Eight years ago a good friend invited me to ‘booth sit’ at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. “What is the Craft Show, birdhouses and macramé planters,” I asked. She smiled and replied, “Come see for yourself.”
Fast-forward to today. I am very excited to be Chairman of the 36th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2012! I am drinking the Craft Kool-Aid. When I arrived at the Convention Center all those years ago I entered a very special world where I was able to meet and converse with incredibly talented artists. Artists love to tell you about their work, their craft – their inspiration, their material, their technique, their journey. Walking up and down the aisles of the Show floor I am amazed at the creativity of the works of art and the range of media: glass, ceramics, metal, wood, fiber, baskets, and jewelry – and all handmade art – one of a kind! Many of the artists have pieces installed in museum permanent collections such as the Smithsonian, The Metropolitan Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The White House.
Each piece of art that my husband and I have purchased over the years from the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has a special place in our hearts and in our home. I smile when I pass Natalia Margulis’ fiber decorative piece depicting a snow-covered valley. My hand has to touch and feel the silkiness of Holly Tornheim’s wood platter that I keep on a stand on my sofa table. Nancy Nicholson’s stained glass painting shines a kaleidoscope of multi-color reflections all over my staircase and entryway walls. Do I own objects from Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen? Of course! But they don’t compare to the feeling I have when I look at my Spirit Vessel made by basket artist Jackie Abrams. Jackie is both an artist and teacher. “My pieces speak of the cultures and the women I have encountered. Their lives, their fabrics, and their colors inform the vessels I create”, says Jackie. It gives me pleasure to have her basket vessel sitting proudly on my fireplace mantelpiece.
One of this year’s goals is to communicate and educate our friends, family, and community on an extraordinary art form known as Contemporary Craft. One way we will achieve that is through blogs found on our website-like this one. Check back weekly for articles written by artists, gallery owners, curators, students, and craft collectors. See you at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, November 8-11, Preview Party on November 7th.
One last thing, the Craft Kool-Aid is delicious!