Craft Happenings: Spring 2023

Craft Happenings: Spring 2023

Craft Happenings: Spring 2023

Spring 2023 issue of American Craft magazine
Seal gut, auklet crests, seal fur, cormorant feathers, cotton thread, red ochre.

As featured in To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka: Unidentified St. Lawrence Island Yupik artist, Ceremonial seal gut parka, early 20th century, Sivuqaq (St. Lawrence Island), Alaska. Seal gut, auklet crests, seal fur, cormorant feathers, cotton thread, red ochre. 43 x 54 in. Museum of International Folk Art, gift of Lloyd E. Cotsen, Neutrogena Corp., A.1995.93.986. Photo by Addison Doty.

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.

March Openings

Group of glass baskets in multiple colors and sizes.

As featured in Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight: Preston Singletary, Kákwx’ (Baskets), 2016, blown and sand-carved glass. Photo by Russell Johnson, courtesy of Museum of Glass.

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. 

Porcelain art.

As featured in Nick Vest: New Work: Nick Vest, To Sigh, Again and Again, 2020, porcelain, glaze, and silicate adhesive, 78 x 22 x 22 inches (each unit). Photo courtesy of AMOCA, with permission from ICAA Blanc de Chine as a 2021 shortlist work.

Various colored goblets.

As featured in Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980: Kaj Franck, Nuutajärvi Glassworks, Goblets, model KF 486, designed 1968, these examples ca. 1970–71, glass, largest goblet: 7 5/8 x 3 x 3 in. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Decorative Arts and Design Council Fund and partial gift of Marc Treib, M.2019.160.1–.6. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.

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. 

Wooden chair.

As featured in Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980: Peter Opsvik, manufactured by Stokke, Tripp Trapp chair, designed in 1972, beech and metal, 30 11/16 x 18 1/8 x 19 11/16 in. National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (OK-19009). Photo © Annar Bjørgli/The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.

Bed built with hardboard fiber, wood, and vinyl.

As featured in Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980: Jim Hull and Penny Hull, H.U.D.D.L.E., BIG TOOBS beds, designed in 1972, fiber hardboard, wood, and vinyl, 84 x 77 x 48 1/2 in. Collection of Jordana Joseph and Glen Saltzberg. Photo by Radek Dusilo, courtesy of Toomey & Co. Auctioneers.

April Openings

Simone Leigh
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. 

Clothing made from steel, cotton, salvaged kilim and grain sacks

As featured in Bridge 14: Self: matt lambert, Documenting scenes of rest, joy and pleasure, 2018, images taken at The Sculpture Center during Fun & Games, military equipment sourced from children's summer camps, steel, cotton, salvaged kilim and grain sacks. Photo by Jacob Koestler.

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.

Pacita Abad
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. 

May Openings

Parka made from Alaskan salmon skin.

As featured in To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka: Lena Atti (Kayuungiar) (Yup’ik), Qasperrluk (Fish skin parka), 2007, Kuigilnguq (Kwigillingok), Alaska, salmon skin. Anchorage Museum Collection, museum purchase, Anchorage Museum Association Acquisition Fund, 2007.049.001. Photo by Chris Arend.

Handcrafted ceramic and metal tray holding tomatoes.

A ceramic and metal tray by St. Louis–based artist Tony Borchardt. Borchardt was a 2022 participant in the Tennessee Craft Fair. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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. 

Queer Threads
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.

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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

Stack of four issues of American Craft magazine with Spring 2023 on top

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