Northern hemisphere approaches, Craft in America warmly invites you to our new exhibition from December 10, 2022 – March 11, 2023.
This dynamic show features woven and embroidered textiles, ceramics, woodwork, found object architecture, and intergenerational talent from Anishinaabe knowledge holders, Hmong matriarchs, woodworking folk schools, rogue architects, and more.
View a sneak peek of this exhibition featuring work from our latest Craft In America episodes (linked here): HOME / INSPIRATION. Stay tuned for upcoming events and Artist-run workshops we’ll be offering in the new year!
Craft in America Center Education Coordinator
The Craft in America Center seeks an Education Coordinator to manage its education outreach program, Craft in Schools, with local K-12 underserved students, and to help maintain and manage the small museum’s operations 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. The Center generates rotating contemporary craft exhibitions (physical & virtual), research, lectures, education outreach, publications, and hands-on art workshops. Craft in America produces a Peabody Award-winning and on-going PBS documentary series. Visit www.craftinamerica.org for more information about the organization.
The Education Coordinator is articulate, friendly, and organized. The Coordinator 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. The Coordinator should have strong verbal and written communication skills. The Center has a small team and the candidate must be hardworking, detail-oriented, excellent at multitasking, tech savvy, 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 planning and implementation.
Regular tasks and responsibilities include:
- Developing, writing, and facilitating standards-based lesson plans for site/virtual visits and workshops
- Administering virtual meetings and webinars with students and public
- Coordinating logistics, scheduling, and communicating with artists, educators, administrators and
- transportation companies
- Creating and implementing hands-on activities for children
- Assisting with event/program management and planning
- Interacting and engaging with in-person visitors
- Writing and posting social media and 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
- Salary commensurate with experience, $18-25 hourly
Please submit a cover letter, cv and short writing sample to: email@example.com
Piñata Memory Project
What is your most vivid piñata memory? Whether it is breaking one at a birthday party or picking one out in the piñata district, we invite you to share your piñata memories and photos with us. Come to the Craft in America Center to add your memory to our community piñata, or send us an email with your piñata story and/or photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name, age, and where you are from.
When I was little we lived in a little town north of Denton Texas. We lived on a dairy farm and didn’t even have a bathtub in our tiny house. My mom wanted me to have a special birthday since it was in December- so she bought a piñata for me! It was so cool and special and shaped like a bear with green fringe. At my party, my friends and I hit it and hit it and hit it but it wouldn’t break open. So we tore it open and it was only filled with newspaper. My mom thought it was already filled with candy and prizes because it was so expensive for us. We still laugh about that to this day. It was still a great party and I still love piñatas!
Kati Odom, Kansas City MO, Age 55
Tios standing in the roof pulling the piñata rope! from @jen.mar10 from Instagram
Welcome Back to the Craft in America Center
Our top priority is the health of our visitors and staff, and the Center team has been working diligently, and in accordance with the State of California and Los Angeles County to make sure that visitors have a safe visit.
Please read our COVID-19 safety protocol list below before visiting the Craft in America Center.
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS
- Walk-ins are welcome.
- Effective November 4, 2021, we will require that all visitors age 12 and older show proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to visit.
- If you or anyone in your party feels sick or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and visit us on a later date. For a list of COVID-19 symptoms, click here.
- All visitors (except for children under the age of 2) will be required to wear a mask. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth the entire time. No neck gaiters, bandanas, or face coverings with valves, mesh, or holes are permitted. If you do not have a mask, a staff member can provide you with a disposable one.
- Before you start exploring, please use the hand sanitizer on the table next to the entrance. Please do not touch anything inside the museum.
- While in the gallery, visitors must maintain 6-ft of distance at all times from other parties.
- Restrooms will not be available for public use.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com
Virtual Concert Series: Sunday Sound Streams Summer, 2020
In 2012, a group of talented musicians set up their instruments in the front window of the Craft in America Center and presented a delightful evening of music. A tradition was born, and the concerts became a regular feature at the Center. With the doors to the Center temporarily closed, we’re presenting a virtual mini concert series on select Sundays at 2 p.m. throughout the summer.
Sunday, June 28, at 2pm PST
Composer/songwriter Craig Wedren (of indie rock group Shudder to Think) performs a live composition of vocal textures to create a complex and layered musical meditation.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-craig-wedren
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/jT0FrUeVCZw
Sunday, July 5, at 2pm PST
LIMINAL SPACE: standing in the threshold
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Amy K Bormet (Washington DC) explores the emotions and stories of the past, present, and future. Inspired by jazz and poetry as both a fuel for revolution and a balm for healing, Bormet works to expand the ear and heart.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-amy-k-bormet
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/1OR0Vq3AVKo
Sunday, June 12, 2pm PST
Bassists/vocalists/songwriters Maggie Hasspacher and Noah Reitman perform in a celebration of moving forward no matter what the future brings with new tunes, old hymns and colorful classics live from Vancouver, BC. Hasspacher will perform an internet premiere of American composer Paul Brantley’s piece,”Alone,” which he wrote for her in 2018.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-maggie-hasspacher-and-noah-reitman
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/h6Y-eeKzFrc
Sunday, July 26, 2pm PST
Composer/vocalist/violinist Melinda Rice offers songs that have become important to her in pandemic solitude, arranged from various original forms into tunes and folk songs for violin and voice. She will be making music and also storytelling from Pasadena, CA.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-melinda-rice
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/BP8hdUMclkA
Sunday, August 2, 2pm PST
To conclude this series, a pre-recorded performance will be available for viewing (links forthcoming): Aperture Duo bring us a video compilation from Snapshot, a multidisciplinary performance project for this socially distant time. Performed and recorded “live” over Zoom, Snapshot is a series of short instruction pieces written for Aperture Duo to explore chamber music in the time of quarantine. Join us for microtonal drones, conversations, coffee, lemonade, dogs, violin, and viola!
Update – Craft in America Responds to COVID-19
In light of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the safety and well-being of our visitors, the Craft in America Center will be closed to the public until further notice.
Please view the Identity: 4 Voices virtual exhibition to see the inspiring works of these four visionary artists.
More information will be forthcoming as the situation progresses. We will keep you informed of further changes via email, social media, and our website www.craftinamerica.org.
For the safety of everyone in our community, we ask that you please:
- Stay at home when sick and seek medical attention when needed.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cough into a tissue and immediately dispose of it.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid shaking hands and instead use an alternative greeting protocol.
- Wear a face covering whenever you leave home.
- Wash hands throughout the day.
- Stay six feet away from people who don’t live with you.
For more information regarding COVID-19 please visit the County of Los Angeles Website
EXPLORING QUILTS AND PATTERNS WITH GRANDVIEW ELEMENTARY
The Craft in America Center welcomed back Grandview Boulevard Elementary this month, with Ms. Sanchez’s 3rd grade classroom visiting to explore the Quilts: 4 Directions exhibition. The Craft in Schools program’s young participants were excited to experience visiting a museum, some for the very first time.
Many of them were unfamiliar with the concept of craft and quilting when they arrived, but quickly were able to relate their own experiences with handmade objects and textiles to the works on display in the galleries. They practiced carefully observing art as they investigated each piece, searching for the answers to clues provided to them on an art scavenger hunt. For many students, this was the first time they were given agency to explore a gallery independently, and encouraged to slow down and look closely at works on display. Working with their peers in small groups, they were able to really explore and talk about the artwork freely, and several students later reported that solving these “riddles” were their favorite part of the visit.
After they explored the galleries on their own, the class got back together for an in depth group discussion of selected works, like Michael A. Cumming’s Satin Doll quilt from his African Jazz series, or Susan Hudson’s quilt 29 Warriors made in honor of Navajo Code-talkers. They practiced visual literacy and academic language skills as they engaged in visual thinking strategies and inquiry-based dialogue, asking questions and making observations, interpreting meaning and analyzing the methods employed by the artists. While discussing Judith Content’s Aftermath quilt, some students pointed out that her use of contrasting colors gave the illusion of falling leaves – a revelation that artists can tell a story without using words, or even pictures.
The students were then introduced to quilter, Liberty Worth, who provided them an opportunity to meet and speak with a living, working local artist! Speaking on her craft, her professional journey, and her art-making methods, Worth then guided the students in a hands-on activity where they could practice the design aspect of quilting themselves! After investigating the process of using batting to place fabric, they were then provided with glue, a gridded paper template, and a multitude of colorful fabrics die-cut into the half-square triangle shape. The 3rd graders then experimented with designing their own quilt patterns using this basic form. They created such a variety of colorful, wonderful patterns inspired by the art they had seen.
After their visit, the Grandview students were kind enough to send us some incredible thank you cards – handmade, of course! Their words of gratitude and inspiring illustrations were appreciated by all of us here at the Craft in America Center. We look forward to welcoming them back in the future for more fun visits with Craft in Schools.
CONSUME: CHEF / MAKER Talks
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 rsvp@
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
Karyl Sisson Magnifies Microscopic Organisms in her Exhibition at the Craft in America Center
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!