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Craft in America, Inc.
Formation2004
FoundersCarol Sauvion
TypeNon-profit organization
PurposeEducation
Location
Region served
United States
Websitehttp://www.craftinamerica.org

Craft in America, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Carol Sauvion in 2004, based in Los Angeles, California. The organization documents and promotes contemporary American and traditional craft practices through educational programs across various media. It aims to foster an appreciation for handmade craft, recognize the craft makers, and emphasize the cultural significance of craft in the nation's heritage.

Its television series Craft in America includes more than 20 hour-long episodes. It is shown on PBS,[1] and is a winner of the Peabody Award.[2] In 2020, Craft in America was awarded the inaugural Decorative Arts Trust Prize for Excellence and Innovation in connection with its plan to create a video dictionary of decorative arts tools, techniques, and materials.[3]

Television Series

Carol Sauvion and the crew of Craft in America at the 67th Annual Peabody Awards

In 2005, with grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the support of private donors, filming began for three one-hour television documentaries on American craft.[4] Craft in America, the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning[2] PBS television documentary series premiered in 2007. The twenty-second and twenty-third episodes aired on December 27, 2019.[1]

Each episode takes viewers inside the homes and studios of skilled makers who speak of the creative process while crafting hand-made works. Thus far, over two hundred artists have been filmed including MacArthur Fellows bead worker Joyce J. Scott,[5] woodworker Sam Maloof,[6] and blacksmith Tom Joyce.[7] Other artists include birch bark basket maker Dona Look,[8] and Mira Nakashima,[9] daughter of furniture maker George Nakashima. Additionally, episodes have highlighted numerous schools and craft institutions committed to advancing and preserving American crafts such as Pilchuck Glass School, Pewabic Pottery, Penland School of Craft, North Bennet Street School, Renwick Gallery, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The series is notable for its diversity of native and multi-cultural craft artists as well as more widely recognized practitioners.[10]

The episodes "Borders" and "Neighbors", cross the southern boundary of the United States for the first time to focus on our shared history and influence upon each other. This was an outcome of Craft in America's participation in Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,[11] the Getty's ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with the city of Los Angeles, California. Producer/Director Carol Sauvion describes these episodes as carrying a message about international relations and cross-cultural exchanges, affirming that there are no borders in art.[12]

"Borders" takes viewers across the Mexico border, and back again, to explore the connections and influences between Mexican and American craft artists. It visits Mexican master altar maker Ofelia Esparza, the Mexican celebration Day of the Dead, American artist Kiff Slemmons, and many other artists forging unique and ongoing cultural exchanges.[13]

"Neighbors" brings viewers across the southern border of the United States to meet Mexican ceramic artists Carlomagno Pedro Martínez, Magdalena Pedro Martínez, and admire the work of American silver designer William Spratling. It explores the cross-fertilization between Mexican craft artists and their neighboring American craft artists such as muralist Judy Baca and the Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice, California.[14]

Episodes

Episode name
(w/ link to video)
First PBS air date Featured artists, specialties, and locations
Memory May 30, 2007
Landscape May 30, 2007
Community May 30, 2007
Origins October 7, 2009
Process October 7, 2009
Messages May 24, 2011
Family October 17, 2011
Threads May 11, 2012
Crossroads November 16, 2012
Forge October 25, 2013
  • Silversmiths at Old Newbury Crafters: Chloe Darke, Geoffrey Blake
  • Artists/sculptors: Tom Pullin, Jeremiah Holland, Davide Prete, Albert Paley
Holiday December 20, 2013
  • Woodcarver: Harley Refsal
  • Ceramics: Susan Garson, Veronica Castillo
  • Chicano culture: Isabel and Enrique Sánchez, Kathleen Trenchard
  • Glass: Garcia Art Glass
  • Locations and competitions: John C. Campbell Folk School, Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition, Biltmore House
Industry May 2, 2014
Service November 2, 2014
Celebration December 11, 2015
  • Ceramics: Pewabic Pottery, Motawi Tileworks
  • Kwanza celebrations: Babatunde Graves
  • Woodblock prints: Yoshiko Yamamoto
  • Chinese New Year lion dancers, artists, float builders: Corey Chan, Jeff Lee, Thomas Chun, Travis Lum, Jared Young, Yumei Hou, East West Floats
Music November 20, 2015
Teachers September 15, 2016
Nature April 21, 2017
Borders September 29, 2017
Neighbors September 29, 2017
California December 21, 2018
  • Corine Pearce (Pomo basket weaver)
  • Randy Stromsoe (silversmith)
  • Greene and Greene (architecture firm, designer of The Gamble House)
  • Judson Studios (glass)
  • Jack Ipekjian (cabinet maker)
  • James Ipekjian (cabinet maker)
  • Deborah Cross (textile artist)
Visionaries December 21, 2018
Identity December 27, 2019 Diego Romero (potter)

Cara Romero (photographer) Wendy Maruyama (furniture) Cristina Córdova (sculptor)

Quilts December 27, 2019 Susan Hudson

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Michael A. Cummings Judith Content International Quilt Museum

Democracy December 11, 2020 Julie Schafler Dale (gallerist and craft historian), Linda J. Mendelson (textile artist),

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit and Aleut multi-media artist), George Rodriguez (sculptor), Christina Bothwell (glass artist)

Storytellers December 11, 2020 George Rodriguez (sculptor)

Art to Wear movement Julie Schafler Dale (historian) Linda J. Mendelson (textiles) Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit and Aleut multi-media artist) Christina Bothwell (glass)

Harmony November 4, 2021 Susan Lipkins (bowmaker)

Knoxville Museum of Art Ann Savoy (musician, photographer and author) Doug Naselroad (luthier) Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Richard Jolley (glass) Marc Savoy (musician and accordion maker)

Jewelry December 10, 2021 Robert K. Liu

Brooklyn Museum Heard Museum Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Gabrielle Gould Tom Herman Harriete Estel Berman (sculptor) Clyde Johnson Art Smith Jesse Monongya (Navajo/Hopi jeweler) Joyce J. Scott

Home December 16, 2022 Syd Carpenter, Helen Drutt, Wharton Esherick, Biskakone Greg Johnson, North House Folk School, and Sim Van der Ryn
Inspiration December 16, 2022 Diedrick Brackens, Ayumi Horie, Maddy Leeser, Mary Little, Simon Rodia and Watts Towers, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Suzanne Thao, Tousue Vang, Chef Yia Vang, and Mandora Young
Miniatures December 29, 2023 Alexander Girard, Leandro Gómez Quintero, Mark Murphy, International Folk Art Market, Gustave Baumann
Play December 29, 2023 Roberto Benavidez, Lorena Robletto, Chris Green, Schroeder Cherry, Calder Kamin, Skirball Cultural Center, Cotsen Children's Library, Lloyd Cotsen

Additional projects

Additional projects include establishing the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, California [15] to extend the reach of the documentary series by hosting artist talks, curating exhibitions, authoring books, maintaining an archival library of books, magazines, DVDs and video footage on craft, and an extensive website with further information on artists and craft organizations nationwide. The center also provides the Craft in Schools educational outreach program, connecting students to professional artists with hands-on workshops and talks to underserved public schools in the greater Los Angeles area. Education Guides and various other resources are linked to each episode for use in classrooms[16][17][18] and to expand the knowledge of crafts while inspiring viewers, artists, researchers and more.

Publications

References

  1. ^ a b "Craft in America: Episodes". PBS.org. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Peabody Award". Peabody Award. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  3. ^ "Craft in America Awarded Inaugural Prize for Excellence and Innovation". The Decorative Arts Trust. December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  4. ^ Balzar, John (April 15, 2005). "America's story crafted in passion". LA Times. No. Style & Culture. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "MacArthur Fellow: Joyce J. Scott". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "MacArthur Fellow: Sam Maloof". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "MacArthur Fellow: Tom Joyce". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Dona Look". Craft in America. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Mira Nakashima". Craft in America. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Lovelace, Joyce. "The Journey So Far". American Craft Magazine (April/May 2014).
  11. ^ "LA/LA: A Celebration Beyond Borders". PacificStandardTime.org. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  12. ^ "Borders and Neighbors". Craft in America. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  13. ^ "Episode: Borders". PBS.org. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "Episode: Neighbors". PBS.org. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "Craft in America Study Center". Craft in America.org. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "Education Guides". PBS.org: Craft in America. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  17. ^ "Craft in America Center". Ceramics Monthly. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  18. ^ Lauria, Jo (2007). Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects (2007 ed.). Clarkson Potter. ISBN 978-0307346476.