Craft Happenings: Summer 2023
Craft Happenings: Summer 2023
Make craft part of your summer plans with these 25 events and exhibitions happening across the country, organized by the month in which they start.
Recasting Colonialism: Michelle Erickson Ceramics
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
May 7–October 1, 2023
Erickson, who grew up near Colonial Williamsburg and studied the ceramics of the Colonial era, adapts them to create works addressing contemporary issues, including Donald Trump, the plight of child soldiers, and police brutality. Her pieces are paired with 17th- through 19th-century ceramics from the museum’s collection to, according to organizers, “invite viewers to consider the continuation of colonialism in the present.”
A Gathering: Works From Contemporary Black American Artists
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California
May 10–August 20, 2023
This tribute to the Black contribution to the studio pottery movement brings together sculptural and functional works by 35 Black artists. According to its curators, the show is also intended to illuminate “the history, challenges, and triumphs they meet every day.”
Islands Beyond Blue: Niki Hastings-McFall and Treasures from the Oceania Collection
Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
Opens May 14, 2023
Marking the reopening of the museum’s Arts of Oceania gallery, this show will display some 30 works from its collection of sculpture, bark cloth, wood carving, and work by contemporary artists of the Pacific region. Hastings-McFall, of Samoan and Pakeha (New Zealand white) heritage, will add a floral installation created in dialogue with the works.
Ferne Jacobs: A Personal World
Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, Claremont, California
May 19–September 24, 2023
Drawn from and expanding a 2022 Craft in America exhibition of the lauded fiber artist’s work, this retrospective is centered on her three-dimensional sculptural forms created using basketmaking techniques. The show will also include drawings and collages by the artist and works that have inspired her, from Alaskan artist Rosalie Paniyak’s dolls to watercolors by Californian Dominic Di Mare.
Ana Flores: Shaman Ladders and Other Stories
Newport Art Museum, Newport, Rhode Island
May 20–October 28, 2023
After Cuban émigré artist Flores settled in Charlestown, Rhode Island, she was inspired by forest stewards, gardeners, Native elders, and neighbors to create works in wood, terra-cotta, metal, papier-mâché, and found objects that, as described by the Newport Art Museum, “focus on the cultural narratives that help connect communities with landscapes.” This exhibition features pieces from a series that explore the ecology of the Nova Scotia shore and the forest near her studio.
Sharing the Same Breath
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
May 20, 2023–April 21, 2024
Kinship among living things is the keynote of this show of work by nine artists for whom human and interspecies connectivity is a leading concern. Craft-based art makes its appearance in the form of a papier-maché-and-polystyrene-foam sculpture by Emilie L. Gossiaux and a big cat that Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger made from bandanas embroidered by members of the public.
Sharing Honors and Burdens: Renwick Invitational, 2023
Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC
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.
Lagomorphs: Rabbits and Hares in Contemporary Craft
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts
June 3, 2023–January 28, 2024
In line with the Chinese zodiac, which designates 2023 as a Year of the Rabbit, the Fuller celebrates the animal order Lagomorpha in a multi-artist show that, in the words of the organizers, “showcases the range of characters and attributes that we humans bestow on these marvelous creatures, spotlighting [their] physicality, symbolism, and conceptual possibilities.”
We Are Here: LGBTQIA+ Voices in the Contemporary Metals Community
Metal Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
June 6–September 10, 2023
Juried by artists matt lambert, Al Murray, and Lawrence Matthews, this exhibition reflects and fosters sexual- and gender-identity diversity in the craft metal community, showing 40 works by 26 metal artists from across the US.
Leaving Your Mark: Stories in Wood
June 14–October 29, 2023
American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Institute draws on its collection of wood carvings to present a history of the form as a way makers tell their stories and voice their deepest concerns. A highlight will be the first US appearance of Claes Larsson, aka ClaesKamp, whose punk-inflected work addresses urgent contemporary issues like social justice and the immigrant crisis.
Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
June 17–September 24, 2023
The Cranbrook in Detroit, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City worked together to assemble this midcareer survey of a lauded artist who explores issues of race, equity, and economic and social justice by means of everyday fiber materials: hair, flags, and found fabric.
Samurai: Armor from the Collection of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
June 23–September 17, 2023
The more than 150 pieces of warrior equipment in this show, including swords, helmets, and nearly 20 complete suits of armor, display consummate artistry in materials such as iron, gold and silver lacquer, leather, bronze, wood, silk, brocade, and fur. These examples of elaborate craftsmanship are drawn from one of the most significant collections outside of Japan.
Mark Newport and Jane Lackey
Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit, Michigan
June 24–August 12, 2023
Newport, head of the Fiber department at Cranbrook Academy, examines the social and cultural significance of textiles in lively works using knitting, embroidery, and other processes. Lackey, a 2014 ACC Fellow, works in mixed media: sewing, drawing, and painting on fabric, and adding tape, stickers, and labels to create intricate works that evoke architectural diagrams, charts of the nervous system, and maps.
Built from the Earth: Pueblo Pottery from the Anthony and Teressa Perry Collection
Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont
June 24–October 22, 2023
Restaurateur Anthony Perry was a New Englander educated in Colorado, where he grew to love the art of Native America. Drawn from his and his wife Teressa’s comprehensive collection, this show will, in the organizers’ words, “introduce viewers to the artists and cultures who craft these stunning works of art with materials rooted in the land of the American Southwest.”
Joyce J. Scott: Messages
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts
June 24–November 5, 2023
For more than 30 years, Philadelphia artist Scott—recipient of the 2020 ACC Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship—has been creating figurative sculptures, wall hangings, and jewelry with off-loom, hand-threaded beads and blown glass. Exploring violence, gender, and social and political issues, the works on show reflect her identity as a Black woman and artist and pay homage to the craft traditions handed down in her family.
Marie Bannerot McInerney: Trace Me Back
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
June 24, 2023–April 22, 2024
McInerney once designed knitwear and was head dyer for the costume shop at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Today she’s a professor of fiber arts and an installation artist who works with light and space as well as craft materials. Using silk organza, concrete, light, and sound, she will turn part of a Crystal Bridges gallery into a space for meditation.
The Aldrich, Ridgefield, Connecticut
June 25, 2023–January 2, 2024
Halfmoon, a member of the Caddo Nation, tells tribal stories of female power through huge ceramic portraits, some weighing 800 pounds. Her deeply meaningful clay and glaze colors include red for the Oklahoma soil and the blood of murdered Indigenous women. The exhibition includes new work and pieces drawn from the past five years.
Art Evolved: Intertwined (SAQA Global Exhibition)
Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Montana
June 30–October 22, 2023
This juried show, a collaboration between the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) and the National Basketry Organization, brings together 59 artists in thread, fabric, wood, reed, and paper for what organizers call “a conversation between media to illustrate the continuum between beauty and functionality.”
Tiny Treasures: The Magic of Miniatures
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
July 1, 2023–February 18, 2024
The more than 100 objects on show here are, of course, all smaller than what they imitate, but still represent quite a size range—from a few centimeters to two feet—and a chronological span from the seventh century BCE to the present. Ancient amulets, netsuke, even a tiny Picasso painting all present the uncanny charm of the real rendered minuscule.
Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, North Carolina
July 7–August 23, 2023
Blue Spiral offers a fresh look at the work of the Japan-born, Florida-based artist. Trained in oil painting, she now creates meticulous and imaginative paper collages influenced by the aesthetics of her homeland.
A Dark, A Light, A Bright: The Designs of Dorothy Liebes
Cooper Hewitt, New York, New York
July 7, 2023–February 4, 2024
The “Liebes look” in fabric—bright and lush—influenced everything from interiors to film in the mid-20th century, but Liebes is less well-known today than she deserves to be. This show, organizers say, will display “the full scope of her contributions as a designer, collaborator, mentor, public figure, and tireless promoter of American modernism.”
Pepe Mar: Myth and Magic
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
Opens July 13, 2023
Craft, op art, and identity politics mingle in the lively work of this Mexican artist, who explores places, narratives, and people typically left out of mainstream accounts of history and culture and treats themes such as cultural isolation and consumer excess. Fifty pieces will illuminate his practice in collage, sculpture, ceramics, and painting.
Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana
July 21–November 26, 2023
This encyclopedic, kaleidoscopic look at American fashion’s prominent place in international visual culture spans many years and styles—from a 19th-century denim frock coat to a zero-waste wedding dress and Savage X Fenty lingerie. The show highlights Native American, Black, and immigrant designers and craft artists, including Kiowa beadwork artist Teri Greeves and Cochiti fashion designer Virgil Ortiz.
Tia Keobounpheng: Revealing Threads
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 22–October 29, 2023
The abstract tapestries in this show were informed by a research trip that Keobounpheng took to Sápmi, the area in northern Scandinavia and western Russia that is the homeland of the indigenous Sami people. Of Sami and Finnish ancestry herself, the artist uses motifs from traditional Nordic handwork to reflect on identity and the relationship between colonizer (Finland) and colonized (Sami).
Guillermo Bert: The Journey
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
August 26, 2023–January 14, 2024
This exhibition surveys the work of a multimedia artist who, in the words of the organizers, “addresses the ways in which colonization and capitalistic systems contribute to cultural displacement and the loss of Indigenous identities.” Included are his Encoded Textiles, which fuse tech and tradition: they carry woven QR and barcodes that embed the narratives of Indigenous storytellers.
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