The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD)’s Benchspace Gallery & Workshop is pleased to announce the first exhibition of its 2017 Curatorial Fellows season, The Good Making of Good Things: Craft Horizons Magazine 1941-1979. The exhibition investigates the American Craft Council’s watershed publication, Craft Horizons, and explores how the magazine documented and shaped the concept of craft as a movement, career, way of life, and cultural phenomenon.
During its nearly forty years in print, Craft Horizons documented the craft movement as it happened. This exhibition pairs works by makers featured in the magazine with articles, reviews, and letters from readers to illustrate the essential role it played in the development of craft and its cultural connections.
Curators Elizabeth Essner (Brooklyn, NY) Independent Design Specialist and Contributor, Modern magazine, Lily Kane (Brooklyn, NY) Director of Exhibitions and Publications, R & Company gallery, and Meaghan Roddy (Brooklyn, NY) Senior Specialist and Vice President, Design Department, Phillips Auction House (20th and 21st Century Design and Decorative Arts) were selected as one of three teams of emerging craft curators selected to develop and mount cutting-edge exhibitions for display during CCCD’s 2017 exhibition season.
“This is the first exhibition to explore the rich history of Craft Horizons magazine and its leading role in both documenting and shaping the craft movement as it happened,” says CCCD Curatorial Fellows Elizabeth Essner, Lily Kane, and Meaghan Roddy.
In a pre-Internet era, Craft Horizons was the field’s tutorial guide, its social network, and its image-sharing database. It gave the artist, enthusiast, scholar, or casual hobbyist access to all that occurred in craft.
The magazine began as a humble unnamed newsletter in 1941, bringing together a like-minded community that had yet to connect nationally. By the 1970s, Craft Horizons had grown into the field’s leading voice. In 1979 the American Craft Council, its publisher, rebranded it as American Craft, which is still in print today.
“To put it in contemporary terms, Craft Horizons magazine was the craft internet before the internet.” says Curatorial Fellows Elizabeth Essner, Lily Kane, and Meaghan Roddy. “In many ways a Google search unto itself, the magazine’s articles advised craftsmen on everything from finding a likeminded community to quotidian finance issues, while profiling leaders in the field and providing access to information about exhibitions that elevated craft as a contemporary art form.”
Today, the publication remains a rich, first-hand account of the history of this exciting moment for American craft and is ripe for rediscovery as, in an increasingly digitized world, attention shifts back to the importance of the handmade and the connection that making can offer us, as individuals and as a culture.
All events are free and open to the public (suggested donation $3-5). Registration recommended, drop-ins welcome.
The Good Making of Good Things: Craft Horizons Magazine 1941-1979
On View: January 20 – May 20, 2017
CCCD’s Benchspace Gallery & Workshop, 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Tue – Sat 10 am – 6 pm
Opening Reception and Curators’ Tour
Friday, January 20, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Curators’ tour at 7:30 pm
Reception and exhibition tour with 2017 Curatorial Fellows; Elizabeth Essner, Lily Kane, and Meaghan Roddy.
The Good Making of Good Things Salon: Craft and Community
Saturday, February 18, 4 – 6 pm
Discussion around themes of the exhibition and book, Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community by Jenni Sorkin. Refreshments will be served. No reading necessary prior to the event.
Women and Craft Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Saturday, March 4, 2 pm – 6 pm
Celebrate women’s history month by editing Wikipedia articles to include the influential work of women working in craft between 1941-1979. No experience necessary, Wiki experts on hand.
About Face: Exploring the Graphic Identity of Craft Horizons Magazine, 1941-1979
Friday, April 7, 6:30 pm
Lecture by writer and curator Sarah Archer.
Object as Poet
Friday, April 28, 6:30 pm
Experimental artist presentations inspired by the writings of Craft Horizons editor Rose Slivka and artist/poet MC Richards. Call for artists opens in February.
The Life and Work of Harvey Littleton, a conversation with Kate Vogel and John Littleton
Friday, May 5, 6:30 pm
An intimate look at the life of pioneering glass artist Harvey Littleton, as told by his son John Littleton and daughter-in-law Kate Vogel.
Downtown Art District Gallery Nights
Benchspace Gallery & Workshop will stay open until 8 pm on Friday, April 7 and Friday, May 5.
Featured artists include:
Tanya Aguiñiga (b. 1978), David Gilhooly (1943-2013), Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985), Ted Hallman (b. 1933), Harvey Littleton (1922-2013), Jaydan Moore (b. 1986), George Nakashima (1905-1990), Ruth Radakovich (1920-1975), Svetozar Radakovich (1918-1998), Southern Highland Craft Guild, Rudolf Staffel(1911-2002), Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003), Peter Voulkos (1924-2002), Betty Woodman (b. 1953)
Other exhibitions in the Curatorial Fellows Exhibition Series include: Tie Up, Draw Down, curated by Carissa Carman (Bloomington, IN) and Natalie Campbell (Washington, DC), opening in Summer 2017 and Crafted Strangers curated by Quizayra Gonzalez and Cass Gardiner (Brooklyn, NY), opening in Fall 2017.