American Craft Forum: Craft Writing Now
American Craft Forum: Craft Writing Now
Winter 2022 American Craft Forum
Thursday, January 13, 2022, via Zoom
11 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. MT | 1 p.m. CT | 2 p.m. ET
In the Winter 2022 issue of American Craft, we were pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing: Velina Robinson Glass, Kelly Pendergrast, and Aram Han Sifuentes. This forum invited our community to join us for a conversation with them, and with our esteemed Lois Moran Award guest jurors, exploring what it means to write about craft in the contemporary moment, who is writing and has access to platforms, how craft intersects with the human experience, and how this type of dialogue can really help us move the dial.
Earlier in 2021, the American Craft Council, and the craft community, lost one of the greats. Lois Moran was the longest-serving editor of American Craft magazine, and for many, ushered in a new era of contemporary craft writing that put the artist first and kept pace with what was being done in the realm of fine art. In her honor, ACC started this annual award for craft writing to recognize the work of writers committed to moving the craft conversation forward. Read more about the award.
Recipients of the 2021 Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing
Velina Robinson Glass holds a BBA from Temple University and an MBA from LaSalle University and studied jewelry design and metalsmithing at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work experience spans over two decades as a healthcare executive with firms such as Kaiser Permanente and Cigna Healthcare. In 2004, she left the healthcare industry to focus on a career in the arts.
Currently, Glass is a resin and multimedia artist. Her work has been featured in numerous editions of Art Jewelry magazine, in 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs: A Groundbreaking Survey of a Modern Material by Lark Books, and on the cover of the Maryland Institute College of Art catalogue. In addition, she has taught courses at the Tampa Museum of Art and the Gemcutter Guild of America. She has been a contributing writer for Metalsmith, Art Jewelry, Facet, and Polymer Clay Express magazines, and she has participated in many fine craft shows over the years, most notably the Baltimore and Atlanta American Craft Shows, Velvet Di Vinci Plastics show, and Artscape. She is the former president and secretary of the Metals Guild of Maryland and the former secretary of the Gemcutters Guild of Maryland, where she also acted as the editor of their quarterly newsletter.
Kelly Pendergrast is a writer, researcher, and media artist living in San Francisco. She writes about the social and environmental impacts of technology, material culture, and digital images for a range of publications. Her recent work explores topics including the tension between domestic utility and global supply chains, robot performance, and the aesthetics of smart objects. Kelly is the co-founder of Antistatic, a research and communications consultancy that works to bring clarity to complex issues around technology and the environment.
Aram Han Sifuentes is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to claim spaces for immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion, and protest. Exhibitions of her work have been exhibited at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Chicago), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago), Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis), MCA Denver (Denver), and Moody Center for the Arts (Houston). Her solo exhibitions, Talking Back to Power: Projects by Aram Han Sifuentes, will open at the Skirball Cultural Center (Los Angeles) in March 2022, and A System Cannot Protect Those it was Never Meant to Protect will open at moCa Cleveland in January 2022.
Aram is a 2016 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, 2016 3Arts Awardee, and a 2020 Map Fund Grantee. Her project Protest Banner Lending Library was a finalist for the Beazley Design Awards at the Design Museum (London) in 2016. She earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an Associate Professor, Adjunct, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Guest Jurors for the 2021 Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing
Glenn Adamson is a curator, writer, and historian based in New York. He has previously been director of the Museum of Arts and Design, head of research at the V&A, and curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. Adamson’s publications include Thinking Through Craft (2007), The Craft Reader (2010), Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011, co-edited with Jane Pavitt), The Invention of Craft (2013); Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan-Wilson), and Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects (2018). His newest book is Craft: An American History, published by Bloomsbury, and he is co-host of the online interview series Design in Dialogue. Portrait courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
glennadamson.com | @GlennAdamson
Indira Allegra explores memorial as a genre and vital part of the human experience. Deeply informed by the ritual, relational, and performative aspects of weaving, Allegra explores the repetitive crossing of forces held under tension, be they material, social, or emotional. A leader in the performative craft movement, Allegra was winner of the 2019/2020 Burke Prize. They are a YBCA 100 Honoree, Fleishhacker Eureka Fellow, Lucas Artist Fellow, Lambda Literary Fellow, and part of ARTFORUM International’s “Best of 2020.” Portrait courtesy of the artist.
indiraallegra.com | @indiraallegra
M. Rachael Arauz is an independent curator of modern and contemporary art, with a PhD in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. Past exhibition and publication topics have included mid-century abstraction, Mexican photography, language and text in contemporary art, non-figurative portraiture, sound sculpture, and weaving. She has organized exhibitions and contributed to museum catalogues in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Arauz was co-curator of the 2019 exhibition In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1950–1969 for the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Portrait courtesy of the artist.
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