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Archive for the ‘Art or Craft?’ Category

Discussions about whether beading is an art or a craft, with supporting details and elaborations

Joyce Scott – Is There A Place For Controversy?

Posted by learntobead on May 21, 2009

Joyce Scott
Bead Artist, Multi-Media Artist, Social Commentator

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I consider Joyce Scott to be one of the founders of today’s modern beadwork movement.    Her work is intricate and layered, both technically and socially/politically.

Peeping Necklace

Peeping Necklace

A couple years ago, her less provocative bead works were to be on display at our local Frist Center Gallery in Nashville.    The curator of this traveling exhibit switched out her pieces with more provocative ones.  Ones dealing with inter-racial relationships, sexuality, rape and the like.   The Frist pulled the exhibit.

Race Gender Politics Mixed Media

Race Gender Politics Mixed Media

I wrote them to ask why they would take away a prime opportunity for local beaders to experience this master — Joyce Scott?   

Day After Rape

Day After Rape

They phoned a few days later.  In our phone conversation, they explained that this kind of charged material takes months to market to the community, set their expectations, calm knee-jerk emotions.    Otherwise, the likely headlines and the included images in various publications around town, could be too inflamatory.   They explained that Nashville wasn’t ready for this kind of exhibit yet.

Painful Death

Painful Death

We were left to view her pieces as images online or in magazines, or to travel to New York or California or Maryland, where Joyce works and lives, to see her pieces in person.

And the action of the Frist Center sent a chilling message to artists that they tread lightly on difficult themes, and that they avoid finding powerful voices within their media, lest they be without a display showcase and livelihood.

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What Is Craft?

Posted by learntobead on March 27, 2009

This question comes up often:
What is Craft?

Is Craft Art?

Can Craft be Art?

In many circles “jewelry” is considered a craft.  In others, “jewelry” is art.

At the Victoria and Albert Museum in England, they have opened up their art collections to include those of craft.  Yet they continue to make a distinction between the two, as seems to be common across Europe.    Craft is what you do with your hands, and Art is what you do with your mind.

To celebrate a new partnership between the V&A and the Crafts Council, we asked leading figures in the craft world to tell us what the term craft means to them. We hope these comments will inspire you send us your views too, resulting in some healthy debate.”

[While you are visiting the V&A museum online, check out their jewellery collections — don’t you love the way the British spell jewelry!.]

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I think in America, any distinctions between craft and art are starting to get very murky.    I guess we tend to be much more democratic about things.

I recently finished reading a book called SHARDS by Garth Clark on ceramic art.   Clark’s is a major voice for understanding craft as art.  But he decries the lack of leadership in the ceramics field in how ceramics are taught, and how ceramics are promoted.    He feels that ceramics relies too much on an industrial model — making the best toilets, and not enough on an art model — making objects that resonate from an artist’s personality, sensibilities, and social/cultural perspectives.

I wonder sometimes if there are not parallels in jewelry and beading to Clark’s assessments of ceramics.

Another book I’ve just begun is THINKING THROUGH CRAFT by Glenn Adamson.    He asks provocative questions about the marginalization of craft within modern art.   He advocates for visual artists to take a renewed look at craft to better understand the “working in media” craft techniques and theories which also underly the visual arts, but are too often ignored.

 And just in time for our blog discussion on craft vs. art, I received this announcement from the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR.

Community Conversations
Museum of Contemporary Craft, Pacific Northwest College of Art and panelists from Oregon’s creative community invite you to engage in a series of conversations about the anticipated integration of these two institutions. Explore the broader concepts relevant to creating a more vibrant and expanded organization that will strengthen its contribution to the cultural voice and economic vitality of the region. Conversations are moderated by Tim DuRoche, community program manager at Portland Center Stage.
 

Thursday, April 9, 6:30 pm
The Changing Dynamics of Craft and Design

Pacific Northwest College of Art, 1241 NW Johnson, Portland

Panelists
:
Andrew Wagner
, editor-in-chief, American Craft magazine
Namita Gupta Wiggers, curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft
JP Reuer, chair, MFA in applied craft and design, Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) and PNCA

Karl Burkheimer
, head, OCAC wood department

What Does Craft Mean To You?   What Do You Think It Means To Others?
How Does This Affect Jewely Making, Beadwork and Jewelry Design?  
PLEASE POST YOUR VIEWS AND FEELINGS:

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Mandy Greer: Dare alla Luce

Posted by learntobead on March 5, 2009

Mandy Greer: Dare alla Luce

January 22-May 31
Museum of Contemporary Craft
Portland, Oregon

Northwest artist Mandy Greer creates her largest and most intricate artwork, extending her sculpture to a room-sized scale. Greer employs humble handicraft processes and materials, executing her work through crochet, braiding, sewing and beading processes that use yarn, beads, shells, feathers and more. Merging the mythical and the mundane, the resulting work intertwines objects and space in an exuberant, sensual and visceral installation.

See the installation on video

http://vimeo.com/2905630?pg=transcoded_embed&sec=2905630

  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Art or Craft?, beads, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »