Contemporary Craft at the Delaware Art Museum
In this Sponsored Post, Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art for the Delaware Art Museum gives us a glimpse into the history of the Juried Craft Exhibition, which was first formally established in 1958. Delaware Art Museum’s 2018 Juried Craft Exhibition opens Saturday, October 20, 2018 with a gallery talk with Juror Paul Sacaridiz at 2:00pm.

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By Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art

In spring 1958, during a lecture for the Delaware Art Museum’s first annual exhibition of contemporary craft, Thomas S. Tibbs, director of New York’s Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Arts and Design) called for the breaking down of “barriers between the so-called ‘fine arts’ and the work of artist-craftsmen.” The special display included experimentations in weaving, silver, furniture, ceramics, and enameling. The show continued yearly until it was combined with the Museum’s annual painting and sculpture exhibitions in 1989 to form the Biennial.

"Queen Butterfly," 2017 Mirjam Seeger (born 1953), Painting on fused glass, 12 × 24 inches, Courtesy of the artist. © Miriam Seeger.
“Queen Butterfly,” 2017 Mirjam Seeger (born 1953), Painting on fused glass, 12 × 24 inches, Courtesy of the artist. © Miriam Seeger.

By 1961, the annual exhibition also served as a vehicle for the Museum to add contemporary craft to its permanent collection. In the years that followed, over 50 works of art by regionally and nationally known artists were acquired. Many of those works are on view in the Museum’s Lynn Herrick Sharp Gallery for contemporary art during the run of the 2018 Juried Craft Exhibition.

Selected by Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Director, Paul Sacaridiz, the Delaware Art Museum’s 2018 Juried Craft Exhibition will present 61 works of art that invite visitors to consider the complexity of craft today. As Sacaridiz explains, “The field of craft has clearly undergone significant changes, opening up dramatically from the narrow restrictions of skill and mastery that defined it in previous decades. Artists today are engaged with an incredibly broad set of concerns, ranging from social practice and institutional critique to design and functionality.” Thirty-nine artists from the mid-Atlantic region are represented.

"No gods. No boyfriends.," 2017, Ashley Catharine Smith (born 1989), Embroidered photograph with French knots and seed beads, 12 × 12 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Ashley Catharine Smith.
“No gods. No boyfriends.,” 2017, Ashley Catharine Smith (born 1989), Embroidered photograph with French knots and seed beads, 12 × 12 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Ashley Catharine Smith.

Delaware Art Museum’s 2018 Juried Craft Exhibition opens Saturday, October 20 with a gallery talk with Juror Paul Sacaridiz at 2:00pm. There is also a Juried Craft Exhibition Members Preview taking place Friday, October 19, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Tags

2018 Juried Craft Exhibition, craft, Lynn Herrick Sharp Gallery, museum of arts and design, Paul Sacaridiz, Thomas S. Tibbs

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