Perry Price is the Executive Director of Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and he was one of five jurors for the 2018 Show. Each year our panel of jurors take on the incredible task of selecting exhibitors from a talented pool of artists working in craft and design.
What did you look for when scoring/evaluating artists for the Craft Show? What work warrants a higher score?
I found myself looking for artists with a particular voice in their work. At this level, the mastery and accomplishments of the individual artists is almost a given but work and makers who I tend to recognize with higher scores are the ones who draw me into their work by virtue of the originality and authenticity of their voice as artists.
In your opinion, how does the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show differentiate itself from other shows?
The caliber of the Philadelphia show is without peer. Its connection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its incredible collections and strong curatorial vision for craft, combined with the city of Philadelphia's incredible community of artists, institutions, and collectors, make for a heady cocktail. I can't imagine an artist who wouldn't be thrilled to engage with such an opportunity.
With your curatorial background and as a scholar of contemporary studio craft, what insights or thoughts can you share about your experience as a juror?
The experience of serving on the jury for the Craft Show is like having dinner with old friends who have each invited a new guest. The colleagues on the jury each bring their own unique perspectives, and the conversations we have are as edifying as they are enjoyable. Looking at the work, I am overjoyed when seeing work by new names as well as seeing the current ideas of familiar faces. It is as energizing as it is exhausting. And it is exhausting!
Are there any trends you can identify based on this year’s applicants?
Broader stylistic trends in the culture at large are sometimes slow to be felt in the field of contemporary craft, but I have noticed an awareness and sensitivity to what I see in the worlds of social media, graphic, industrial, and interior design in the work of many artists, especially among the many new voices.
What trends are you most excited about in the field of contemporary craft?
The greater trend of engagement in craft, craft materials, and craft processes by the greater culture at large and the confidence among craft artists to dictate and drive the direction of that engagement on their own terms.