We at Craft in America are saddened by the passing of Lloyd E. Herman. Lloyd was a pivotal force in the founding of our organization. He became a board member and an Advisory Council member and his insight and input was invaluable.
He was a true craft advocate, a font of knowledge and insight, and a friend who will be missed deeply.
During his twenty-year employment at the Smithsonian Institution, Lloyd Herman was the founding Director of the national craft museum of the United States–the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum–from 1971 until 1986. A specialist in art made from clay, glass, wood, fibers and metals, he was cited by the University of Washington Press as “one of the foremost authorities on America’s contemporary craft movement.”
After retiring from the Smithsonian Institution, he curated exhibitions on craft and design topics for such clients as the United States Information Agency, the Smithsonian Institution and various museums and traveling exhibition services. He lectured on American crafts throughout the United States, and in Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Japan, and juried numerous art competitions in the United States and abroad. He led craft tours to Bhutan, India, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, and Vietnam, and lectured on contemporary glass art for Elderhostel/Road Scholar programs in Seattle.
He was an honorary member of the American Society of Interior Designers, an Honorary Lifetime Member of Northwest Designer Craftsmen, an honorary Fellow of the American Craft Council, and trustee/secretary of the Highline Historical Society. Herman was decorated by the monarchs of Denmark and Belgium for exhibitions that he organized on the crafts of their countries. Herman published several books including; Art That Works: The Decorative Arts of the Eighties, Crafted in America, Trashformations; Clearly Art: Pilchuck’s Glass Legacy; Tales and Traditions: Storytelling in Twentieth Century American Craft and American Glass: Masters of the Art.
COOK COUNTY NEWS HERALD – AUDIO ARTICLES
by Joe Beres
December 16, 2022
Several Cook County residents and businesses will be featured in an episode of the Peabody Award winning
series Craft in America, premiering December 16 on PBS stations nationwide. The soon-to-be
released episode is titled HOME, and features Hedstrom Lumber, North House Folk School, and multiple
instructors and students.
Read and listen to full article here
It was our pleasure to film with ceramic artist and educator Nobuhito Nishigawara for the Craft Video Dictionary. Nobu demonstrated many wheel throwing techniques as well as hand building techniques and glazing.
The Craft Video Dictionary is supported by the Decorative Arts Trust’ Prize for Excellence and Innovation. To learn more about the Trust or to become a member, visit The Decorative Arts Trust.
Please join Adam’s Forge for their Equipment Fundraiser and Silent Auction on October 2, 2022 from 10am-3pm at Adam’s Forge (2910 Humboldt Avenue on the corner of 30th Street). This event is free. For tickets, visit adamsforge.org/class/equipment-fundraiser-free-event
Please join Adam’s Forge for Forge Festival 2022! on November 13, 2022, 11am-4pm at Heritage Square Museum. Watch as craftspeople demonstrate their skills in wood, leather, jewelry and glass. This event is free. For tickets, visit adamsforge.org/class/forge-festival-2022
PEGGY JOHNSON KAREN MC CREARY CAROLYN BENESH
The past six months have been witness to earth-changing events, a time of loss and hoped-for rebirth. This has been made all the more momentous these past weeks as we mourn the loss of three dear friends in the crafts: jewelers Peggy Johnson and Karen McCreary, and Carolyn Benesh, scholar, magazine publisher, lover of the handmade and fellow traveler in the world of craft. I am writing today to honor them.
Peggy Johnson was best known for her “Housewearables” jewelry which she lovingly fabricated first in Philadelphia, then from her home and studio in Portland, Maine. Since the early 1980s, we’ve carried Peggy’s Utensil necklace at Freehand, along with her pins: In Vino Veritas, Olive You, Toaster, Lettuce Love, Honeymoon Salad and Electric Mixer, among a myriad of others. They are physical manifestations of Peggy’s whimsical thought processes. Each piece was hand constructed, never cast and an always charming take on the quotidian life of the home. Her insects were made with love and affection for the smallest creatures. Her birds perch happily on a lapel, amazing us with their beautiful construction and lifelike attitudes.
Peggy sold her work through the American Craft Council Shows. Her booth always featured a doll house with her Housewearables jewelry properly displayed. Wonderful! Peggy’s empathy was somehow soldered into her perfectly fabricated pins, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Meant to amuse and function as adornment, her pieces have kept their beauty and their meaning over time. I enjoy studying the backs of her pieces, especially the bird series that took inspiration from the birds in her Portland neighborhood. Something gentle and refined and personal is captured in each piece. We will miss Peggy.
KAREN MC CREARY
Karen McCreary was a bold adventurer in the jewelry field, using acrylic and electronic technology to forge new paths. A native Californian, Karen epitomized the forward thinking aesthetic of California jewelry in the 1980s and her work evolved constantly over the forty years of her career.
In 2004, Karen was invited to participate in the 25th Anniversary exhibition planned by Gallerie Beeld und Ambeeld in Enschede, Holland. Karen included me in her project for the anniversary and created a brooch for me titled From the Heart, a sterling and acrylic wearable sculpture with an electronic, pulsing LED device that brings soft red light and life into the form. I accompanied Karen to Holland for the opening of the exhibition, where jewelers, collectors and curators from throughout Europe greeted her as the visionary jeweler she was.
One of my favorite pieces of Karen’s jewelry is the oversized, beautifully shaped acrylic bangle embedded with plastic charms and miniature electronic components: an invitation to attach personal stories to a wearable sculpture. Karen’s mind and creativity was focused on both art and science. It was always a treat to have her visit and show us her new pieces.
Both Peggy and Karen had the combination of talent, creativity and determination necessary to forge a career in the crafts. Making a living with one’s hands is indeed a challenge and these two jewelers, with grace and dignity, created a life for themselves and their jewelry. They brought years of joy to their many clients. We will miss them.
Carolyn Benesh and her husband Robert Liu came into my life in 1980, when I invited them, as co-editors of Ornament Magazine, to curate our first jewelry exhibition at Freehand. The show they organized set standards for quality and cemented a lifelong friendship.
Carolyn traveled extensively, both within our country and internationally, documenting the finest expressions of the jeweler’s art and investigating the arts of textiles and clothing from all levels of world cultures; from royalty to the most humble artisans. She often visited festivals, fairs or shows wearing pieces from her extensive collection. Supporting the artists by purchasing their work was a personal practice for Carolyn, which led to many delightful pieces worn with flair and purpose. We will miss her eye and her sense of adventure. She loved beauty and saw it everywhere. She was a complex person, passionate about art, life, politics and culture. Her strong opinions and informed advice will also be missed.
The craft world is shaped and nourished by artists and educators like Peggy Johnson, Karen McCreary and Carolyn Benesh. Their contributions inform and inspire us. Their work is a vital part of the human expression that is craft.
Bernard Kester has passed away at the age of 90. This venerated professor, master designer, artist, curator, writer, and inspirational mentor has left an estimable legacy at University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Craft and Folk Art Museum. He was a critically important figure in the California and national studio craft movement from the 50s to the 70s, and his indispensable contribution helped usher in an entirely new era for craft in the twentieth century. An accomplished ceramist, his work was shown in major regional and national exhibitions, including the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum), LACMA, the Walker Art Center, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Bernard earned his BA (1950) and MA (1955) degrees from UCLA and remained there teaching ceramics, weaving, and design from 1956 to 1993, chairing the Department of Art from 1972 to 1975. During his four-year tenure as Acting Dean of the College of Fine Arts, he oversaw the school’s restructure into the School of the Arts and the School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Kester considered textiles and fiber as fertile media for artistic experimentation. He initiated the fiber art program at UCLA and encouraged his students to think of fiber in sculptural terms and to see their endeavors as independent works of art. His groundbreaking 1971 exhibition, “Deliberate Entanglements,” is regarded as a benchmark in the history of fiber art. The professor fervently believed that “Learning to see is as important as learning to read” and was convinced that artists of any medium needed a universal liberal arts education to enlarge their worlds and enrich their capacity for creativity.
In his tireless promotion of craft as a respected art form, he introduced the nation to California and western craftspeople with his “Letter from Los Angeles” which appeared regularly in Craft Horizons from 1965 to 1979. He was a contributing artist of all the influential “California Design” exhibitions, and designed the 1968, 1971 and 1976 shows. Over his long career, Bernard received several honors. He was a Fellow of the American Craft Council and Trustee Emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Craft and Folk Art Museum and the Board of Directors of the UCLA Arts Council and was the recipient of the International Association of Designers award in textiles.
In addition to “Deliberate Entanglements,” Kester curated a number of exhibitions. His first, “Craftsmen USA ’66,” was shown on the occasion of LACMA’s opening. Crafts were celebrated in his “American Crafts ‘76” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and at two exhibitions at CAFAM—“California Women in Crafts (1977) and “Made in LA/Contemporary Crafts ’81.” He authored numerous book and exhibition reviews and catalog essays, lecturing widely and serving as a juror for selection and awards for national exhibitions.
As its principal exhibition designer, Bernard was legendary at LACMA. His architectural designs elegantly presented and enhanced the perception of artworks in the museum for more than fifty years; he designed over one hundred exhibitions there, tastefully reconfigured its many galleries, and oversaw the periodic rotation of the permanent collection. Such exhibitions as “Age of the Pharaohs” (1974), “The Great Bronze Age of China” (1982), “The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985” (1986), “Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries” (1991), “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America: Design for the Modern World 1880-1920” (2004), and “SoCal: Southern California Art of the 60s and 70s” (2007) are memorable examples of Kester’s discriminating eye—his extraordinary mastery of light and space, appreciation of the art object, and grasp of the harmony and power of color.
A brilliant artist and designer–unfailingly elegant, articulate, and erudite–Bernard Kester will be missed by a host of friends and colleagues who have so greatly benefited, for so many years, from his passion and expertise.
We are so proud to host Fiber Art Now‘s Excellence in Fibers IV next year from May 11 to July 6, 2019! We encourage any and all of our fiber artists to apply.
All the information about submitting to be potentially chosen for this exhibition can be found here: http://www.fiberartnowentry.net/
Deadline: Midnight (CDT), Sunday, September 2, 2018
This year, selected work will be shown at the Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, California, May 11/19-July 6/19!
Work does NOT have to be available for the Craft in America exhibition to be juried into Excellence in Fiber. It still can be shown in the magazine and receive publicity and prizes.
Excellence in Fibers is organized into five categories. The function emphasis of the five categories puts the focus on the makers’ intentions and can incorporate the vast range of fiber mediums.
• Wall/Floor Works
Two-dimensional works, including quilts, tapestries, weavings, carpets, or works in any other fiber-related medium or technique that are intended for wall or floor display.
• Sculptural Works
Three-dimensional works in fiber.
• Vessel Forms/Basketry
Functional work and sculptural expressions of the vessel form.
• Installation Works
Three-dimensional work created as an environment.
Body adornments, including wearable art clothing, accessories and jewelry.
The number of works selected for each category will be in relation to the number of works submitted. For example, if more works are submitted for the Wall/Floor Works category, more works from that category will be juried into the exhibition. This will ensure even consideration for artist work in every category.
There will be a total of $2000 in prizes, including a $300 prize for each of the five categories, with a $500 Award for Excellence in Fibers, selected by Paul J. Smith from all entries.
Selected works will appear in the Fourth Annual Excellence in Fibers catalog which will be presented to curators and directors of 300+ museums and galleries that feature fiber work and a select group of fiber and fine craft collectors. It will be integrated into the special expanded winter issue of Fiber Art Now, a subscriber-supported publication that also is sold on over 400 Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and Dick Blick newsstands in the US, Chapters Books in Canada, and select newsstands in the UK.
Note that Fiber Art Now regularly draws on the EIF entrants for consideration for magazine content throughout the year!
Submission open: Now
9/2/18 Submissions close
9/5-10/5/18 Jurying block
10/15/18 Selected works announced/Notifications sent
11/15/18 Exhibition catalog released
• Entries must be original work completed after January, 2015.
• Artists must be 18 years of age or older.
• Collaborative works will receive recognition as one entry.
• Work of any size will be accepted.
• Work must be original in concept and design and not be the result of a class or workshop.
• All work must include either fiber in content or executed with at least one fiber technique.
• Each artist may submit up to three artworks (one full and one detail image for each work), but only one entry. For example, one artist may not enter twice, for six possible works.
Note that entry into another exhibition or catalog does not limit entry into Excellence in Fibers or impact the jurying process.
Submission of Digital Images
Submit one overall digital image and one detail digital image for each artwork.
Digital images must be saved as a high quality JPEG file (No TIFF files).
Finished images should be at least 3000 pixels on the longest side.
A full color catalog of the exhibition will be published within the winter, 2019 issue of Fiber Art Now magazine. It is essential that the image provided is of a quality that will reproduce accurately and meet the high standards of a professional art publication. Exhibiting artists will receive a complimentary copy. Catalogs will also be available for purchase.
For Fiber Art Network Members or Fiber Art Now magazine subscribers Entry Fee: $25
Not a member or subscriber? Entry Fee: $40
If you are not a member yet, now is the time to join. Fiber Art Network membership brings benefits all year long! Membership includes:
• Subscription to Fiber Art Now magazine (and full access to all digital archives)
• Grants & Awards
• Partner organization discounts
• Ongoing exhibition opportunities and opportunities to have work included in Fiber Art Now magazine
• Professional benefits for professors and workshop teachers
Ready to join? Click here.
Craft in America is excited to announce that we got the grants! We are beyond thrilled that the California Arts Council will be supporting our Craft in Schools programming through an Arts Education Exposure grant. They will also be supporting our upcoming CALIFORNIA episodes through and Arts and Public Media grant! Stay tuned for more on how this funding will help provide for wonderful field trips to the Center and innovative approaches to California crafts. For more information, please visit: http://tiny.cc/CAC-G18
As a part of his upcoming exhibition at the Center, artist Jaime Guerrero is looking for more handwritten letters from child migrants to Los Angeles. These letters will cover the walls at the Craft in America Center–surrounding Guerrero’s glass sculptures of children detained at the border. The letters will also be digitized to craftinamerica.org where they will continue to be shared. This participatory public history collection project is intended to deepen community understanding of child immigrant experiences and how they impact our city.
If this applies to you or anyone you know of, please feel free to share–the more stories, the better.
Letters should ideally be handwritten and between 1 paragraph and 1 page. The letters can also be the stories of others (parents, relatives, friends, etc.).
Questions to think about:
-Describe your journey to the US and any specific, vivid memory of what it entailed.
-Please tell us about what it felt like emotionally or what kinds of thoughts you remember thinking.
-Please describe any fears you had and any particular challenges you faced. The more detailed and specific, the better.
-Additional questions to consider: Who joined you on the trip or were you alone? What were your thoughts when you arrived? When did you begin to feel “at home”?
To submit letters, you can:
-drop them off at or mail them to
Craft in America Center
8415 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
-email a picture to rsvp@
This project is being made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.
Craft in America is pleased to announce that the Los Angeles Central Library will be hosting a FREE talk with artist Therman Statom on Saturday, June 17 at 2pm. Therman will be talking about his grand chandeliers that hang in the Bradley wing, as well as his efforts in art education and advocacy.
The Center’s “Craft in Schools” Education Program has had a successful school year, primarily because we continue to bring professional artists like Therman to the classrooms that need these artists the most. We are also proud to have doubled our school outreach capacity over the 2016-2017 academic year. Two of our new schools, Rosewood Elementary and Clinton Middle School, had the privilege of working personally with Therman last November. During his workshops with the students, Therman explained his inspirations, methods, and ideas as well as demonstrated various techniques for painting on glass. The students were all too eager to join in the process and soon created their own drawings and paintings on glass panes, which they then assembled into cubes.
Now for the best part. Because of Therman’s longstanding history with the Los Angeles Public Library, the Library is displaying the work that the Clinton Middle School students created under Therman’s guidance back in the fall. The students’ artwork will be displayed in the library rotunda area alongside a special installation of Therman’s stacked glass boxes. We’d like to invite the public to join us at this special talk and to view the work of these inspired young students. If you can’t make it on Saturday, head to the Library over the summer to see their work and Therman’s Trece Lunas in the historic rotunda– and don’t miss the adjacent Children’s Reading room. It’s an LA architectural treasure.