November 18 2020

In a year like no other, the official Craft Show dates are behind us, but supporting the artists is full steam ahead. The Show will continue online, so you can shop to your heart’s content through the holiday season and beyond into the New Year. Now more than ever, we know how important it is to celebrate and support artists at work so they can continue to stay in business, and provide their creativity and talents to the world. At this time of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to everyone that participated, shopped, volunteered, and sponsored this year’s Craft Show. We hope and encourage you to keep visiting the Show website for your holiday shopping!

The Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, chosen from over 150 artists across 30 states in 13 categories. We congratulate all the recipients and thank the judges and award sponsors for their dedication and commitment to keeping fine contemporary craft artists at work.

(Above: Jewelry by Stacey Lee Webber)

Best of Show: STACEY LEE WEBBER, Philadelphia, PA

Judge: John Levitties

Stacey cherishes working with found materials such as coins, whose history is physically evident. Her work is often described as meticulous, pushing the boundaries of everyday recognizable objects.

 

The Prize for Excellence in Design: BEN GILLESPIE, Philadelphia PA

Judge: Doug Bucci

Ben Gillespie designs and fabricates custom lighting in his Philadelphia studio. Each piece is fabricated from locally sourced materials, including oak, ash, and walnut. The lighting pieces combine cutting-edge technology, natural materials, and minimalist design.

 

The Wharton Esherick Museum Prize for Excellence in Wood: ROBERT SPIECE & LARISSA HUFF, Schwenksville, Pa

Judge: Emily Zilber

Rob Spiece and Larissa Huff are the designers and craftspeople at Lohr Woodworking Studio. They make pieces that are as functional as they are beautiful, combining a studio furniture ethos with our own take on joinery.

(Above: Silver bowls by Sara Thompson)

The Eric Berg Memorial Prize for Excellence in Metal: SARA THOMPSON, Portland, OR

Judge: Adam Kamens

Sara Thompson has been working on her craft since she was a child. Apprenticing for a bench jeweler from age 11 to 16, she learned metalsmithing while gaining experience in making a living as a jeweler and simultaneously running a retail store on Martha’s Vineyard.

 

(Above: Hand painted scarf by Melissa Pare)

The Louise K. Binswanger Prize for Best Artist New to the Show: MELISSA PARE, Milwaukee, WI

Judges: Janet Binswanger, Jill Garrett, and John Binswanger

Melissa Paré primarily works with wood and silk, creating silk pieces using dyes and batik.

 

The Cohn Family Trust Prize for Excellence in Glass: PATTI & DAVE HEGLAND, Chestertown, MD

Judge: Sean Jonathan Cohn

Patti and Dave are a design-focused husband and wife team known for their complex construction and precise finishing of their art glass.

 

The Prize for Excellence in Fiber Art: MAYA ROSE WEISS, Boulder, CO

Judges: Elisabeth Agro and Gwen Goodwill Bianchi

Maya Rose Weiss explores the interconnection of jewelry and weaving as a way to localize the unique intersection of history, craft, tradition and lineage in her work.

 

The Jane and Leonard Korman Family Prize for Excellence in Clay: DELORES FORTUNA, Galena, Il

Judge: Cathy Altman

Delores Fortuna’s work begins with basic wheel thrown shapes, altering and rejoining forms to create utilitarian vessels.

 

The Carolyn Benesh Ornament Magazine Prize for Excellence in Art to Wear: MINA NORTON, New York, NY

Judge: Patrick Benesh-Liu           

Mina’s designs are influenced by her fine art background and training as a textile designer. Her custom made pieces are hand-loomed with the finest merino wool, dyed and finally felted by hand.

           

The Prize for Excellence in Jewelry: LISA & SCOTT CYLINDER, Brunswick, ME

Judges: Katharine & Louis Padulo

Lisa and Scott first met while studying jewelry and metalsmithing at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. They began collaborating in 1988, and their influences include modern art, scientific phenomena, 20th century artifacts, and film.

 

The Craft Show is presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and 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.

More information: pmacraftshow.org

@pmacraftshow on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

 

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November 04 2020

All the Information You Need To Know To Attend the Virtual Event

A lot happens behind the scenes for any Show of this size and scope. To make the shift to virtual has taken the efforts of many, including the Craft Show artists, the Craft Show Committee, our technical team and so many others. As a result, we are thrilled to bring you the ONLINE version of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show! The team effort has been built upon our over-arching mission of supporting the artists who like so many others have had to get extra creative in being able to continue their work throughout this year.

In order for you to have the best experience possible online, we have included Show information and an FAQ below. We hope you will enjoy perusing and scrolling through the incredible array of contemporary American craft brought to you by over 150 artists from 30 states in 13 categories, selected from more than 600 applicants. In these ever changing times, connecting with people in creative ways has become even more important and with a Show like the PMA Craft Show, it is paramount for having a way to get to know the artists and their work. In order to provide a more direct connection, each artist has created a two-minute introductory video that you can find on their individual pages within the Show website.

SHOW DATES:

Friday, Nov 6, 2020 -- 10am – 6pm EST

Saturday, Nov 7, 2020 -- 10am – 6pm EST

Sunday, Nov 8, 2020 -- 10am – 6pm EST

 

TICKETS:

Suggested Gift $10, click HERE to purchase.

On November 6th through the 8th, admission is free with a suggested gift of $10 to support The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

PREVIEW PARTY:

Thursday, November 5th: 4pm – 8pm eastern time.

Enjoy early access to the Show by attending the virtual preview party and awards ceremony.

Purchase tickets and experience a First Look at the artists and their work.

 

ARTIST TALKS

Check out the full schedule and stay tuned to our home page for 15 different artist talks over the three-day Show. From livestreams to Q & A’s to pre-recorded demonstrations, see the inner workings of studio life that is so inherent in creating the finished products of the beautiful and unique contemporary craft pieces that you know and love.

 

FAQ

How do I access the Show?

Access to the Show is via the website. Go to www.pmacraftshow.org during Show hours. Please be sure to SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL down each page to see the many facets of the Show, including the Preview Party, artist pages, artist talks, sponsors, and more.

Is there a fee to access the Show?

Entry to the virtual Show is complimentary, but there is a suggested donation of $10.00 to help support museum programs and exhibits.

How do I purchase tickets to the Preview Party?

Click HERE to purchase tickets to the Virtual Preview Party. Your ticket cost is 100% tax-deductible.

How do I contact the artists?

Each artist has their own page on our website, including their contact information. Artists will be online and available throughout the Show weekend to share their techniques, answer questions and assist with purchases.

How do I purchase crafts?

Go to the SHOP ARTISTS tab on the home page to browse work from over 150 artists. When you click an individual artist’s page, look for the SHOP button. This will take you to the individual artist’s online shop.

What are the Artist Talks?

We have 15 separate Artist Talks – five per day over the 3-day Show, bringing livestreamed and pre-recorded talks, demonstrations, and even Q & A’s to the Craft Show audience. Click HERE for the schedule (scroll down if needed).

What if I need technical help on the Show website?

We will have technical support on hand throughout the weekend. If you need assistance, please email us at twcpma@philamuseum.org or call 215-684-7930 during show hours. Quickest response will be during posted Show hours.

What time zone is the Show in, including Artist Talks?

All show hours and specific events are in EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Is the Show taking a percentage of artist sales?

After a reduced exhibitor fee, 100% of all artist sales go directly to the artist.

What is the social media for the Show?

Follow @pmacraftshow across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Many artists are active on social media so keep an eye out, follow them, and you might even see some LIVEstreams and/or Show specials!

How can I arrange to Zoom with an artist?

We are leaving this up to individual artists. Please contact them directly via their artist page.

Can I donate to the Show?

YES! Your support of the Show is encouraged and appreciated so that we can continue to help support museum programs, exhibitions, and education. Click HERE to donate. 

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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 and is the largest fundraiser for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Though access to the virtual Show is free, when you purchase a ticket and make an additional donation, you are directly supporting the work of the museum.

 

 

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October 21 2020

(Above: Valerie and Jean having too much fun!)

These iconic New York women have been featured on The Today Show website, spotted at New York Fashion Week, and included in Ari Seth Cohen’s hugely popular Advanced Style blog. They’ve been attending the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for well over a decade and are looking forward to this year’s online Show. Jean and Valerie met in 2008 at the Manhattan Vintage Show. Connecting over their shared love of hats and fashion, the rest is herstory and they’ve been friends ever since. They started their blog over 10 years ago and have a wildly popular presence on Instagram. Tried and true New Yorkers, their love of craft and fashion have taken them around the world and around the region including their annual visit to Philadelphia. As this year’s Craft Show goes virtual, we asked what they have in mind for their online experience...

 

What are you looking forward to at this year’s online Show?

Jean: In the current climate, supporting craft artists is especially important. Besides seeing what known artists are up to, I’m looking forward to seeing the work of emerging artists.

Valerie: I’m excited to see new color combinations, new shapes, new textures, new techniques, and new uses for materials that I’d never thought of. I’m looking forward to seeing things that will wake my brain out of the artistic slumber that modern life lures us into.

(Above: The gals at a lecture they gave at Parsons School of Design in NYC)

 

What advice would you give for ways to enjoy the online version of the Show?

Jean: My advice is to relax and go with the flow. Look at new categories and artists as well as old favorites.

Valerie: Use it as a springboard!  When you see an artist whose work intrigues you, look further into that artist’s work. The online possibilities are endless and joyful.

 

What would you like people to know about the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show?

Jean: It features the best of the best craft artists and is not to be missed. The behind-the-scenes support of donors, museum members, show committee and attendees is critical to its continued success.

Valerie: It's easier than ever to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show now because it's online. You can drop in even if you're in your armchair in Australia, and even if it's 2am. Stay as long as you like, and it’s okay to bring a snack (or a cocktail!). Treat yourself. Particularly during these pandemic times, your new objet d’art will not only spark joy, it will help keep an artist in business.

(Above: A sign of the times)

We heard you were spotted by the actress Olympia Dukakis on the streets of New York and acknowledged by famed Vogue editor Anna Wintour at a press event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What else do you enjoy about your fame as the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas?

Jean: I love the opportunity to meet people IRL (in real life) from other countries with whom I've connected online. Also, meeting British milliner Stephen Jones and designer Jean Paul Gaultier and reconnecting with both of them at the Metropolitan Museum's 2018 Heavenly Bodies exhibition are my all-time highlights! 

Valerie: Numerous older women have written to thank us for demonstrating that older women are fun and funny, engaged and engaging, smart and thoughtful. Numerous younger women have also written, saying they dreaded growing old until they read our blog. We unwittingly became role models just by doing what interests us. I’m so glad to have been able to do that.

 

What are some common questions you get asked?

Jean: People ask if I'm an artist or a designer. Because I have no skills in either area, I say that I am neither, but support those who do.

Valerie: We get asked: Are you artists? Are you designers? Are you models? Are you actors? Are you going to a party?

Above: A sampling of the many artists at this year's Show. From upper left to lower right: Kathleen Dustin, Biba Schutz, Steven Ford & David Forlano, and Danielle Gori-Montanelli

(Photos of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas provided courtesy of themselves.)

 

Follow the Fashionistas on Instagram: @idiosyncraticfashionistas - and tune in to the Craft Show November 6th -8th, with a virtual preview on November 5th

 

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October 15 2020

(Above: wood artist Phil Roberts in studio)

As with our previous blog, we’re introducing an artist from each category to set the stage for this year’s online Craft Show. Since attending the Show can now be from anywhere, we encourage you to get to know the artists in advance in anticipation of the main event. Follow our social media @pmacraftshow for continued updates and save the dates for this year’s online Show, November 6th-8th, with a virtual preview event on November 5th.

(Above: necklace by Baiyang Qiu)

(Above: leather jacket by Toshiki & Maryszka)

JEWELRY

Baiyang Qiu combines traditional handwork with cutting-edge technology, using extremely fine gauge wire of high-karat gold and platinum to create her delicate designs of the highest quality. From a raindrop on a leaf to an emerging butterfly from its chrysalis, her timeless jewelry captures and preserves moments in nature.

See all the jewelry artists HERE.

 

LEATHER

Toshiki & Maryszka have been designing together ever since discovering a shared a sense of style 40 years ago. Maryszka grew up around fabric and sewing. Her grandmother came from Poland as a child and sewed for a living in the US. Maryszka’s mother and aunts taught her about fabric and she earned a degree in Designer Crafts from the University of Utah. Toshiki grew up in Tokyo, studied fashion design and is the great-grandson of a metalsmith to the Meiji Emperor, whose work is in the permanent collection of The National Museum of Japan.

See all the leather artists HERE.

 

(Above: silver cups by Sara Thompson)

(Above: Raku by Ellen Silberlicht)

METAL

Sara Thompson has been working on her craft since she was a child. Apprenticing for a bench jeweler from age 11 to 16, she learned metalsmithing while gaining experience in making a living as a jeweler and simultaneously running a retail store on Martha’s Vineyard. Sara is drawn to the simplicity of taking a flat, two-dimensional sheet of silver and hammering it into her three-dimensional utilitarian objects and vessels, which she does by using an ancient metalsmithing technique.

See all the metal artists HERE.

 

MIXED MEDIA

Ellen Silberlicht developed her passion for the raku process during a clay class at the Wayne Arts Center in conjunction with the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her focus became handbuilding small and large jars and vessels. Her pots reflect the awe and wonder of nature that has always been her inspiration.

See all the mixed media artists HERE.

 

(Above: Hand-bound books by Judith Cohen)

(Above: Wood relief sculpture by Phil Roberts)

 

PAPER 

Judith Cohen developed her passion for bookbinding while handsewing books in a commercial bindery. Judith makes fine handcrafted contemporary objects using paper and cloth from around the world. Her work represents a current and eclectic aesthetic while maintaining a timeless sensibility using bookbinding techniques going back to the 2nd century. 

See all the paper artists HERE.

 

WOOD

Working with precise laser-cut pieces of super thin plywood, Phil Roberts calls his layered pieces relief sculptures. Each starts with a digital illustration that is transformed into wood, with the individual components finished and glued by hand. Phil’s love of art, design, machinery, and a long history of traditional woodworking informs his passion for his work while his ability to use technology helps bring his designs to life.

See all the wood artists HERE.

 

(Above: Teapot by Stacey Lee Webber)

BONUS CATEGORY – METAL

Sometimes an artist comes to us that crosses over into two categories. Such is the case with Stacey Lee Webber. Stacey holds an MFA and has taught at Tyler School of Art, University of the Arts, and Rowan University. Working with found materials whose history is physically evident, her work is often described as meticulous, pushing the boundaries of everyday recognizable objects to the point of unidentifiable.

See all the metal artists HERE.

 

Go HERE to see the full list of artists and we’ll see you online soon!

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October 09 2020

The artists are getting ready, the website is being updated, and the internet will be the portal to joining this year’s online Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show from wherever you are. We’ve highlighted an artist from each category in this preview to get you started. Stay tuned for Part Two next week and follow our social media @pmacraftshow for continued updates.

(Above: pendant by Hannah Long)

(Above: baskets by Kari Lonning)

EMERGING ARTISTS

Hannah Long describes her work as sculptural modern jewelry and adornment evocative of bohemian culture with an organic flair. Hannah ethically sources much of her materials, digging for fossils and gemstones and collecting black coral washed up on the beaches near her home in south Florida.

See all the emerging artists HERE.

 

BASKETRY

Kari Lonning’s artist-dyed rattan reed baskets are distinctive and functional. A basketmaker since 1975, Kari is best known for her complex weaving process she refers to as her “hairy technique.”

See all the basketry artists HERE.

(Above: plates by Ryan Greenheck)

(Above: quilt by Erin Wilson)

CERAMICS 

Ryan Greenheck is currently a practicing studio potter and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and his work is represented in galleries throughout the US. Ryan’s vessels are monochromatic in color, emphasizing the infrastructure, an essential component in his pottery. 

See all the ceramic artists HERE.

 

FIBER DECORATIVE

Erin Wilson’s quilts are rooted in hand-dyed color, architectural imagery, and intricate piecework. Her natural affinity to color and fabric developed into an extended study of the urban environment. Her quilts are about cities, inspired in part by the view out the window.

See all the fiber decorative artists HERE.

(Above: outfit by Nicole Haddad)

(Above: lighting by Ben Gillespie)

(Above: glass sphere by Scott Pernicka)

FIBER WEARABLE

Nicole Haddad started her distinctive clothing line Lobo Mau as a way to provide an alternative to fast fashion, a process she sees as a polluting and ethically controversial industry. She describes her process as slow fashion, with extensive fabric research and testing, and careful design and fitting. She and her brother Jordan run the business in south Philadelphia and have expanded their reach to New York, LA, and London.

See all the fiber wearable artists HERE.

 

FURNITURE

Ben Gillespie designs and fabricates custom lighting in his Philadelphia studio. The lighting pieces combine cutting-edge technology, natural materials, and minimalist design. His brand OVUUD evolved from the desire to keep design simple yet interesting.

See all the furniture artists HERE.

 

GLASS

Scott Pernicka started experimenting with three-dimensional space in sculpture during his college years. Known for his vortex marble spheres, Scott pushes the boundaries of color and form as spirals of color create visual depths and optical illusions.

See all the glass artists HERE.

 

Go HERE to see the full list of artists, and save the dates for this year’s online Show, November 6th-8th, with a virtual preview event on November 5th.

 

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September 24 2020

(Above: JAGR Projects - Park City, Utah. Ceramic bowl on sideboard by Melissa Weiss. Photo by Paul Richer)

A lot goes into shifting to an online event and while we’re busy at work behind the scenes, we are also taking time to talk with longtime attendees about their Show experiences and what they’re looking forward to this year. Today we introduce you to interior designer John Levitties. John has attended the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show since the mid 1990’s and will be attending the online event this year. As principal of JAGR Projects, a highly regarded design firm in Philadelphia, John and his staff have been placing craft in the home for many years. John’s background in cultural history and preservation and as an art and furniture dealer specializing in late 19th and early 20th century British and European design led him to utilizing contemporary craft in interior design.

Craft as a design element in the home was a natural progression from the advent of the arts and crafts movement at the turn of the 20th century, designed to celebrate traditional craft skills and blur the lines between fine and decorative arts. That work appealed not only to people that appreciated craft and history but also to early voices in modernist design. Toward the end of the 20th century, John saw more experimentation with modern materials and forms, and it became clear the pendulum would swing back to artists and artisans skilled in drawing and design turning to more traditional forms of making. The results are often new ways of thinking about craft, intermixing modern styles with traditional craft skills and thus, an ideal combination for utilizing craft at home.

(Above: JAGR Projects - Home in Park City, Utah. Three legged stool by Keunho Peter Park. Photo by Paul Richer)

John is looking forward to this year’s Show, and though it will be different than being there in person, there is a silver lining of being able to view the exhibitors collectively with his staff. To help facilitate this at his studio, they will be projecting the Show onto a big screen, where he and the staff can discover new artists, see some of their favorite artists, and talk about what pieces to use in different projects.

“The Craft Show affords collectors – whether seasoned or first time – a venue to interact with artists whose work evokes something in them. And it might feel like this opportunity is lost in a virtual fair, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The communication between maker and consumer through the works, themselves, is an important interaction, but beyond that synergy I’ve never found any artist at the show to be other than excited at the opportunity to discuss their work with an interested collector, and visitors should take advantage of that whether face-to-face or virtual”. ~ John Levitties

(Above: JAGR Projects - Center City, Philadelphia. Ceramic vases by Ani Kasten. Photo by Jeffrey Totaro)

John points out the materiality of craft, how the surface and materials encompass the hand of the artist and how the Show is a great place to discover that and talk to artists about their work. Interior design is an ideal complement to fine contemporary craft, and John and his team get excited about utilizing crafts by specific artists, such as Ani Kasten, Jenifer Thoem, or Alexandra Geller to name a few. They may choose the crafts at the end of a project where they can see what spaces they have for objects, or during the design and layout process itself. Functionality of items is important in the selection process, especially with furniture or items like dinnerware, but it’s not always the primary motive aesthetically speaking.

In closing, we asked John what guidance he would give someone new to acquiring craft for their home. His advice is to buy what they love and engage with artists by asking intelligent questions. The opportunity to speak with an artist about their work enhances it immeasurably and the experience can be very rewarding.

There will be opportunity to get to know some of the artists during the online event, and there is also more time to learn about them in advance and during the Show. We encourage people to explore this year’s artists, and follow their social media in the lead up to the Show.

 

 

 

 

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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

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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. 

 

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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!

 

Filed Under:
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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed Under:
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.

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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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The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
P.O. Box 7646
Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646
Phone: (215) 684-7930
E-mail twcpma@philamuseum.org