Cultures of Making Symposium

Each year, CraftNOW hosts a symposium to provide a platform for critical discourse in contemporary craft. This year the symposium will be hosted digitally allowing for national and international participation.

CraftNOW’s 2020 symposium Cultures of Making will examine the many ways community, activism, research, and connection develop out of collaborative craft practices in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia to the Santa Clara Pueblo and beyond. Keynote speakers Vashti DuBois, Executive Director of  The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, and Hinda Mandell, editor of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats, will be central to each day’s conversation as we talk and think about the role of craft as a tool for provocation and exchange, especially in this heightened time of social unrest.

Flanking the United States presidential election, this symposium is scheduled for Friday, October 30 and Friday, November 6, 2020. Talks and moderated discussions will take place inspired by the recent publications Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making edited by Glenn Adamson and Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats edited by Hinda Mandell.

This symposium is being organized in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Techné, the museum’s affinity group exploring and celebrating international craft.

Click here to register for October 30

Click here to register for November 6

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Working Lecture and Event Schedule 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Click here to register 

2:00     Opening Remarks with Elisabeth Agro, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Leila Cartier, CraftNOW Philadelphia 

2:15     Hands-on Activity with Wild Hand, Philadelphia

2:20     Vessel and Vehicle: Curator of the Fabric Workshop and Museum Karen Patterson with Upcoming Artist-in-Residence Rose B Simpson

2:50     Crafting Dissent: Keynote Speaker Hinda Mandell

3:10     Crafting Dissent Panel Discussion with Diane Ivey, Claudia Carpenter,  Karen Hampton, Betsy HawleyYu Ra KimFelicity Lufkin, Tal Fitzpatrick, and Sara Trail 

4:10     Question and Answer Session

4:30     Closing Remarks

 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Click here to register 

2:00     Opening Remarks with Elisabeth Agro, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Leila Cartier, CraftNOW Philadelphia 

2:20     Hands-on Activity with Wild Hand, Philadelphia

2:30     Crafting Public Ritual: Keynote by Vashti DuBois of The Colored Girls Museum

3:15     Exploration, Experimentation, Collaboration: 25 Years of the Windgate International Residency Program with The Center for Art in Wood’s Artistic Director Navva Milliken

4:00     On Patriotism and Oikophobia: John Preus with Christine Pfister of Pentimenti Gallery

4:30     Question and Answer Session with Closing Remarks

 

***

The 44th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is currently researching various virtual options that will enable them to present the talents of the selected 2020 artists in an exciting and responsible manner. Save the November 6 – 8, 2020 show dates and follow their social media @PMACraftShow. 

 

Keynote Speakers Vashti DuBois and Hinda Mandell

 

Vashti DuBois has held leadership positions at a number of organizations over her 30-year career in non-profit and arts administration,working primarily on issues impacting girls and women of color including: Free Library of Philadelphia, Tree House Books, the Historic Church of the Advocate, Children’s Art Carnival in New York City, Haymarket People’s Fund in Boston, Congreso Girls Center, and The Leeway Foundation. DuBois is a graduate of Wesleyan University, and a NAMAC Fellow. 

Launched in 2015, The Colored Girls Museum (TCGM) “honors the stories, experiences, and history of Colored Girls of the african diaspora.” It is the first institution of its kind, offering visitors a multi-disciplinary experience of memoir, in all its variety, in a residential space. This museum initiates the “ordinary” object — submitted by the colored girl herself, as representative of an aspect of her story and personal history which she finds meaningful; her object embodies her experience and expression of being a Colored Girl. 

 

Hinda Mandell is an associate professor in the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Communication. She conducts research at the intersection of sensational events with private lives. Since 2018, her research has focused on the intersection of craft and political events, examining craft as a gendered, communication tool that can subvert the social order. Her op-eds have appeared in USA Today, Politico, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, LA Times, and The Guardian. 

She is editor of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019); co-curator and co-editor of Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism (RIT Press, 2019, with the exhibition touring in the U.S. in 2019-2020); a co-editor of Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election (University of Rochester Press, 2018); the author of Sex Scandals, Gender and Power in Contemporary American Politics (Praeger, 2017).

Lecture Descriptions 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Vessel and Vehicle: Curator of the Fabric Workshop and Museum Karen Patterson with Upcoming Artist-in-Residence Rose B Simpson

With an interdisciplinary practice that includes ceramic sculpture, metalwork, fashion, performance, music, custom cars, and writing, Rose B Simpson considers ideas of vessel and vehicle, literally and poetically. As an FWM Artist-In-Residence, Simpson is in the research and engagement phase of the residency wherein she is considering traditional methods, regional practices, and generational knowledge that could inform her contemporary process of making. Join FWM Curator and Rose Simpson in a discussion about what she is hoping to learn from communities both in Santa Clara Pueblo and Philadelphia as she embarks on her two-year residency with FWM.

Crafting Dissent: Keynote Speaker Hinda Mandell with Panelists Diane Ivey, Claudia Carpenter,  Karen Hampton, Betsy Hawley, Yu Ra Kim, Felicity Lufkin, Tal Fitzpatrick, and Sara Trail 

Crafting Dissent keynote and panel with Hinda Mandell celebrates the power of craft as a change-agent, an expressive form of media and as a political tool. The book Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) demonstrates how makers have used craft throughout history—typically involving the manipulation of yarn, thread, and fabric—to resist governmental policy and social norms. The panel will consist of contributors to the book, and makers whose work challenges social structures and explore the following questions among others: Why do people choose craft as a means to channel their activism? Can craft as activism actually move the needle forward on social progress? And how does the process of making connect people to their histories and traditions? 

 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Crafting Public Ritual: Keynote by Vashti DuBois of The Colored Girls Museum

Barbara Bullock, an internationally celebrated artist and educator based in Philadelphia, said of her practice: “I work with the paper until the paper forgets that it’s paper.” Her  approach to creating reminds us that we are always shaping and crafting reality. It reminds us that craft is itself a complex communication system. Who defines “craft”? How does their definition determine its outcome or uses? How does our language limit or expand the potential and purpose of work that finds itself in this category?  

In this keynote Crafting Public Ritual, DuBois invites us to imagine and re-imagine the alchemy of craft:  
Its politics 
Its poetry 
and its purpose to all of us at a time like this.

What happens when crafting is a verb, as it is at The Colored Girls Museum?

Exploration, Experimentation, Collaboration: 25 Years of the Windgate International Residency Program

A discussion with The Center for Art in Wood’s Artistic Director Navva Milliken

Founded in 1995, the Windgate International Turning Exchange (ITE) is a uniquely collaborative arts residency program. For two summer months, artists and researchers from around the world live, work, ideate, and create together in the clamorous center of Philadelphia. Together, they share knowledge and skill, but also form lasting bonds that extend beyond the residency. During this tumultuous time, breakthroughs, intense bursts of creativity, material and conceptual experimentations, and collaborations occur. Significantly, this singular place-based experience engages a wide community, beyond the participating fellows—from children enjoying interactive and touchable works in the culminating exhibition of residency work, to collectors seeking to expand their art holdings.

In the spirit of CraftNOW’s 2020 theme, Cultures of Making, the panel discussion, which features past fellows of the residency program, explores the before, during, and after experiences sparked by the ITE, and offers a window into this legendary program, which is now a benchmark for artists seeking to deepen their engagement with the material of wood. The panel accompanies the Center’s concurrent exhibition marking 25 years of the Windgate ITE program.

 

On Patriotism and Oikophobia: John Preus with Christine Pfister of Pentimenti Gallery

On view at Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, John Preus’s work focuses on the relationship between the material and the social, and how the objects that surround us obscure and reveal our histories. Preus has been working with a warehouse of materials collected from closed Chicago public schools as a way to entangle the mundane and domestic with the more abstract relationships we have to strangers through politics and social policy. His collaborative projects often invite broad participation, and when possible, include an educational dimension such as working with youth apprentices or Chicago public school students.

 

 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway