Emerging Artist Chris Hughes on Supporting the Future of Craft

Emerging Artist Chris Hughes on Supporting the Future of Craft

Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes, ACC show artist from Omaha and owner of Artifact Bag Co.; Photo: Courtesy of the artist

I started Artifact Bag Co. in February 2010 in my basement with a vintage commercial sewing machine that I found online. Just 10 months later, I left my job to run Artifact full-time. It may be the best decision I’ve ever made.

I love collecting and am inspired by objects that are well made, well designed, and well used. I have been able to channel this love into a career with the help of the American Craft Council.

As an emerging artist, I was eligible to participate in ACC’s Hip Pop program, designed to help folks like me break into the high-end craft show market. Artists in the program save money by sharing booth space (and therefore the cost of things like electricity, booth décor, and marketing) with other emerging artists.

In February 2015, I exhibited at the ACC Baltimore show. Through Hip Pop, I engaged with established makers and other emerging artists, worked with ACC’s experienced show team – who provided me with a high level of support, and gained exposure to a supportive community that, like you, appreciate the true value of craft.

As part of the program, I was also paired with an artist mentor whose helpful insight encouraged me to expand my business.

I made the transition to a booth of my own just two months later at ACC’s St. Paul show. It was a great success. The Hip Pop program removes many of those daunting barriers emerging artists face. It allowed me to test assumptions in a shared booth and transition smoothly into a solo booth. ACC facilitates collaboration and plays a significant role in bringing the public together with new and established makers to strengthen the future of craft.

I encourage you to join me in making a tax-deductible donation today.

When you give, you support artists and make programs such as Hip Pop possible.

Thank you supporting the American Craft Council and the life-enriching artistry and craft it champions.

Chris Hughes, artist

P.S. Whether you are inspired by ACC’s shows, library, magazine, or programs such as Hip Pop, your gift ensures access to craft resources for makers, scholars, collectors, and you. Make a gift today.