Craft Happenings: Spring 2023
Craft Happenings: Spring 2023
Spring is right around the corner, and the craft season is in bloom. Here are 25 events, exhibitions, and festivals happening across the country, organized by the month in which they start.
ACC's American Craft Made / Baltimore Marketplace
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland
March 3–5, 2023
The ACC’s annual East Coast craft market, a nonprofit venture, brings makers from across the country to Baltimore to show off their wares. Buyers can meet artists and hear the stories behind the pieces.
Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
March 3–July 2, 2023
This exhibition of Tlingit artist Singletary’s blown, carved, and sculpted glass artworks tells the tale of Raven, who brought light to humankind by releasing the sun, moon, and stars from a box. Storytelling, original music, coastal Pacific Northwest soundscapes, and projected images contribute to the immersive experience.
65th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market
Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
March 4–5, 2023
More than 600 Indigenous artists from across North America will gather in Phoenix for this massive art market, which draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. All visual art media are represented, and traditional crafts such as pottery, jewelry, basketmaking, and weaving make a strong showing.
The Mashrabiya Project: Seeing Through Space
The Museum for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 3–July 23, 2023
Mashrabiyas are intricate openwork wooden screens used to define secular and sacred spaces in the Islamic world. Highlighting a large mashrabiya in the museum’s public area, Seeing Through Space (an exhibition that’s part of the larger Mashrabiya Project) presents works by six women artists from the Muslim world, exploring concepts suggested by the screens, including public and private realms and the porosity of boundaries.
Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
March 9–May 29, 2023
The demanding and labor-intensive process of dyeing and weaving ikat produces textile art that is beautiful as well as subtly and expressively imperfect. Besides displaying more than 100 examples of ikat produced around the world in the past 300 years, this show will let visitors encounter the ikat process on a giant scale by way of a ceiling-to-floor dyed-yarn installation.
Nick Vest: New Work
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
March 17–26, 2023
The pieces in this show were created during a 2022–2023 residency at AMOCA by Vest, a restlessly innovative Pennsylvania-born artist whose studio/gallery is located in Jingdezhen, one of China’s most significant ancient ceramics centers.
Roberto Lugo: Hi-Def Archives
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
March 17–September 24, 2023
In a double homage to his upbringing in inner-city Philadelphia and to the tradition of Cincinnati-based Rookwood pottery, Lugo’s hip-hop-inflected ceramic work will share space with highlights of the museum’s Rookwood collection. And there’s a bonus: for two weeks, the artist will work in residency in a gallery adjacent to the one displaying his finished pieces.
Generation Paper: Fashion of the 1960s
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York
March 18–August 27, 2023
Paper clothing—often made from patented cellulose-based fabric called Dura-Weve and decorated with bright, mod patterns—exploded in popularity in 1966 after a marketing blitz by the Scott Paper Company. This exhibition presents more than 80 well-preserved examples of this fast-fashion phenomenon.
Funk You Too! Humor and Irreverence in Ceramic Sculpture
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York
March 18–August 27, 2023
Originating in the fertile milieu of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s, funk art emphasizes playfulness and figuration. More than 65 works in clay dating from the movement’s origins to the present day will be on display, including works by ceramic pioneer Robert Arneson and ACC Fellow Patti Warashina.
With the Grain
New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
March 18–September 4, 2023
For many of the modern and contemporary Hispanic woodcarvers of northern New Mexico, the natural forms of unfinished wood are integral to the beauty of their pieces, not “irregularities” to be mastered. This exhibition highlights the dialogue between material and artistic intention that gives these artworks their special expressiveness.
Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
March 24–July 23, 2023
From casserole dishes to tapestries to the Viking Punch Bowl made for Tiffany & Co., this exhibition explores “the far-reaching effects of the Scandinavian and American cultural exchange.” Co-organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with the Nationalmuseum Sweden and the Nasjonalmuseet in Norway, it features more than 180 objects, including furniture, textiles, drawings, ceramics, jewelry, glass, and product designs.
Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance
Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, California
March 26–July 16, 2023
In the first solo US museum show devoted to the work of a contemporary female Haitian artist, the Fowler presents Constant’s intricate beaded tapestries—works that depict Vodou traditions, Catholic saints, episodes from Haitian history, and domestic scenes. It’s a comprehensive showcase of the 30-year career of one of the most influential artists in the African diaspora.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts
April 6–September 4, 2023
Leigh, a lauded African American artist who works with ceramics, bronze, video, and installation, represented the US in the 2022 Venice Biennale. Visitors will see pieces from that exhibition, plus many more from a 20-year body of work that uses traditional African forms and a range of other references to explore what the organizers call “Black femme subjectivity.”
Gio Swaby: Fresh Up
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
April 8–July 3, 2023
Swaby celebrates Black womanhood by creating life-size portraits in embroidery and piecing, boisterously colorful images that, in the words of the show’s organizers, “highlight and celebrate the subjects’ use of fashion as unapologetic self-definition and self-expression.” This exhibition—her first solo museum show—brings together work from 2017 through 2021, plus more than a dozen new pieces.
Bridge 14: Self
Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
April 14–August 19, 2023
The artists matt lambert and Erika Diamond create wearable works that explore gender identity, the limits of binary thinking, and other issues important to queer communities. Often resembling highly elaborate jewelry or masks with a fetishistic charge, lambert’s objects will share space with Diamond’s fashionable safety vests of bulletproof Kevlar—garments that warn about the dangers the LGBTQ community faces.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 15–September 3, 2023
This retrospective of the career of the late Filipina American artist is centered on her trapuntos, large-scale, exuberantly colorful patterned “paintings,” actually quilted and stitched canvases. But there are plenty of other types of work on display too, including costumes, ceramics, and works on paper—more than 100 pieces in all.
Concrete Journals: Anne Hicks Siberell
Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, California
April 15–September 10, 2023
For three decades, Siberell has been collaging together small objects drawn from her daily life—toys, jewelry, shells, keys, ticket stubs—and embedding them in small concrete slabs. These “concrete journals,” a modern variation on the clay tablets produced by ancient scribes, are a record of personal concerns ranging from the intimately personal to the global and political.
Smithsonian Craft Show: Celebrating the American Spirit
May 3–7, 2023
National Building Museum, Washington, DC
For this prestigious national craft show and sale, jurors selected the work of 120 artists from a large pool of applicants. Works of basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art, and wood will be on view.
52nd Annual Spring Tennessee Craft Fair
Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee
May 5–7, 2023
This premier Southern craft confab, featuring high-end works in all the major craft media, is held in the park where Nashville’s iconic replica of the Parthenon sits. Run by the nonprofit Tennessee Craft, the juried fair—also held in the fall—requires artists to be on-site, so attendees are able to meet, chat with, and learn from the makers.
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, California
May 10–August 20, 2023
In an exhibition that, in the words of its organizers, “ponders how fibers and textiles uniquely provide agency for queer artists,” some three dozen LGBTQ+ artists associated with the West Coast present fiber and textile creations that explore queer ideas and identities.
36th Annual Art Fair
Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, Missouri
May 12–14, 2023
This is a juried fair that brings together some 150 artists from across the United States, including craft artists. The festivity takes place amid major works of sculpture by art stars like Mark di Suvero, Mary Miss, and Jonathan Borofsky. Food and beverage vendors, hands-on kids’ activities, and live music round out the attractions.
St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour
Chisago County, Minnesota
May 12–14, 2023
Minnesota’s well-established pottery traditions include a group of makers with studios in a peaceful rural area just west of the St. Croix River, which marks the state’s boundary with Wisconsin. The seven-studio itinerary offers work by resident artists and invited guests from Minnesota and beyond—some 60 potters in all. Read about the tour in “Potteryland,” an article in the Spring 2023 issue of American Craft.
Sé’sh Shóto’sh Psí’sh (Muscle, Bone & Sinew)
Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, California
May 12–September 3, 2023
In a series titled Future Ancestral Technologies, to which this exhibition belongs, New Mexico–based artist Cannupa Hanska Luger creates a visionary Indigenous future using the methodology and tropes of science fiction. On display will be regalia, tools, shelter elements, means of transportation, and other technology Luger has created for this new world—fusions of traditional craft and imaginative futurism.
To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka
Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
May 21, 2023–April 7, 2024
This display of traditional and contemporary parkas from five North American Indigenous cultures demonstrates a deep knowledge of climate, animals, and materials. Drawings, dolls, and parkamaking tools help fill out the story, along with historic photographs that show the contexts in which parkas are worn.
Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational, 2023
Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
May 26, 2023–March 31, 2024
The tenth Renwick Invitational is a window into the work of Native makers. Lara M. Evans, director of the Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, curated this jury-selected gathering of artists—Joe Feddersen, Lily Hope, Ursala Hudson, Erica Lord, Geo Neptune, and Maggie Thompson—whose basketry, fiber, and glass works honor and update ancestral traditions.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Stay up on craft trends through our magazine.
Become an American Craft Council member to receive a quarterly subscription to the award-winning American Craft magazine along with a host of other benefits.