Craft Happenings: Summer 2022

Craft Happenings: Summer 2022

Published on Monday, May 16, 2022.
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close-up of two fists adorned with metal star rings with person in the background wearing a black balaclava and wide-brimmed hat

Artist Cody Sanderson at the 2021 Santa Fe Indian Market. Photo by Shayla Blatchford Photography.

Is it summer already? Now's the time to fill out your calendar with craft exhibitions, symposiums, festivals, and more. Here are 25 events happening across the country for you to check out, organized by the month in which they start.

May

four handmade wooden spoons with moonlike shapes on the handles

As featured in Spoons to Stir the Soul: The World of Norm Sartorius at the Center for Wood in Art: Norm Sartorius, Moon Spoons, 2001, oysterwood, Australian purpleheart, African blackwood, purple gidgee, 6 x 2 x 0.75 in. Collection of John Gobrecht and Elizabeth Mai. Photo by Jim Osborn.

Spoons to Stir the Soul: The World of Norm Sartorius
The Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 6–July 24, 2022

This show, drawn from public and private collections across the country, traces the evolution of Sartorius’s woodworking art, from an early focus on functional objects to his unique commitment to spoons as pure sculptural objects rather than tools for eating.

Katherine Choy: Radical Potter in 1950s New Orleans
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana
May 6, 2022–April 23rd, 2023

This is a comprehensive survey of the work of the celebrated Shanghai-born ceramist, who taught at Tulane University and founded the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York. She only lived to be 30, but her career was dynamic, moving from suave vessels reflective of her heritage to exuberant large-scale works in the spirit of abstract expressionism.

otherworldly flower arrangement featuring bright pink blue orange and green colors

As featured in Flower Craft at the Museum of Arts and Design: flowers and photography by Flower Craft artist Manu Torres.

Flower Craft
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York
May 14–June 26, 2022

Six floral artists, each exhibiting for a week, explore, in the organizers’ words, “all stages of the plant life cycle, from seed to germination to decay,” melding live flowers with dried botanicals, artificial materials, and other components to create cutting-edge floral sculpture.

Past | Present: Expanding the Stories of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York
May 15, 2022–January 8, 2023

The labels that accompany objects in museums are usually terse, focusing on a maker, an art movement, or a slice of historical context. In this exhibition, curators have assembled glass works rich in significance in order to tell multiple stories about them. Visitors, too, are given opportunities to share their thoughts about the works and the show.

Once Upon a Roof: Vanished Korean Architecture
National Museum of Asian Art, Washington, DC
May 21–October 30, 2022

While the wooden buildings of Korea’s Three Kingdoms and Unified Silla periods (57 BC–935 AD) are long gone, clay roof tiles from the ancient structures survive. Visitors will see precious examples, including chimi, elaborately figured tiles that crowned the ends of the main roof ridge of important buildings and were believed to ward off evil.

2022 Elizabeth and Irwin Warren Folk Art Symposium | Objects of Inquiry: New Perspectives on American Folk Art
American Folk Art Museum, New York, New York
May 22, 2022

In this virtual colloquium, held in connection with the museum’s exhibition MULTITUDES, eminent curators and historians join forces to discuss the most recent thinking about what American folk art is and the roles it plays, with particular emphasis upon contemporary perspectives on ethnic identity and nationalism.

Fragile: Earth
May 22, 2022–January 8, 2023
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey

Centered on the theme of fragility, sixteen ceramists of color present works in clay in this exhibition organized with The Color Network, an organization for BIPOC ceramic artists that fosters networking, mentorship, and access to resources.

Made to Last: The Legacy of the Jubilee Quilt Circle 
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, Texas
May 28–September 10, 2022

In conjunction with the 35th anniversary of Houston’s Community Artists’ Collective, this exhibition celebrates the work of The Collective’s Jubilee Quilt Circle, in which contemporary artists continue, and elaborate upon, the rich tradition of African American quilting. 

June

Fiberart International 2022
Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 3–August 20, 2022

The 24th in a series of juried exhibitions open to textile artists worldwide, Fiberart International 2022 is intended, according to organizers, to highlight “innovative work rooted in traditional fiber materials, structure, processes and history, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between fiber and other creative disciplines.”

Out of the Vault: Soundtracks
Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington
June 18, 2022–Ongoing

This comprehensive exhibition, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, features pieces donated by artists and collectors, as well as works created in MOG’s Hot Shop during visiting artist residencies.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
National Mall, Washington, DC
June 22–27 & June 30–July 4, 2022

The Festival has been introducing Americans to global folk and vernacular traditions since 1967. After a COVID-imposed cancellation in 2020, and a stripped-down online version in 2021, it’s live this year—a kaleidoscopic blend of musical performances, food truck offerings, storytelling, and workshops, plus an online craft market. 

grid of red heart organs sculpted from felted wool arranged on a white wall

As featured in Iris Eichenberg: When Words Fail at the Museum of Craft and Design: Iris Eichenberg, Wolleherzen (“Wool Hearts”), 1993–2007, wool, variable dimensions. Photo by Tim Thayer.

Iris Eichenberg: Where Words Fail
Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, California
June 25–October 30, 2022

Eichenberg rebels against the exclusivity of traditional jewelry by employing non-precious materials, while her imagery explores issues like gender and identity. Her practice has expanded to include sculpture and installations, and this full range will be on display in this, her first comprehensive mid-career survey in the US.

Robyn Horn: Material Illusions
Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, California
June 25–October 30, 2022

This exhibition showcases recent work by an artist whose sculptural pieces in wood evoke rock formations, some of which seem ready to topple under the pressure of mysterious forces. “Under Horn’s hand,” the curators write, “a material stable and sturdy enough to use in construction becomes elegantly precarious.”

From Artisans to Artists: African American Metal Workers in Memphis
Metal Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
June 26–September 11, 2022

An historical throughline between West Africa and Memphis is the subject of this exhibition, which moves from West African blacksmithing traditions to the work of four contemporary artists. Along the way, it tells the stories of enslaved smiths on two local plantations and two prominent post-Emancipation blacksmiths/entrepreneurs.

July

Six McKnight Artists
Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 1–August 21, 2022

Ashwini Bhat, Hyang Jin Cho, Mike Helke, Tom Hubbard, Roberta Massuch, and Juliane Shibata are the honorees in a show that ranges from Bhat’s complex, tormented abstractions to Helke’s colorful, funky-crude pots to Massuch’s slightly skewed architectural geometries.

We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
July 1, 2022–March 26, 2023

This show tells the tale of how, despite social, racial, and gender barriers, self-taught artists made a place for themselves in the 20th-century art world. Drawings, paintings, and sculptures by 43 artists, in styles ranging from narrative to abstract, demonstrate the vigor and variety of their personal visions.

Native Pop: People of the Plains
Rapid City, South Dakota
July 9–10, 2022

Rapid City’s Main Street Square is the focal point of this two-day celebration of the Indigenous art and culture of the Great Plains. There’s a juried art show and—for the first time in Native Pop’s 10-year run—an art and craft market on both days. 

quilt showing group of women seated around a quilt with sunflower pattern in the midst of a sunflower field with the painter van gogh standing nearby and a grouping of buildings in the backdrop

As featured in Faith Ringgold: American People at the de Young Museum: Faith Ringgold, The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles: The French Collection, Part I, #4, 1991, acrylic on canvas, printed and tie-dyed pieced fabric, and ink, 74 x 80 in. Collection Oprah Winfrey. © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York 2022.

Faith Ringgold: American People 
de Young Museum, San Francisco, California
July 16–November 27, 2022

This is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of Ringgold’s work, comprising half a century of art devoted to political and social change. Visitors will see works from many of her best-known series and will be able to track the development of her bold figurative style. 

Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes 
Mint Museum Randolph, Charlotte, North Carolina
July 16–December 11, 2022

In the weavings on display here, the Los Angeles artist, known for his commitment to African American and queer narratives, adapts imagery from the Freedom Quilts, which served as signals on the Underground Railroad. Also on view: prototypes of a “basket boat” in which he hopes to float down the Mississippi River, evoking ancient legends of deliverance from oppression. 

woven artwork reminscent of american flag with abstract shapes interspersed in the textile

As featured in Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Thread, Spirit, Resistance. Documented Work at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles: Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Quatlique-landia, 2017, nylon Mexican flag, cotton and metallic thread, woven. Photo courtesy of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Thread, Spirit, Resistance. Documented Work 
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, California
July 17–October 16, 2022

Jimenez Underwood offers work from 1974 through 2020, expressing her connection with the land and the threats to it represented by fences and walls—and the mentality behind them. Images of maps, flowers, and caution signs are woven into these vivid quilts. Visitors can also see work by four of her students in the accompanying show, Forward Shifts.

Forward Shifts: CJU Next Generation
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, California
July 17–October 16, 2022

The four quilt artists whose work is on display here have studied with Consuelo Jimenez Underwood (CJU). The work of Victoria May, Erica Diazoni, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and Jinny Ly shows how talented students can take a master teacher’s legacy in new directions.

Yvonne Wells
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama
July 22–October 16, 2022

Wells, who describes herself as “a storyteller first, and a folk quilter second,” has created a vivid body of work rooted in the Bible and the movement for Black liberation. In this show, quilts from the museum’s permanent collection are on display, including Wells’ most recent one, which tells the story of the Amistad slave ship rebellion.

conceptual weaving made from columns of red string beset with interlocking loops of red rope

As featured in A Beautiful Mess: Weavers and Knotters of the Vanguard at the Huntsville Museum of Art: Windy Chien, Circuit Board, 2021, rope, vintage 24k gold Japanese thread, synthetic chainette yarn, 58 x 96 x 2.5 in. Photo by Windy Chien.

A Beautiful Mess: Weavers and Knotters of the Vanguard
Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama
July 24–October 16, 2022

A dozen female artists with a conceptual bent show twisted, tied, and braided works that tell personal stories and address sociopolitical issues, employing materials not usually associated with weaving, such as rope, yarn, clay, and wire. The goal, according to organizers, is to “further revolutionize the previously marginalized genre of fiber arts.”

August

textured sculpture of a woman with upper half white and lower half red with dark red markings on cheeks and neck

As featured in Raven Halfmoon: New Monuments at the Missoula Art Museum: Raven Halfmoon, She's Something Else, 2020, stoneware and glaze. Photo courtesy of the Missoula Art Museum.

Raven Halfmoon: New Monuments
August 2–December 31, 2022
Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, Montana

Halfmoon, a member of the Caddo Nation, creates haunting ceramic sculptures—Native figures with multiple sets of eyes or mirrored faces. This exhibition shows her working on a massive scale and in a rough-hewn style; some works reach nine feet in height, with black, white, or red glaze encroaching on exposed areas of raw clay.

two hands with fingers adorning with handmade metal star rings

Artist Cody Sanderson at the 2021 Santa Fe Indian Market. Photo by Shayla Blatchford Photography.

Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe Community Convention Center and Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 17–21, 2022

This year’s Indian Market is special: it’s the 100th outing of the legendary craft fair on the Santa Fe Plaza. A gallery show at El Museo de Cultural, inaugurating Art Indigenous, a new contemporary-art fair, will be followed by the Market itself—the world’s largest showcase of Native jewelry, textiles, baskets, beadwork, quillwork, and more, by more than a thousand artists representing about 100 Indigenous communities.

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