September 10 2020

(Above: bracelet by Hannah Long)

Premier Showcase of Contemporary Craft & Design Scheduled Online for

Thursday, November 5 – Sunday, November 8, 2020

Philadelphia, PA — Following CDC and City of Philadelphia guidelines in light of COVID-19 and public health and safety, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is moving to an online event for 2020. Virtual options are in development on the website and via social media to enable presenting the talents of the selected 2020 artists in an exciting and interactive manner. Online shopping will be available as well as virtual meet & greets, and a preview event featuring awards and exclusive content. Show management will continue to communicate news and updates regarding plans for the 2020 Show.

(Vase by David Grey Russell)

Philadelphia is highly regarded for museum quality contemporary craft and design, and the PMA Craft Show is one of the city’s premier events. Each November, 195 fine craft artists showcase their best work in over a dozen categories, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, fiber, wood, metal, and more. There is also a category showcasing emerging artists. Now in its 44th year, The Craft Show, presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has raised over 13.4 million dollars over its long history. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, funds go to supporting museum initiatives, including education, art and fine craft acquisitions, state-of-the-art equipment, and special exhibitions.

Jenifer Thoem, recipient of Best of Show award in 2019 shares her experience from last year. “Everything at the PMA Craft Show was top-notch, from the show communication to the caliber of work”, she says. “The patrons were very engaging and had a sophisticated eye for art/fine craft. I had my best show of the year and can attribute it to the reputation of the PMA Craft Show and the fact that people came to buy.” 

The Craft Show Committee is dedicated to helping showcase artists leading up to the Show. The public is encouraged to follow Craft Show artists online, via their social media and websites. Follow @pmacraftshow across social media channels and search #pmacraftshow to help locate artists and their work.

(Above: coat by Amy Nguyen)

To learn more about the Craft Show, visit www.pmacraftshow.org

Filed Under:
September 03 2020

(Above: Handwoven shawl by Julie Simpson)

Gearing up for our first-ever online event, we’ve been perusing through the amazing list of artists that will be joining us this year and are excited to share these profiles. As we anticipate the cooler months ahead, we’ve gathered some cozy comfort in this collection. With some for the home and some for the wardrobe, enjoy a cup of tea, a cozy shawl, a tailored shirt, and home accents filled with color.

(Above: Teapot and cups by Ruth Easterbrook)

From Ruth Easterbrook’s early days working with clay, she has loved the physical process including the magical transformations that happen with firing and glazing. Ruth finds inspiration through watching nature as well as depictions of flowers in art. After graduating from Syracuse University, Ruth earned an M.F.A. from the prestigious ceramic program at Alfred University. She has also studied at the Penland School of Craft, and Rhode Island School of Design. Most recently, Ruth joined the Artist In Residence Ceramic program at Harvard University.

(Above: Jacket by Elizabeth Holliday)

Elizabeth Holliday’s wearables focus on fit, function, and comfort. Her pieces are tailored yet comfortable, and her patterns engage mathematical rule following as well as rule breaking, providing the creative process. With fabrics including alpaca, cashmere, and mohair, the highest quality construction techniques go into creating each item. Elizabeth’s inspiration dates back to her grandmother who was a very skilled seamstress. She made patterns from newspaper and created department store replications for Elizabeth’s mother who in turn taught Elizabeth how to sew which led to her passion for fashion.

(Above: Custom menswear by Catherine Joseph)

We are pleased to bring you the custom handcrafted menswear designs by Catherine Joseph. Her love of fine tailoring and luxury fabrics led her to designing men’s clothing and her company has been in business in New York since 1986. As a designer of luxury menswear in fine wools, tweeds and cashmere, Catherine’s shirts and softly tailored shirt-jackets are unique and timeless fashion pieces in casual and modern styles. Her one-of-a-kind handmade silk or cashmere scarves are the ideal accessories to pair with these classic garments.

As a textile designer and painter, Julie Simpson has been creating art in many forms since she was a child. She eventually gravitated toward textiles and earned a degree in Textile Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Julie creates innovative contemporary scarves and shawls that are functional and versatile with a beautiful design aesthetic woven in. Keeping up with trending color palettes while blending different fibers and inventing her own weave structures, her pieces are singular, with a sculptural quality. Utilizing sustainable natural fibers including cashmere, merino wool, bamboo, silk and certified organic wool, Julie’s one-of-a-kind wearable art is the perfect gift for the upcoming fall and winter season.

(Above: Glass mugs by Andrew Iannazzi)

Andrew Iannazzi began his glassblowing journey at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Honing his skills over the last decade, Andrew creatively blends traditional glass techniques with modern design and functionality. His offerings include colorful and whimsical tiki mugs, bouquet vases, glass bowls, and custom lighting pieces. Andrew draws inspiration from historical Italian and Scandinavian design, and American popular imagery. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Imbibe Magazine, The Boston Globe and more.

(Above: Basket by Kari Lonning)

The technique of basket making is an art as well as a feat of engineering. Kari Lonning has been a full-time basketmaker for over four decades. Best known for her double-walled constructions and complex weaving process, she applies both bold and subtle color schemes. Kari designs and weaves each basket herself and finds inspiration in horticulture as well as architecture. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including the White House Craft Collection, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC and the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

Stay tuned for upcoming information on our website and social media about this year’s Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and save the dates for joining us online November 5th  – November 8th. 

 

Filed Under:
August 12 2020

“The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has not only been an incredible opportunity to connect with many great artists around the United States, but also a great gateway to meeting new clients for my work.”

Imagine if parts from a recycled skateboard were repurposed and crafted into beautiful and singular works of contemporary craft jewelry art that are truly statement pieces. Meet Tara Locklear, the visionary artist and designer behind exactly that. Tara began working with her material of choice while in college when she worked at a skateboard shop and became steeped in the culture. That was the genesis of her trajectory, merging her skateboarding community with the craft she loves and the process in which she creates. Exploring and forming the unique graphic and color qualities of the materials she works with are at the heart of her studio practice. Whether using sheet steel, cast cement, or recycled skateboards, Tara describes her work as everyday jewelry – wearable and different. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of color and pattern with the worn, street patinas of the broken, recycled skateboards. Co-mingled with handmade sterling silver designs result in playful but powerful jewelry.

Inspiration comes in many forms for Tara Locklear, including urban landscapes, the architecture within, industrial materials, and color, but she is most influenced by the women in her life. “The ones I have studied historically and the women in my day-to-day that I am lucky to have as family and friends”, she says. “All of these elements inspire my forms and the movements in my work.” The resulting creations are all together bold, bright, cheerful, and edgy.

Tara has exhibited at the PMA Craft Show four times, and will be back this year for the PMA Craft Show Online Event. Last year she received the award for Excellence in Jewelry. Surprised, humbled, and grateful for the accolade, Tara shares, “I was extremely shocked! It was a very surreal moment. You have no idea when and if these moments will happen or if you are even considered. You just always try to put your best foot forward and make work that you believe in.”

(Tara Locklear in her studio)

Tara is appreciative of how the PMA Craft Show garners a diverse community of attendees that truly support the show. “It’s a testament to the PMA Craft Show Committee and its marketing efforts”, she says. “They treat the artists very well and there is great customer service all around.” Creating genuine connections through jewelry is paramount for Tara, and seeing the delight her jewelry brings to people as they wear it is the greatest part of the whole process for her. “To me, success is having someone connect to my work enough to want to own it and wear it. Knowing that my jewelry is comfortable and that it brings a smile to the customer wearing it. Whenever I hear that, that is what brings me the most joy.”

(Above, ring and earrings)

As the PMA Craft Show prepares to move to an online event, we asked Tara how she has been gearing up to present her work in this format. She spoke about goals and how the situation at hand is actually accelerating her previous 2019 goal which was to redesign her website to incorporate a more efficient e-commerce store. Knowing it was long overdue, it’s now on her current list of goals and she plans on being ready. She has also been developing more editorial photo stories to accompany her work and participates with others virtually via Instagram live platforms and Zoom trunk shows. We also wanted to know what advice she might have for an emerging jewelry artist. With tried and true guidance, Tara says, “Trust the process and stay true to your vision. Also, engage actively online through podcasts and organizations around your craft because community is so important. Creating a supportive community around you to stay connected and grow with is vital. I am grateful every day for my craft community that is family for me.”

Look for Tara and all the artists this November at the PMA Craft Show Online Event! Details will be forthcoming. Please continue to follow our social media channels for the latest updates.

 

 

 

Filed Under:
July 29 2020

(Above: Wood serving board by Phil Gautreau)

Home. Kitchens. Holidays. Weddings. Gifts embrace a sense of place and time, whether you’re staying home, planning a new kind of holiday season, or looking ahead to a postponed wedding and what to give the happy couple. A gift registry utilizing crafts from Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show artists can be a great way for event guests to choose a present they know is truly wanted, while also supporting artists during this challenging time. Gifts can of course be for yourself as well, so whether for you or others, today we offer a selection of beautiful contemporary crafts by some of our 2020 artists.

One of the most versatile gifts, appropriate for so many occasions is a cutting board or cheese board. Crafted from locally-sourced, repurposed wood, Phil Gautreau takes this to a new level, creating wood furnishings and accessories that may be based on traditional styles, but are nuanced with contemporary line and shape. By photographing his pieces amid the color of nature with both flowers and fruits, plus leafy greens, he not only showcases the complement of color and design, but shows how his work can be used in daily life. Phil has been featured in Interior Design, Fine Woodworking, Tableware Today and Edible Brooklyn magazines and he has received multiple accolades including the Eco Choice Award at NY NOW.

Gabriel Craig’s aesthetic is both utilitarian and visually stunning as shown in the photo below. A highly skilled metalsmith, Gabriel’s work has been exhibited at Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The National Ornamental Metal Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft. This beautiful and functional kitchen set would not only be useful but a well-placed artful centerpiece on a wall.

(Above: Utensil set by Gabriel Craig)

Laura Zindel’s ceramics are the ideal complement to any kitchen, or elsewhere in the home for that matter. Pencil drawings inspired by nature are the genesis of Laura’s designs, combined with the pragmatism of the Arts & Crafts movement and the curiosity of the Victorian collectibles era. Her work has been featured widely in publications including Oprah’s O magazine, Bon Appetit, and Vogue Living.

(Above: Ceramic canisters by Laura Zindel)

Utensils are more than their function when it comes to the fine craft of kitchen wares. These elegant designs by Erica Moody and Jonathan Simons respectively are a good example of that. Recipient of the 2019 award for excellence in metal, Erica’s work is forged and fabricated by hand in her Maine studio out of mostly brass, copper, and steel. Her pieces work as stand alone creations or parts of a set, and would look ideal paired with a Phil Gautreau cheese board!

Jonathan’s spoons are functional and whimsical all at the same time, and he has been featured in Oprah’s O Magazine as well as chef Rachael Ray’s magazine. Originally from Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, Jonathan’s work is partly inspired by the plethora of wood, tile, and stained glass work that surrounded him in places like the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and several area mansions built at the turn of the 20th century. He considers the elegant simplicity of design developed during that time as evolutionary in his work.

(Above: Wedding cake set by metalsmith Erica Moody. Wooden serving ware by Jonathan Simons)

Rounding out this grouping, what could be better for the ultimate home chef than this stunning cookware? Created by Yates Spencer, each skillet is a work of art, reflecting the skill of this longtime blacksmith. Focusing on sculpture, furniture, and architectural ironwork for over 30 years, Yates brought the steel into the kitchen, where he has been ever since, to the delight of his customers and renowned chefs throughout the country.

(Above: Hand forged skillets by Yates Spencer)

We encourage you to keep an eye on our website as plans move forward with moving the 2020 PMA Craft Show to an online event. Stay tuned for show announcements and artist updates, and follow @pmacraftshow social media to stay connected.

 

Filed Under:
July 22 2020

(Above: Metal artist Erica Moody)

SAVE THE DATE FOR THIS YEAR’S SHOWCASE OF CONTEMPORARY CRAFT AND DESIGN

Thursday, November 5 – Sunday, November 8, 2020

The PMA Contemporary Craft Show is following CDC and City of Philadelphia guidelines.  The Show Committee and staff have been operating remotely and continue to work toward holding our event.

It has become apparent that presenting our Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in November is not possible under the current circumstances.  The health and safety of our attendees, artists, staff and committee are our highest priority.  We are researching various virtual options that will enable us to present the talents of the selected 2020 artists in an exciting and responsible manner.  We will continue to communicate news and updates regarding our plans for the 2020 Show.

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When there are so many unknowns in the world, one thing that is known is the power of creativity and the role that the arts have played throughout history. This time is no different, and this year’s Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show will surely reflect the vision and talents of our artists in a whole new light. 

Philadelphia has become highly regarded as a destination for museum quality contemporary craft and design, and the PMA Craft Show is one of the city’s premier events. Each November, 195 fine craft artists showcase their best work over three days in over a dozen categories, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, fiber, and more. Now in its 44th year, The Craft Show, presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has raised over 13.4million dollars over its long history. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, funds go to supporting museum initiatives, including education, art and fine craft acquisitions, state-of-the-art equipment, and special exhibitions. Ticket sales are integral to the success of the show. When you purchase a ticket or become a sponsor, you are directly supporting the work of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

(Above: Jeweler Petra Class)

Save the 2020 Show dates and please follow our social media. We continue to be inspired by the dedication of our artists and the contemporary craft community at large. We appreciate the support of our craft artists who are experiencing a major disruption to their income stream due to spring show cancellations. Instagram is a great way to find artists online as is our website. 

(Above: Woodworker Ray Jones)

Whether you’ve never been to the Show, attend regularly, or somewhere in between, we hope you will join us this November for what promises to be a Show to remember.  

 

Filed Under:
July 15 2020

(Above: Scarf by Isabelle Gougenheim)

“Being asked to jury an exhibition like the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is an incredible honor and a role that I view with deference. It was a privilege to be at the jurying table, to peer into the state of craft in 2020 and to help select the artists, designers, and thinkers who will exhibit on the final stage.” ~ Juror Sarah Darro

The task of selecting artists for a premier event like the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is a major undertaking and a big responsibility. Up to 800 talented artists apply for 195 spaces, and there is a different set of jurors each year. The 2020 jurors represent a wide spectrum of skill, talent, and knowledge surrounding fine contemporary craft and include Josephine Stealey, Sarah Darro, Christian Larsen, Meredith Host, and Doug Bucci. We asked for their thoughts on the jury process and experience. Here is just some of what they shared….

Jo Stealey looks for work that is well designed and executed with appropriate use of materials and techniques for the idea being pursued. She enjoyed getting to know the other jurors and sharing thoughts about the work submitted. “We came from a very of perspectives and media”, she says. “The breadth of our experiences and perspectives in the jurying process was really energizing.” Jo is a nationally known artist, author, curator, professor emerita and founding director of the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts in Pensacola, Florida.

(Above: Necklace by Samantha Freeman)

Sarah Darro expressed what a joy it was to help jury the PMA Craft Show. “What I find most interesting about being part of a jury selection process is that it is decentralized and democratic by design”, says Sarah. “Rather than giving weight to a single perspective, a jury brings together specialists and makers from different disciplines to choose works together. This method of choosing, with many lenses and perspectives at the table, initiates fascinating discourse about the state of the field and allows jurors to learn from one another.” As a scholar and curator of contemporary craft, Sarah’s criteria in jurying encompasses concept, material exploration, craftsmanship, technical skill, and ingenuity. The work that really strikes her exhibits strength across all of those categories. Sarah is an independent curator of contemporary craft, material culture, and design and was named the 2019 American Craft Council Emerging Voices Awards Scholar. She is the Curatorial Research Fellow of Modern and Contemporary Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass and completed a Windgate Curatorial Fellowship at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

(Above: Glass vase by David Russell)

Meredith Host explains her jury experience succinctly, focusing on the importance of great craftsmanship, eye-catching work, and the use of interesting techniques and materials. A highlight was being introduced to some new makers and seeing the wide range of work being produced. She especially enjoyed meeting the other jurors, and hearing their thoughts and expertise throughout the process. Meredith is a studio potter in Kansas City, MO. She teaches workshops around the country, and is a founding member of the Kansas City Urban Potters. She has participated in numerous ceramic residencies including The School for American Crafts at RIT in Rochester, NY, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME, Dresden Porzellan Manufactory in Dresden, Germany, and West Virginia University through The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China.

(Above: Ceramics by Sandra Byers)

Rounding out the jury are Doug Bucci and Christian Larsen. Doug is right here in Philly and is a metalsmith artist, educator, and head of Metals and Jewelry/CAD-CAM at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. His work is in collections both here and abroad, including Windsor Castle, London; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Deutsche Goldschmiedehaus Hanau, Germany; Design Museo, Helsinki, Finland and The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Christian is currently the Windgate Research Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City. Previously, he was Associate Curator of Modern Decorative Arts and Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

(Above: Handblown glass by Josie Gluck & Michael Schunke)

We hope you will enjoy the artists of the 2020 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, and we thank the jurors for their time and dedication in bringing this year’s artists to the forefront of fine contemporary craft. Keep an eye out on the website and stay tuned for the announcement of the 2020 artists.

 

Filed Under:
July 01 2020

(Above: Full dinnerware set by Teresa Chang. More images below...)

In a wedding season like no other, creativity abounds in every direction. When it comes to gifts, how about thinking outside the (gift) box? The world of fine contemporary craft is a welcome complement to the traditional wedding gift registry. If you want something truly unique that will last a lifetime and support artists working in their craft, look no further than the artists of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Longtime Craft Show attendee Emily Rothrock is planning her wedding and has a gift registry in place with one of our 2020 Craft Show artists, Teresa Chang.

A fan of her work, it was a natural progression for Emily to reach out to Teresa who already had a registry available to customers. “I’ve been attending the PMA Craft Show for many years, and the idea came to me to create a wedding gift registry where guests can purchase one-of-a-kind handmade pieces by contemporary craft artists”, says Emily. “I wanted to do something unique, to start a collection, and I like that there’s a story behind each piece. I feel strongly about supporting the artists and also wanted to share it with my peers to let them see another option for their registries.” Teresa’s work is modern and practical for everyday use and for entertaining. With individual pieces ranging from approximately $50 to $150 each, a registry is a great way to work with couples just getting started. Their guests can purchase gifts that are singular or part of a collection and it’s another way for artists to gain exposure to a new audience. Teresa recommends that other artists consider offering it when possible. Categories like dinnerware, stemware, and flatware work well, especially when guests can buy pieces toward a set. Artists creating unique one-of-a kind pieces may find their work is appealing on a gift registry as well, whether it’s jewelry or sculpture, or a signature piece of furniture.

Teresa designs and creates high-end, hand thrown, porcelain dinnerware in her Philadelphia studio. Her work stands out in its sophisticated simplicity, showcasing the essence of the form and structure itself. Teresa’s dinnerware has been in stores such as Barney’s, Takashimaya, and Dean and Deluca. People usually learn about Teresa’s gift registry in conversation at shows or on her website, and she loves working with engaged couples. “Just like when I make dinnerware sets for anyone, the personal interaction is very pleasant”, she says. “I love helping people design a set for themselves. And I love thinking about who I am making my work for when I am working on each piece. Plus, every customer (friend or relative of the engaged couple) is so happy to purchase something handmade and unique for such a momentous occasion. It’s pretty much a win/win/win.”

At a time when creativity in marketing and promotion is more important than ever, a gift registry is a great option for contemporary craft artists. They can potentially reach new clients, while offering a new option for existing clients. Whether or not shoppers know of the artist, a gift registry is another way to highlight individual artists and smaller brands so they can get more recognition. It’s the best of both worlds when a gift registry purchase helps the happy couple start or add to a collection of unique objects while simultaneously supporting artists.

Getting married or know someone that is?

Visit pmacraftshow.org/artists and stay tuned for our upcoming list of 2020 exhibitors to see the many artists to reach out to for wedding gift ideas!

 

Photo credits: Dominic Episcopo

Filed Under:
June 17 2020

(Above: Domine - 2020 - Featured as a livestream demo at the Corning Museum of Glass)

“There is a curiosity, which informs my work and what may be seen in my toy-like animals, and, most importantly, what they see when they look back at us.”

The whimsy on first glance of Claire Kelly’s glass art is unmistakable. Taken a step further, the sheer quality of her work and the How did she do that? factor begs a closer look. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University, multiple artist residencies, teaching at some of the finest craft programs in the world, and studying with acclaimed glass artist Toots Zynsky, Claire has pursued the highest technical skills and creative levels of her craft.

(Above: Parallax: Busy Forest - 2019 - approximately 15 ¼" x 16" x 36")

2019 was Claire’s first time exhibiting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show and to the delight of PMA Craft Show patrons, she is excited to be returning in 2020. “It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to spend time with the show attendees”, says Claire. “I came away from the experience full of energy and potential after meeting so many people who love my work. I love the amazing range of exhibitors and selection of different media. I also appreciate the scale of the show. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s large enough to offer a great range of wonderful exhibitors.”

(Above: Civil Twilight - 2019 - 22 ½" x 8 ½" x 4 ½")

Receiving the award for Excellence in Glass at the 2019 Show, Claire shared with us how honored she is to be recognized among such a high caliber of artists and added, “Being selected is just such a great validation; it helps me feel that I’m on the right path creatively.” She has been creating her current body of work since 2014, but has been working professionally in glass since graduating from college in 1996. Claire began her glass art journey at Alfred University and her work with various artists and institutions over the years has helped shaped her trajectory as an artist. She loves continually learning and finding new inspiration every day.

We couldn’t write this blog without asking Claire about the whimsical nature of her work and we found her thoughts to be not only descriptive, but also heartwarming. She describes her work as a form of therapy that helps process conflicting emotions in her mind, adding that her work purposefully looks like toys or children’s book illustrations as a way to talk about difficult subjects. She loves the effect her pieces have on others and sharing community that it creates. “The main reaction I get from people is that they feel joyful when they look at my work and that it makes them smile”, she says. “One of my favorite reactions was a woman who has one of my elephant sculptures and she talks to it. To me that’s just perfect because I do feel like they’re so engaging and have their own little personalities.”

(Above: Milieu - 2020 - 14" x 11 ½" x 8 ½")

2017 marked one of Claire’s proudest achievements with her work as she was selected to be an artist in residence at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, working with a specialty Italian glass which led to an invitation to demonstrate at the 2018 Glass Art Society Conference in Murano, Italy.

A selection of the programs she has taught at in the U.S. and abroad include Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Centro Fundacion del Vidrio in Spain.

We are so pleased to share the joy of Claire’s glass art and invite you to explore her many creations HERE as well as at the 2020 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.

(Above: Recursive - 2020 - 10 ½" x 10" x 10")

 

 

 

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May 28 2020

“The PMA Craft Show is truly unique in how it offers direct connectivity with clients and consumers while also being a show with a highly curated approach.” ~ Ben Gillespie

Connectivity is the perfect word to introduce Ben Gillespie, the person behind the light source of the company OVUUD. A Philadelphia-based lighting designer and woodworker, Ben has mastered the art of visually and actually bending light and wood, to create his unique and utilitarian lighting fixtures. Working out of his Port Richmond studio, Ben utilizes locally sourced wood and the latest lighting technologies in how each piece looks as well as functions. The results are Scandinavian-inspired pieces that are individually distinctive yet cohesive as a collection.

Though Ben has been working with light and wood for many years, it’s only in the last three years that he has developed his OVUUD concepts and fabrications. Luckily he found the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show as a place to exhibit and sell his fine craft, to the delight of not only the attendees but the sponsors as well. At last year’s Show, Ben was the recipient of the acclaimed Wharton Esherick Prize for Excellence in Wood, an honor he does not take lightly. “As both a Philadelphian (born and raised) and a woodworker, it was an incredible honor”, says Ben. “The PMA Craft Show has so many extremely talented craftspeople exhibiting. I was genuinely surprised when they called my name. It is a great honor to win in general, but especially among such talented company. Over the years, my work has become more sculptural in nature, and Esherick’s work is a huge inspiration to me. I am very humbled to be the recipient of such a prize.”

Wharton Esherick was an internationally known artist and sculptor whose place among noted 20th century artists is set in stone, with work in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. The Wharton Esherick Museum has been a longtime sponsor of the Award for Excellence in Wood at the PMA Craft Show.

Ben has always been interested in woodworking, even as a kid. When his woodworking and lighting merged, it evolved into the passionate work he does today. Primarily in private home collections, Ben’s work can also be seen at Condesa restaurant in Philadelphia and he is excited to soon be starting a lighting piece for a public lobby space in center city. Ben’s love of architecture informs his designs. “I am always looking up when walking through center city”, he says. “I love to see how spaces are developed and how they’re filled. Visually, I find it really satisfying - and I think it ultimately gives me inspiration as to how to fill space with my pieces.” This philosophy segues nicely into Ben’s growing clientele. Getting positive feedback from clients means a lot and he says that delivering a piece and seeing and hearing his client’s enjoyment is his biggest achievement. “Being able to conceive an idea and then translate it into a physical embodiment by directly using my hands is incredibly gratifying to me. I am very thankful for each piece that I am able to hand-build and deliver.”

In addition to the Wharton Esherick prize, one of Ben’s favorite aspects of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show was to connect with other craftspeople and potential customers. He also appreciates the impact of social media, especially Instagram where he can curate how pieces are presented and share some of the building process with his audience.

Ben’s work has been featured in national magazines including World of Interiors, House & Garden, and Architectural Digest online blog.

We look forward to seeing where Ben’s light shines next. Take a look around his world here.

 

 

Filed Under:
May 13 2020

“I knew I was dealing with an educated crowd with a sophisticated eye for fine craft. And they were there to buy.” ~ Jenifer Thoem

It’s rare that a first time exhibitor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show takes home Best of Show. 2019 was one of those times. Meet Jenifer Thoem. With contemporary ceramic craft encompassing a fresh style and singular approach, Jenifer’s work pairs graceful design with creative installations. We enjoyed talking with Jenifer about her experience at the show as well as creating her unique contemporary craft.

“Honestly, I was just happy to be there!” Jenifer says about being an exhibitor at the PMA Craft Show. “I couldn’t believe I was actually a part of so much amazingness. It was a beautifully curated show. To say I was totally shocked to win Best of Show is an understatement. I’m still humbled by it.” One of Jenifer’s favorite aspects of shows is being surrounded by other artists after spending so much time working solo in the studio. Beyond being WOW’ed by the quality and variety of her fellow artists at the Show, Jenifer credits the attendees as being especially impressive. “My work isn’t always understood at first glance”, she says. “Because of the repetition and shadows, there’s a lot going on. The idea of a large-scale installation going directly into the wall, with no definite design or place can cause some confusion. The patrons asked smart questions and seemed to get my work.”

Jenifer’s ceramics are hand built with stoneware clay, kiln fired multiple times using slips, stains, and glazes on highly textured surfaces. Transitioning from large sculptural pieces to creating work for the wall, Jenifer discovered she still likes working in large-scale, but by assembling many (at times hundreds) smaller components in a seemingly choreographed pattern affixed to a wall.

Jenifer was raised on a farm in North Georgia, with parents who encouraged simplicity and creativity in all areas of life. Earning a BFA in Ceramics from Georgia Southern, she began doing shows right after graduating, over 25 years ago. Taking a break to raise three small children resulted in rethinking her process. That, along with a move from the country to the city and other major life changing events led her to ask, “Why am I making the same work that I’ve made for a decade when I feel like I have a different story to tell now?” She went back to square one, developing a fresh new body of work over three years. “Knowing this about my work, winning best of show at the caliber of a show such as the PMA Craft Show, is validation that I never expected, but gives me hope that I may be headed in the right direction!”

Jenifer’s work is influenced by her childhood and the encouragement to just be, and appreciate the simple things in life. She makes objects that are so common, they’re often overlooked, yet evoke emotions and past experiences. It’s the shared stories from viewers that inspire Jenifer. “If I’m lucky, I get to hear these stories, forming a connection between me and the viewer of my work.”

Though Jenifer considers receiving Best of Show at the PMA Craft Show a pinnacle of her career, she also shares that overcoming the challenges of developing a body of work, finding the confidence to put it out there, and actually sell it is a huge accomplishment. In closing, she says the hardest thing that brings the greatest reward is the difficult balance of being a mom to three teenagers and an artist on the show circuit — just making it to some shows with work is a miracle in itself!

Check out Jenifer’s work and let us know if you purchased any last year!

 

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April 29 2020

Being the Show Chair of an event as large as the PMA Craft Show is a big job. The Show Chair assists the event director, oversees the 100 member Craft Show committee, and acts as ambassador and liaison for the press, the preview party, sponsors, patrons, and the artists. We are happy to introduce this year’s Chair, Robin Blumenfeld Switzenbaum. Robin has been on the Craft Show Committee since 2008, and originally began attending the Show with her mother in 1977. She grew up by the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the museum was in her backyard. “The impact of the Show on the community is incredible”, says Switzenbaum. “It creates a venue for artists to sell and showcase their work, as well as our community convening and supporting one of the great treasures of our city.”  

(Above: Ceramic piece by Jennifer McCurdy)

 

Can you describe your involvement with the museum?

I started volunteering in 1974 in the Department of Urban Outreach. In 1976, I graduated college with a degree in Urban Studies and Art History and became a volunteer guide. I am currently a weekend guide.   

What would you like the audience reading this to know about this year’s Show?

Due to COVID-19, we’ve had to be more creative in our organizational meetings and reevaluate how best to move forward for the success of the Show. This is our 44th year, so the recipe is well developed and we are acclimating to the world as it is today. A lot of thought goes into how we can maximize the funds raised for the museum, which is the overall goal. We are very proud of the fact that the PMA Craft Show is considered one of the premier shows in the country.

(Above: Glass by Scott Pernicka)

 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the Show?

Reaching out to craft artists to encourage them to apply. Our show is so well respected that the conversations are very gratifying not only in the feedback, but in seeing the incredible level of creativity that abounds in the craft world. There are many great and affordable items to purchase during the Show, and the experience of talking one-on-one with some of the best craft artists in the country is priceless.   

Can you talk about the Preview Party?

The Preview Party draws some of the most influential people in the Philadelphia region.  Attendees get a first view of the Show and can come and go as they please through the weekend. It is one of our most popular events.

(Pictured above: Reid Bodek, Jane Blumenfeld, and Gwen Goodwill Bianchi)

 

What stands out most for you about the Show?

The PMA Craft Show has raised almost $14 million for the museum since its inception. The money has been used to fund educational programs, groundbreaking exhibits, and important infrastructure improvements.

What are your thoughts on the significance of fine craft and design?

In an age where goods are consumed without much thought, craft is different. One of the keys to craft is that it takes time to make it and it also takes time for the viewer to appreciate it. The ability of our audience to engage and interact directly with the top craft makers in the country is a profound experience in our consumer society. Contemporary craft artists practice the “slow movement” brought forth by our Italian compatriots, emphasizing one of a kind, made-by-hand, and limited quantities. It is a luxury item in an age of mass produced products; something to be purchased and cherished for the long term. 

(Above: Wood piece by Richard Haining)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 08 2020

(Above: Metal artist Erica Moody)

SAVE THE DATE FOR THIS YEAR’S SHOWCASE OF CONTEMPORARY CRAFT AND DESIGN

Friday, November 6 – Sunday, November 8, 2020

Gala Preview Party – Thursday November 5, 2020

In light of COVID-19, the PMA Craft Show is following the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and World Health Organization’s guidelines. The Show committee and staff are working remotely and we continue to work toward holding our event. The health and safety of our staff and committee, as well as the artists and attendees, are our highest priority. We’re monitoring the situation closely and will communicate and share any news, information or updates that would impact the ability for our event to proceed as planned. See artist application info below.

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT APPLICATIONS: The PMA Craft Show Committee has made revisions to the application and booth fee policies. The application deadline is extended to April 26, 2020, with no late fee after the original April 1 deadline. The Show Committee had originally increased booth fees in 2020. We are reversing that decision and will keep 2019 booth fee prices for the 2020 Show. Further, booth fees will not be due until September. Apply HERE or go directly to www.juriedartservices.com

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When there are so many unknowns in the world, one thing that is known is the power of creativity and the role that the arts have played throughout history. This time is no different, and this year’s Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show will surely reflect the vision and talents of our artists in a whole new light.

Philadelphia has become highly regarded as a destination for museum quality contemporary craft and design, and the PMA Craft Show is one of the city’s premier events. Each November, 195 fine craft artists showcase their best work over three days in over a dozen categories, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, fiber, and more. Now in its 44th year, The Craft Show, presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has raised over 13.4 million dollars over its long history. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, funds go to supporting museum initiatives, including education, art and fine craft acquisitions, state-of-the-art equipment, and special exhibitions. Ticket sales are integral to the success of the show. When you purchase a ticket or become a sponsor, you are directly supporting the work of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

(Above: Jeweler Petra Class)

In addition to the three-day show, there is the popular preview party gala, plus several additional events, including artist demonstrations, Meet and Greet artist tours, the Connect and Collect Reception, student exhibitions, and a fashion show of clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Save the 2020 Show dates and please follow our social media. We continue to be inspired by the dedication of our artists and the contemporary craft community at large. We appreciate the support of our craft artists who are experiencing a major disruption to their income stream due to spring show cancellations. Instagram is a great way to find artists online as is our website.

(Above: Woodworker Ray Jones)

Whether you’ve never been to the Show, attend regularly, or somewhere in between, we hope to see you this November for what promises to be a Show to remember.

The 2020 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show artists will be announced on June 1, 2020.

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December 18 2019

(Above: Timothy Rub, Anja Levitties, Nancy O'Meara)

We are excited to announce that the 43rd Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has raised $412,000.00 for the Museum, its sole beneficiary. The check presentation to Museum Director Timothy Rub presented by Show Manager Nancy O’Meara and 2019 Show Chair Anja Levitties, wraps up another successful year of contemporary craft in Philadelphia. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, the Craft Show has raised over 13 million dollars in its now 43-year history. Funds raised help support museum initiatives, including education, acquisitions, and special exhibitions.

We extend our thanks and appreciation to all the sponsors, patrons, artists, and volunteers involved. This year’s Craft how featured 195 juried artists from around the country, along with 22 guest artists from Israel, all representing the finest in contemporary craft. 

Congratulations to the 2019 award winners:

Best of Show awarded to: Jenifer Thoem, Ceramics
The Jewish Federation Prize for Best of Israel: Johnathan Hopp, Ceramics
The Louise K. Binswanger Prize for Best Artist New to Show: Martha Collins, Wood & Jewelry
The Eric Berg Prize for Excellence in Metal: Erica Moody
The Prize for Excellence in Jewelry: Tara Locklear
The Cohn Family Trust Prize for Excellence in Glass: Claire Kelly
The Prize for Excellence in Design: Keunho (Peter) Park, Wood
The Wharton Esherick Museum Prize for Excellence in Wood: Benjamin Gillespie
The Ornament Magazine Prize for Excellence in Art to Wear: K. Riley
The Prize for Excellence in Fiber Art: Erin Wilson
The Jane and Leonard Korman Family Prize for Excellence in Contemporary Clay: Teresa Chang

See pictures from the 43rd annual Craft Show and Preview Party on our social media, including Instagram and this Facebook photo album

Save the date for the 44th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show; November 6th – 8th, 2019 with a Preview Party on Thursday, November 5th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The application process for the 2020 Show will open in early January 2020. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2020. For more information please click HERE.

Follow our social media....

https://www.instagram.com/pmacraftshow

https://www.facebook.com/pmacraftshow

https://www.pinterest.com/pmacraftshow

https://twitter.com/pmaCraftShow

Filed Under:
November 03 2019

It’s here! 

195 artists from the United States and 22 guest artists from Israel are about to converge at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for one of the finest juried contemporary craft shows in the country. Over its 42-year history, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has raised over $13 million dollars and is the largest fundraiser for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

---- 195 artists from the United States from 875 juried applicants
---- 22 guest artists from Israel
---- 30 states represented
---- 13 categories of crafts
---- Three universities represented
---- Preview party gala
---- Artist Demonstrations
---- Fashion Show


Click HERE for a fact sheet about the 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.


SHOW DATES:

Friday, November 8th: 11am - 9pm

Saturday, November 9th: 10am - 6pm

Sunday, November 10th: 10am - 5pm

TICKETS: Click HERE.

One Day - $20.00

Two Days - $25.00

Children under 12: $5.00

For information on group tickets, click HERE.

PREVIEW PARTY: Thursday, November 7th: 5pm – 9pm (Click HERE for advance tickets. Door tickets available.) Attend this gala event featuring an award ceremony, cocktail buffet and an opportunity to meet the artists and have a first look at their works of contemporary craft and design. Preview party ticket holders may attend the show every day it is open.

Click links below for more information on each item:

CORPORATE RECEPTION (Click HERE for tickets)

ARTIST DEMONSTRATIONS


LOCATION: Pennsylvania Convention Center (Exhibit Hall F) – 12th & Arch St. Philadelphia, PA

Click links below for more information on each item:

DIRECTIONS

PARKING / TRAVEL

VISITING PHILADELPHIA

Produced by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is the longest running show of its type in the United States. When you purchase a ticket, you are directly supporting the work of the museum and we thank you. 

To learn more about the history of the PMA Craft Show, click HERE.

We hope to see you in Philadelphia!

 

 
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October 23 2019
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October 22 2019

(Above: Knives by Harold Kalmus)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show features a wide variety and assortment of contemporary crafts, and in that mix, you’ll see whimsy, style, and items that are utilitarian in their functionality. In this week’s blog, we give you all three.

(BONUS: Scroll down for info about the PMA Craft Show Preview Party, plus info about a chance to win two tickets and a $200 gift certificate to the 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show!) 


IAN PETRIE

Ian Petrie uses hand-built pottery as a functional canvas for his whimsical comics-inspired narrative illustrations. He begins with hand-drawings which he screenprints and transfers onto the ceramics. Ian enjoys the duality of his process, saying, “Some days it feels great to get in the clay studio and get my hands dirty; I love the intensely tactile and immediate response of slabbing, pinching, and coiling pots. Sketching and inking come less naturally to me, so the drawing side becomes a nice challenge compared to the ceramics.” Ian’s work is intended for habitual use, and over time, the imagined stories may fade and eventually reveal hidden imagery beneath. Ian really enjoys seeing people react to his work. “I intentionally create my narratives to be open-ended so the viewer can fill it in for themselves”, he says. “One of my favorite things is hearing people ‘finish’ the stories I begin.”

As an emerging artist, Ian is honored and admittedly surprised at being selected. He has been working at his craft for six years, but the process that has come to define his look only started three years ago. His inspiration is drawn (no pun intended) from the old-school black and white comics world more than other ceramicists. Ian has exhibited his work across the country, including at the American Museum for Ceramic Art. He moved to Philly a year ago, is enjoying exploring his newly adopted city and is looking forward to being a first time exhibitor at the PMA Craft Show.


 

HAROLD KALMUS

“My goal is to make beautiful knives for the kitchen. Knives that work as they should, are a pleasure to use and a delight to look at.” ~ Harold Kalmus

Harold Kalmus may be an emerging artist at the PMA Craft Show, but he’s far from being new at creating art, or for that matter at attending the show, which he has done for over 20 years. An accomplished sculptor, Harold knows his way around tools. Prior to creating beautiful kitchen knives, Harold’s day job was in the field of digital modeling, rendering and animation, primarily for the architecture and design fields. When the economy took a turn, so did Harold, and eventually, in contemplating a career change, he found himself taking over the cooking responsibilities at home. This led to realizing that kitchen knives in general were sub-par to what he wanted, and the rest as they say, is history. Kalmus Knives are both beautiful to look at and hold, as well as exquisite in their utilitarian purpose. Harold has only been making knives for the last three years, and when asked what his biggest accomplishment is with his work, he said, “Honestly, getting accepted into the PMA Craft Show”.

 


 

LISA & SCOTT CYLINDER

Lisa and Scott Cylinder are returning to the PMA Craft Show for the ninth time, first exhibiting in 2003. They love interacting with the people who attend and say it is the best way to meet their audience. This husband and wife team first met at Tyler School of Art in 1984. They began working in tandem in 1988, with 2019 marking over 30 years of collaboration. “The best part of what we do is working together on a daily basis and bouncing our ideas off one another”, says Scott. “Every day is a different experience and we each bring a different energy to what we make.”

Lisa and Scott’s pieces typically begin with a found object that is manipulated and incorporated into their fabrications. There is whimsy in their imagery, with themes based on fables, wordplay, and their own observations. Influenced by their interest in modern art, nature, film, scientific phenomena and current concerns, their work is often kinetic, adding to its charm and character. The Cylinders have been featured in prominent national publications including American Craft magazine and Smithsonian Online and they consider their biggest achievement to be surviving by making art for 31+ years and raising a family solely from their creations.

 

 



The Preview Party

Tickets are available for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show Preview Party on Thursday, November 7th. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with this year’s artists while enjoying a cocktail buffet gala and previewing the show.

Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.

 


 

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show TICKET GIVEAWAY

Enter by October 30th for a chance to win two tickets and a $200 gift certificate to the 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show! 

Click HERE to enter.

No purchase necessary to participate in ticket giveaway.

 

 

Filed Under:
October 10 2019

(Above by Susan Lenz)

Decorative fiber is an art all unto itself. Whether it’s the weaving of fabric, embroidery and melting techniques, or collages of color in paper fibers, these artists explore the dimensional realm of their craft to the delight of all who step into their booths.

 


 

SUSAN LENZ

When we asked Susan what she loves about the PMA Craft Show, her reply was a keeper: “What’s not to love?” Susan Lenz didn’t “know” she was an artist until her early 40’s. Two years later she started using heat tools on fiber and not long after that she had a piece in the permanent collection of the George Washington University Textile Museum. It was a life transformed and she took to it like needle to thread, which is part of how she creates. Daring to dream, she took a chance and applied to her very first craft show and got in. It was the 2013 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and she hasn’t looked back since. Susan’s custom framed fiber works are made from layers of fused polyester velvet with self-guided machine embroidery and melting techniques that she discovered herself.

Her work is inspired by the Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser who was known for using “all the colors all the time” which Susan describes as her favorite palette. “Hundertwasser was a big supporter of sustainable practices and living in harmony with the environment ,which he knew was only possible if we lived in harmony with one another”, says Susan. “He advocated decorating outside every window, he hated straight lines, and saw no reason why walls and floors had to be perfectly level. My work can be viewed as an aerial view to an imaginary Hundertwasser city with every ‘box’ embellished with a unique motif and connected to all its neighbors.”

 


 

LEANNE BOUDREAU

Leanne will be exhibiting for the second time, after being an emerging artist in 2016. The quality of the work at the PMA Craft Show is incredible”, she says. “I love participating because I feel very inspired by the artists and artisans around me and have made some wonderful relationships as a result. The Women's Committee, the Museum, and the local community are so supportive of the artisans and of American craft.” Leanne’s beautiful and functional individually handwoven textiles are designed and created with a minimalist eye, and her inspiration is derived from antique and vintage textiles.

Leanne studied textile design, fiber art, and fine art at UMass Dartmouth, Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been a full time artisan for the past six years but has been weaving for over 20 years. After being laid off from a full time job at age 30, she decided it was time to start her own business. Though not an easy endeavor, Leanne has built a studio she can be proud of and loves showing her craft and interacting with customers. With that, she expanded to have a retail store with her work and the work of over 75 other American artists and artisans.

 

KATE NORRIS

Kate Norris has been an artist for over 40 years, but got into collage work just three years ago. This will be her first year at the PMA Craft Show. A teaching artist from Baltimore, MD, Kate describes her work as “similar to making a jigsaw puzzle except that I make up the placement of the pieces as I work.” Her work pays homage to naturalists and illustrators from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries such as Albrecht Durer and Hieronymus Bosch, and she is also inspired by vintage scientific illustrations and Persian miniature paintings. Kate creates her mixed media collages from tearing wallpaper and reconstructing the pieces, giving historic scientific illustrations a new perspective.

A graduate of Stanford University, Kate went on to earn her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has exhibited her work in San Francisco, New York City, Tampa, and Baltimore and considers her biggest achievement thus far to be a solo exhibition at Tennessee Tech University, Appalachian Center for Craft.

 


 

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show TICKET GIVEAWAY

Enter by October 14th for a chance to win two tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Click HERE to enter.

No purchase necessary to participate in ticket giveaway.

 


 

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September 24 2019

There are vessels, there are art sculpture pieces, there are cooking and culinary tools of the trade. All are stunning representations of the vast differences occurring within the same craft form. Today we bring you three artists from this year’s show with three very different approaches to the medium of metal in fine contemporary craft.

 


 

ERICA MOODY

This is Erica’s first year exhibiting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Her forged and fabricated serving wares are inspired by both modern minimal design and traditional craft. She utilizes brass, copper, stainless, steel, and a bit of wood in her creations. Her design inspiration comes from being out in nature as well as studying antique tools and vintage kitchen and dining wares. In her own words, “I love solving the engineering problems of crafting a piece that works well, looks unique and is beautiful, and then having someone else enjoy it or enjoy giving it to someone they care for.”

Erica has been a professional metal fabricator since the mid 1990's doing high-end commissioned architectural metalwork such as furniture, railings, and custom hardware. Not long after adding her own designs to her custom fabrication business in 2016, Erica began receiving national attention for her work in publications including Bon Appétit, Esquire, and the New York Times Style Magazine.

Erica is excited to be an exhibitor at the PMA Craft Show and appreciates what it means to have that personal and direct connection to her audience.

 


 

DAVID BACHARACH

Creating the most imaginatively curious art sculpture pieces for over 50 years and involved with the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for 30 years, David Bacharach is somewhat of an icon in the metalwork craft world. His work is inspired by the study of architectural beauty inherent in the outdoors. “Nature is generally viewed as outlines and shadows,” he says. “The delicacy of insects, birds, and plant life are often over-looked or over-powered in the mind’s eye by the colors of leaves, flowers, and the silhouettes of the surrounding landscape. As in nature, the outlines and shadows in my sculptures are often the first to grab a viewer’s attention.”

About the PMA Craft Show, David says, “It is a smoothly functioning and reliable craft show, and a well run show is a very big deal. Nancy and all the volunteers, their expertise, experience and dedication make participating a real pleasure.” David’s greatest inspiration has been other craftspeople and artists, and his passion for his work is abundantly clear. “It is a part of who I am. A day rarely passes without me wanting to be in the studio. Even on vacations I take materials to work with. I spend each day of my life able to wake up, go out to my studio and create what I want. That's a wonderful feeling.”

 


 

SARA THOMPSON

This is Sara’s second year exhibiting at the PMA Craft Show. Her favorite part was the community support for the artists that she saw firsthand. “As a young artist, it was encouraging and engaging to see grammar school kids to adults in college come and meet the artists at the show, ask questions about their work and aspects of making a living as an artist. I truly felt that there is a whole community wide effort to keep craft and handmade alive at the PMA Craft Show.”

Sara makes sterling silver flatware and hollowware with a fresh, minimal, and contemporary aesthetic that straddles the arc between fine art and functional art. When asked what she loves most about doing her work, Sara says, “I’m simply fascinated by what I can do with a couple of hammers, steel tools, a file, and sandpaper to transform a flat sheet of silver up into a three dimensional form. It seems so simple but it’s about understanding the material, tools, and process.” Sara has worked as a metalsmith for 12 years. Apprenticing as a bench jeweler for five years starting at age 11, she learned how to make settings, set stones, polish, solder, run a retail shop, and make a living as a jeweler. Her inspiration comes from contemporary silversmithing happening in the UK and Eastern Europe and it’s thanks to social media that Sara has been able to follow other hollowware artists and foster community over the miles. Sara’s work is now in the collections of a small circle of collectors and private curators and she is grateful beyond words.


Get your tickets in advance and prepare to see the creative metalwork of these artists and all the incredible fine craft artists at the 43rd annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. 

 

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September 12 2019

(Above: By Mick Whitcomb)

Furniture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show goes beyond most people’s imagination. In addition to the fine woodworking found throughout the Show floor, this year’s representation of fine furniture artists bends the definition of furniture beyond any reasonable expectations.


BENJAMIN GILLESPIE

With the goal to keep design simple yet interesting, Ben Gillespie’s work bends light and wood together in his elegant wood and lighting fixtures that hover in position almost like a dance. As one of the Philadelphia based artists, Ben’s company and studio OVUUD is situated in the Port Richmond section of the city. His background combining carpentry, metalwork, and engineering provides the ideal combination of impeccable design and meticulous planning. Each hand-designed piece is graceful in its curves and aesthetic, adding both a visual and utilitarian accent to any space. Bringing a whole new flavor to what lighting and furniture design can be, Ben’s Scandinavian-inspired pieces are fabricated from local woods including Oak, Ash, Walnut, and Maple.


This is Ben’s second year at the PMA Craft Show and he likes that the Show is in Philly but also has an international reach. A woodworker his whole life, Ben says, “Wood is a pretty forgiving material and you can do a lot with it. I love the fact that you manipulate it so directly with your hands; it allows you to directly control the entire process - from inspiration and starting with a huge slab of board to putting the final touches on a sculpted piece.”  

Inspired from seeing new and different architecture, Ben confesses that he would have been an architect in another life. Ben’s lighting and wood fixtures have been featured in several national magazines including World of Interiors, House & Garden, and Architectural Digest online blog. He considers his biggest achievement so far to be that he is gaining international reach with people interested in his work from around the world.

 


 

RACHEL FULD

2019 will be Rachel Fuld’s sixth time exhibiting at the PMA Craft Show. Also from Philadelphia, she loves having the opportunity to exhibit her work in her hometown alongside some of the most exceptional craft artists in the country. Rachel has been building furniture for most of the last 25 years, with detours into child rearing and volunteer work with the Furniture Society. Her design inspiration comes from objects, nature, people, art, and the everyday experiences of life. Her aim is to create furniture that is clean, fun, and sophisticated.

In her own words, Rachel says, “I love the moment when I’ve pushed through the frustration of wanting to scrap a whole project, throw it out the window, and instead can see the end in sight. It happens almost every time, and invariably, the finished project was worth the effort. Sometimes a piece will form itself fully in my brain and I just need to transfer the design to paper. Other times, I have disparate elements that need to fit together and the project requires more sketching, more time, and more effort to compose the whole. I try to have each new piece of furniture address a perceived functional need and fulfill my desire to create an organized yet elegant and colorful environment.”

 


 

MICK WHITCOMB

New to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show this year, Mick Whitcomb is a Missouri based artist specializing in one-of-a-kind furniture and lighting made from architectural and industrial salvage. Excited to be among his fellow artists, Mick says, “The reputation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show instills a confidence among collectors in the caliber of artists showing their work.” Traveling the world sourcing unique materials, Mick is captivated by the machine age and early electrical lighting, A recipient of numerous awards for his work, Mick converts 19th century machines and instruments into utilitarian works of art, creating unique and functional light fixtures from obsolete machines. Mick says, “My artwork provides an amazing opportunity to seek out the most notable innovations of the 19th century. Through my conversions of those objects, I am able to bring renewed relevance from what would otherwise be obsolete innovations of the past.”


Seek out these artists and all the rest at the 43rd Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Get your tickets by clicking HERE.

 

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August 28 2019

(Above: from collection by Janice Kissinger)

Fiber wearables are highly popular at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. So much so, there is an entire fashion show centered around this category. Beautiful, colorful, striking, and utilitarian, fiber wearables continue to impress Show attendees, as the artist/designers continue to innovate and create in fabric, textures, and shapes.

Janice Kissinger’s finely sculpted apparel is a prime example. Recipient of Ornament Magazine’s Art-to-Wear Fiber prize at the 2018 PMA Craft Show, Janice creates one of a kind pieces with (surprisingly) no sewing involved. “I seek to drape the body with the same beauty and grace of the traditional Indian saris I use in my work”, says Kissinger. “Creating couture results without sewing is an ongoing adventure.” Adding her own hand-dyed silks and loose wool fibers, Janice uses traditional wet felting methods to build the fabric and the finished garment simultaneously, with zero fabric waste.

(Above: Patrick Benesh-Liu, Associate Editor of Ornament Magazine presenting Award for Art-to-Wear to fiber artist Janice Kissinger)

Patrick Benesh-Liu, Associate Editor of Ornament Magazine says, “In today's world of fast fashion and online shopping, it’s a special treat to talk with the makers. It is an even greater one to try on a hand-felted and dyed jacket, right in their booth. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is just the place for these human connections, and in its consistent pursuit of the highest levels of American craft, it has become an annual destination for us at Ornament Magazine. Last year we awarded the Ornament Prize for Art-to-Wear to fiber artist Janice Kissinger, who stood out because of her deft marriage of recycled saris with her hand-dyed felt. Beautiful and sensuous. Try one on; you won't regret it.”

(Above: from collection by Janice Kissinger)

Her fourth time exhibiting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Janice appreciates the high quality of the work on display. “My creative energy is recharged spending time soaking up the gorgeous work, the supportive energy of the committee and the reaffirming personalities of the other artists.” Janice loves the transformation in someone’s face when they try on her pieces. “You can see the confidence, the power and sexiness or sophistication she sees in that mirror. That’s a big part of what keeps me making my work.”

NICOLE HADDAD

“I love making clothing that makes people excited to get dressed. My collections are born from my obsession with color and texture”, she says. “Every season I design prints based on texture and then I use color to bring out the best in the print. It makes me happy when other people resonate with my work and collect my pieces.”  

(Above: Lobo Mau collection by Nicole Haddad)

A Philadelphia local, this is the first time Nicole Haddad and her brand Lobo Mau will be exhibiting at the Craft Show. Designing clothing since she was three years old, Nicole comes from a long line of fashion designers in Philadelphia, learning very early from her grandmother. The daughter of Brazilian jazz musicians, Nicole brings her unique heritage to her clothing design. She completed her Master’s in Fashion Design from Drexel University and launched Lobo Mau in 2008. Winner of Drexel’s “40 Under 40” in 2017 and Best of Philly 2019 for Best Sustainable Brand, Nicole is inspired by designers that make sustainability a priority in their work. Her brother Jordan joined the company in 2016 and together they have extended Lobo Mau’s market to New York, Los Angeles, and London.

(Above: Lobo Mau collection by Nicole Haddad)

MARY JAEGER

Mary Jaeger’s background is both cosmopolitan and international. She designed professionally in the NYC garment center for over five years, which she considers her boot camp phase. From there, she was in Japan for eight years where she worked in the kimono industry in Kyoto and designed collections in Tokyo and Paris. Now Jaeger has an independent design studio in Brooklyn and earlier this year, she won the 2019 Honoring the Future Sustainability Award given by the Smithsonian Craft Show. 

Jaeger’s current collection focuses on the juxtaposition of hand-dyed, hand-made pleated garments in the UNFOLDING PROJECT: Accordions Silks with her diffusion printed WHISPERING TEXTILES collection of silk scarves, dresses and diaphanous dusters. The mystery elements are the Words of Hope in each piece, including love, compassion, peace, joy, and happiness. Jaeger says, “These words give deeper meaning to the hand-work, thought-process, care and time invested in the making of these individual items in our era of mass markets, frenetic consumption and dismissive waste.”

 

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