American Craft Forum: Object Stories From the Craftscape

American Craft Forum: Object Stories From the Craftscape

Object Stories From the Craftscape

Start date

Thursday, June 17, 2021, 8:00am

End date

Thursday, June 17, 2021, 9:30am
Summer 2021 American Craft Forum Cover Graphic

Summer 2021 American Craft Forum

Thursday, June 17, 2021, via Zoom
11 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. MT | 1 p.m. CT | 2 p.m. ET
Register below

In this American Craft Forum, we’re excited to present a series of short talks, or “object stories,” by craftspeople, craft artists, and scholars. In choosing their own stories to tell, they reveal the possibilities of thinking about objects through the lens of what writer, curator, and educator Namita Gupta Wiggers refers to as the Craftscape.

For the last 30 years, most recently as the founding director of the MA in Critical Craft Studies program at Warren Wilson College, Wiggers has been chipping away at traditional Western-based approaches to viewing, appreciating, and talking about the objects we admire in museums—and those we live with at home. Turning that monolithic art–historical approach on its head, Wiggers encourages us to think about the object not as the end-point, but as a catalyst for conversations on process, cultural and material histories, the importance of the land, biography, and narrative.

Welcome to the Craftscape.

Read more about the Craftscape in the Summer 2021 issue of American Craft. "Unearthing the Craftscape" by Anjula Razdan also features an object story by craft scholar and metalsmith matt lambert.

Object Story Contributors

Meet Our Host

Stylized portrait of Namita Gupta Wiggers

Namita Gupta Wiggers is a writer, curator, and educator based in Portland, Oregon. She is the founding director of the MA in Critical Craft Studies, Warren Wilson College, the first and only low-residency program focused on craft histories and theory. With faculty and students in multiple time zones, Wiggers maintains that understanding context and the specificity of place impacts craft practice, research, teaching, and learning. She co-founded and leads Critical Craft Forum since 2008. From 2004–12, Wiggers served as the curator, and from 2012–14 as chief curator/director of the Museum of Contemporary Craft, in partnership with PNCA, Portland, Oregon, where she developed methods to exhibit and document contemporary and historical craft, doubled the collection holdings, and developed public programs and collaborative partnerships. Like curating, her approach to research involves sorting through multiple questions at once and making connections across cultures and ideas that aren’t immediately obvious. This leads to more questions and opens space for others to take the conversation further. This bio is adapted from one written by students in the MA in Critical Craft Studies program, Class of 2021.

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Cover of Summer 2021 issue of American Craft
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund