Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing

Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing

2022 Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing

Meet the Winners

Portrait of Anya Montiel

Anya Montiel
“Respect, Reciprocity, and Responsibility: A Way Forward,” This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World exhibition catalog

From the jurors: “‘Respect, Reciprocity, and Responsibility’ starts with artists and objects and moves into an entirely new outlook, while being informed by the lessons of the pandemic and the broader implications of craft and art in our culture.”

Anya Montiel is a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Previously she was the curator of American and Native American women’s art and craft through the Smithsonian Women’s History Initiative. Her recent exhibition, Ancestors Know Who We Are, explores the interwoven histories of Black and Indigenous peoples through art. She received her PhD in American Studies from Yale University and her bachelor’s degrees in Native American Studies and anthropology from the University of California at Davis. She has written for American Indian magazine, Art in America, and the Oxford Handbook of American Indian History as well as exhibition essays for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Heard Museum, the Hood Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
 
Portrait by Katherine Fogden (NMAI).

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Shannon Stratton
“Whose Haunting Who?” Dilettante Army, Spring 2022

From the jurors: “‘Whose Haunting Who?’ is an ambitious article that focuses on some difficult questions and attempts to address some foundational issues in the field of craft.”

Shannon Stratton works fluidly across genres of artistic production as an artist, curator, writer, producer, and arts administrator. The common thread between these practices is a background in studio art in painting and fiber, sites she still returns to to metabolize experience through mark making. Previously she was chief curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, interim senior curator at The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and founder and executive director of Threewalls in Chicago. While her curatorial work has touched on most disciplines, her focus is contemporary art in fiber, as well as a growing interest in contemporary and historic sound practices. Her exhibitions include: Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries; Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care; Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound; Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes; and Ebony G. Patterson: …buried again to carry on growing, among many others. She teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she now serves as the director of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Painting and Drawing. Previously she was core faculty in the Warren Wilson MA in Critical & Historical Craft Studies as well as a Critical Studies Fellow at The Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has written for artist monographs, exhibition catalogs, art journals, and other publications throughout her career. Stratton has been executive director of Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency since 2020.
 
Portrait courtesy of Shannon Stratton.

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Portrait of Shannon Stratton
Portrait of Sebastian Grant

Sebastian Grant
“Explorations in Black Jewelry: Politics,” Metalsmith, March 2022, Vol. 42

From the jurors: “‘Explorations in Black Jewelry: Politics’ makes important connections between politics and jewelry as a vehicle for exploring Black identity, while highlighting some interesting recent work in the field.”

Sebastian Grant is a curator, art historian, and adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
 
Graduating with a bachelor's in Art History at McGill University and a Masters in Curatorial Studies in Parsons, his focus in his research explores contemporary curatorial dialogues and methods in art history and design in reaction to current conversations in identity politics. As the development of new critical disciplines continue to explore issues in the discourse of art history and design, and the fight for personal agency in minority racial, gender, and queer voices, he continues to look into the institutional reception of these disciplines and the methods that renowned artistic institutions take to provide a more inclusive dialogue to their collection.
 
Mr. Grant has pursued these questions through his work as a fellow of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and as a participant to the museum's first Curatorial Capstone Project. At the museum, he partook in the exhibition of the Susan Grant Lewin Collection in Jewelry of Ideas. He had also co-curated various art and fashion shows including Atman: The Caribbean Lion, which coincided with Art Basel Miami Beach. He was also curator to the 40th Anniversary exhibition of the Materials for the Arts in Long Island City, Lost and Found, and participated in the research and collection of the Rings Redux show at SCAD. In addition, he is the current curator of the Susan Grant Lewin Art Jewelry Collection, managing the collection and facilitating exhibitions. His current scholarship is in the history of Black Jewelry Art of the 20th Century, and he has presented his research at New York City Jewelry Week and in lectures at Parsons. He also continues to write articles on the subject for Metalsmith and Art Jewelry Forum, hoping to bring more awareness to the legacies of these designers.
 
Photo by Derrick Grant.

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Each winner has been awarded $1,000 for their previously published work that moves the craft conversation forward.

Meet Our 2022 Guest Award Jurors

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian
Hrag Vartanian is an editor, art critic, curator, and lecturer on contemporary art with an expertise in the intersection of art and politics and the editor in chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.
 
Hrag co-founded the publication Hyperallergic in 2009 in response to changes in the art world, the publishing industry, and the distribution of information. Breaking news, award-winning reporting, informed opinions, and quality conversations about art have helped Hyperallergic reach over a million readers and listeners a month. 
 
In 2016, Hrag launched the Hyperallergic Podcast, which tells stories from around the world. Some notable episodes have delved into the history of Surrealism in Egypt, the little-known story of female Abstract Expressionists, and front-line coverage of the artists taking part in the #StopDAPL action at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.
 
He helped champion a type of straight-forward online art criticism that believes in the power of journalism while retaining a sensitivity to the cultural and economic realities that inform the world of art, culture, and politics. In May 2018, art critic Mary-Louise Schumacher wrote about the rise of Hyperallergic for Neiman Reports at Harvard University.
 
His curatorial interests are focused on theories and practices of decolonization, which is informed by his own experience of being part of a post-genocide diaspora. In 2010, he moved Hyperallergic into a gallery at Outpost in Ridgewood, Queens, to stage #theSocialGraph, the world’s first multi-disciplinary exhibition of social media-related art. In 2015, he orchestrated Jade Townsend’s Crazy Amazing Garage Sale exhibition at Auxiliary Projects, Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The three-day liquidation sale of unsold art was an attempt to release the capital trapped in one artist’s storage unit—it liberated over $3,000.
 
In 2017, he kicked off a 10-year project exploring the contemporary legacy of Ottoman studio photography with an exhibition at Minerva Projects in Denver, Colorado. It included works by R. Caracashian, Dor Gues, Aram Jibilian, Gabriel Lékégian, Hrair Sarkissian, Gariné Torossian, Garo Varjabedian, and Akram Zaatari. The book is forthcoming in 2022.
 
He regularly visits universities and colleges as a visiting critic, including RISD, Brooklyn College, UC Davis, Pratt Institute, American University, Vanderbilt University, Columbia University, and UNLV, and he has moderated panel discussions and juried exhibitions for various organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Ford Foundation, and Chautauqua Institution.
 
Beyond his writing and research, he is an avid photographer and collector of historical studio photographs. He maintains an extensive archive of mostly art-related images (15,000+) on Flickr, which he has uploaded under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.
 
His original blog, simply named Hrag Vartanian, was very active between 2006 and 2010 and focused on politics, writing, and mostly art. The art blog had thousands of daily readers and included guest contributors. It was part of the Culture Pundits network.
 
You can also subscribe to Hyperallergic’s newsletter and for more information on the publication and his thoughts on art writing, you can listen to a 2012 interview he gave to the Bad at Sports podcast, a 2014 episode of The Conversation Pod podcast, or a 2017 conversation on Tulsa’s NPR station with artist Sharon Louden. He also has a personal newsletter, and he promises to send more regular missives at some point, but right now it’s pretty infrequent—but you can always find him on Twitter.
 
He’s also prepared a “30 Things of Mine You Might Want to Read” list of favorite essays, interviews, articles, reviews, and opinion pieces for those who may have only recently discovered his writing.
 
hragvartanian.com | hyperallergic.com | @hragv
 
Portrait by Aram Jiblian.
 

Charisse Pearlina Weston

Charisse Pearlina Weston
Charisse Pearlina Weston is a Brooklyn-based conceptual artist and writer whose practice is grounded in a deep material investigation of poetics and the autobiographical to explore the delicate intimacies and reticent poetics underlying Black life. Her work has been exhibited in group shows at Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, and Bard College of Art (forthcoming) and solo presentations at Project Row Houses, and Recess, as well as two forthcoming museum exhibitions (fall 2022). Her recent awards include grants from Artadia Fund For the Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund, and the Harpo Foundation. In 2019 she was a Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellow in Painting and Sculpture. She is the recipient of the Museum of Art and Design (MAD)’s 2021 Burke Prize and was also a 2021 Artist Fellow at MAD. She holds an MFA from the University of California-Irvine and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program.
 
charisseweston.com
 
Portrait by Cherisse Pearlina Weston.
 

Portrait of Emily Zaiden

Emily Zaiden
Emily Zaiden is director and curator of the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, where she has organized over 60 contemporary art, craft, and design exhibitions for the Center and partner museum venues since 2010. Zaiden oversees public programs, a K-12 educational initiative, and digital projects, including the development of a Craft Video Dictionary for Craft in America. She publishes catalogs, essays, and articles for journals and books including Archives of American Art Journal, American Tapestry Alliance, Metalsmith, Ettore Sottsass: Architect and Designer, and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood (forthcoming). She has served as juror and lectured widely. Zaiden has an MA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and has focused on craft processes, functional and cultural craft forms, and craft from a historical lens throughout her work. She was research associate to the Decorative Arts and Design department at LACMA and research editor for Architectural Digest prior to joining Craft in America.
 
craftinamerica.org
 
Portrait courtesy of Emily Zaiden.
 

Read About Last Year's Awardees

View the 2021 Lois Moran Award Winners.

1964 portrait of Lois Moran

Lois Moran, 1964. Photo courtesy of the ACC Library & Archives.

About the Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing
– $3,000 in Juried Awards –

The longest-serving editor of American Craft magazine and a monumental figure in the history of the American Craft Council, Lois Moran was a tireless proponent of the field of American craft. She had a mission to elevate the importance of craft for a broad audience. The ACC seeks nominations annually for an award in her name recognizing the work of writers committed to moving the craft conversation forward.

2023 Nomination Details Forthcoming

Sign up for our monthly Craft Dispatch email newsletter to receive details about our 2023 nomination period.

Nomination Guidelines

  • The award will be given for a thoughtfully-written and dynamic individual article or essay on some aspect of American craft.
  • Entries should be no more than 5,000 words.
  • Please submit work in English only.
  • Eligible articles and essays must have been published on a public platform (print or digital) between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.
  • Entries may have first appeared in craft publications, general interest magazines, newspapers, online publications, blogs, as stand-alone essays in books, etc.
  • Full-length books and academic papers are not eligible, nor are articles that have appeared in American Craft or on the ACC website.
  • Deadline for nominations is June 30, 2022 (midnight Central Standard Time).
  • There is no entry fee.
  • International applicants are welcome as long as the writing addresses American craft.
2008 portrait of Lois Moran

Lois Moran, ca. 2008. Photo by Paul Smith.

We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason.

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Your gift in honor of Lois will enable us to continue recognizing excellent writers in the craft field through this award for years to come.