Podcast of Elisabeth Agro at PMA–respect for craft

Roberta and Libby interview curator Elisabeth Agro in this 17-minute podcast for Artblog Radio.

Elisabeth Agro has established a number of firsts as the curator of the exhibit Craft Spoken Here at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building to Aug. 12. This is the first craft show in recent time not in the hall but treated respectfully in a beautiful gallery space. In addition Agro has brought in a number of live craft practitioners to share their practice with exhibition visitors. “I am not threatened by the small c,” she says of traditional crafters and Etsy enthusiasts, so she has put the live crafters, who range from small c to big C, side by side with the internationally known artists from the collection who are in the show. Philadelphia-based artists like the ultra-conceptual needlepointer Mary Smull, embroidery artist Lance Pawling, and internationally recognized wizard of macrame Ed Bing Lee are just three of the artists taking up residence some days in the Craft Lab section of the exhibit. Agro also commissioned Philadelphia yarn bomber Jesse Hemmons to crochet cozies for the front of the Perelman building, giving the exhibit an unusually homey on-the-street presence. Agro means what she says, and here’s what she said to us.

Elisabeth Agro walking the press through Craft Spoken Here. Behind her, Static by Philadelphia glass artist Jessica Jane Julius.

This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping us get the ball rolling on this project. Thanks also to J-Lab‘s Enterprise Reporting Fund and William Penn Foundation for additional support and to our partner WHYY NewsWorks for their ongoing support. You can listen to Artblog Radio on Apple and Spotify.

Craft Spoken Here
Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building
to Aug. 12, 2012