Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Craft in America on KLCS Los Angeles

Craft in America is excited to announce that KLCS Los Angeles will air a half-hour program on "Messages in Glass", the glass exhibition of Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend and Paul Marioni's work that exhibited at the Craft in America Center from Mar-June 2014.

"Messages in Glass" will air Wednesday evening at 6:30 am and 6:30pm on Oct 15, 22, 29. Please tune in!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Craft in America's newest episode SERVICE is premiering on November 2nd on PBS. Please share this postcard with friends, family, and craft lovers and makers.

Watch a 2 minute 40 second preview of SERVICE: 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

SERVICE screenings

Special preview screenings of Craft in America: SERVICE are being held across America in museums, craft fairs and festivals, partnering with us in a celebration of the beauty and art of the handmade. We hope you can attend a screening near you or watch the episode on PBS starting November 2 (please check local listings).

October 3, 2014, at dusk 
Salvaged Studio, Milwaukee, WI 

October 3-12, 2014 
Village Artisans Gallery, Boiling Springs, PA 

October 9, 2014, 6:00pm 
Center for Maine Craft, Biddeford, ME 

October 11, 2014, 11:00am - 4:00pm 
Craftworks at Cool Spring, Charles Town, WV 

October 22, 2014, 7:00 - 8:00pm 
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX 

October 28, 2014 
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, Los Angeles, CA 

October 29, 2014, 6:00pm 
North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA 

October 30, 2014, 1:00 - 3:00pm 
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA 

October 30, 2014 
Otis College of Art & Design, Los Angeles, CA 

October 30, 2014 - November 2, 2014 
Washington Craft Show, Washington, D.C. 

November 6, 2014 
Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fairfax students visit Craft in America Center

This season's partnership with Fairfax High School Visual Arts Magnet kicked off with a field trip to Craft in America Center. We invited four artists in our Body Conscious exhibition to participate: Carrie Ann Burckle, Ben Cuevas, Annette Heully and Zac Monday. After briefly speaking about their artwork, the artists spent time answering the many engaging, thought-provoking questions from the students. It was a fruitful visit that covered topics such as how to make a living as an artist to the importance of photographing your work well.


Annette Heully talking about her work in the show, Interconnected (back corner)

Students listening to Ben Cuevas speak about his work

Zac Monday, standing beside his Blue Witch Weeping Mask

Carrie Ann Burckle sits to the right of her piece, Shift

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Artist Talk with Carrie Burckle and Ashley V. Blalock

Saturday, September 27 marked the last day of programming for Body Conscious, our contemporary fiber exhibition that closes October 25. Featured artists Carrie Ann Burckle and Ashley V. Blalock spoke about their artwork, from its early beginnings to the present. While their artwork is very different, their mastery of technique and manners of channeling the body are quite similar. See below for snapshots from the afternoon.

Ashley V. Blalock

Ashley V. Blalock
Carrie Ann Burckle
Carrie Ann Burckle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A gem in our library

In the spirit of the Service episode (premiering on PBS November 2nd*), we thought we'd share one of our indispensable references throughout the course of our research available in the library at the Center: Government and Art: A Guide to Sources in the Archives of American Art. 

Founded in 1954, The Archives of American Art is an initiative of the Smithsonian Institution to preserve the voices of our country's legendary artists. According to their website, "With over 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world's largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America."

In Government and Art, you can find the names of artists whose life and work has been documented by the Archives, including those who benefited from the G.I. Bill and many other support agencies like the Works Progress Administration.

*check your local listings 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Miyoshi Barosh at Craft in America Center

Last Saturday (September 13) at the Craft in America Center, Miyoshi Barosh shared a retrospective of sorts at our open house in celebration of the "Body Conscious" exhibition. Here's a few photos from the talk and open house.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Textile Society of America Symposium

This weekend, fiber lovers in Los Angeles were aplenty: the Textile Society of America convened its 14th Biennial Symposium here, at UCLA and other venues including LACMA.

On Thursday, Craft in America's very own Emily Zaiden, Director of the Center, delivered a talk on the history and impact of UCLA's large-scale fiber show Deliberate Entanglements. Some of the 1971 exhibition's attendees were present in the audience, as were its featured artists. It was a poignant convergence of past and present— not to mention on the same territory as the original exhibition, which was held at the UCLA Art Galleries.

Emily also moderated a panel she organized, Masculine Mystique: Men and Fiber Art, which brought together some of the most influential names in fiber, along with its innovators: Jim Bassler, Ben Cuevas, Joe Cunningham, Gerhardt Knodel and Michael Rohde. After each artist shared examples of their work (and some entertaining stories), they had a discussion with the audience about the gender politics of fiber and their own personal experiences as males working in fiber.

Emily delivering her talk on the 1970s seminal fiber exhibition Deliberate Entanglements

The Masculine Mystique panel (from left to right): Gerhardt Knodel, Jim Bassler, Michael Rohde,
Ben Cuevas, Joe Cunningham

Jim Bassler discussing his magnificent weaving about weaving

Friday, September 5, 2014

Preview of Service, premiering Nov. 2

Craft in America is pleased to share with you the 30-second preview of our upcoming episode, Service, premiering on PBS on November 2, 2014.

Service documents the power of the handmade to inspire, motivate and heal our nation's soldiers and veterans, featuring artists Ehren Tool, Judas Recendez, Peter Voulkos, Pam DeLuco, and Eugene Burks Jr.

For more information, please see the Service press release

Friday, August 29, 2014

Body Conscious: A glance at the opening

Our opening was a huge success thanks to the support of the featured artists and craft community. Fiber artists Ellen Schinderman and Luke Haynes presented talks about their practice and the interesting trajectory of their careers. Both arrived at their careers unexpectedly: Ellen was working as a performer and writer when she discovered the infinite possibilities of embroidery; Luke earned his degree in architecture and ultimately discovered the communicative power of the quilt.

Thanks again to Luke and Ellen for sharing your life and work with us!

Ellen sharing the artwork that launched her into embroidering pornographic imagery and challenging tropes of sexuality and gender identity.

Luke showing a detail from one of his quilt portraits

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Body Conscious: A fiber show at Craft in America Center

Today is the opening of Craft in America Center's contemporary fiber show, Body Conscious: Southern California Fiber. Featuring nine artists operating in and around the framework of the human body, this exhibition ventures to capture the aura of fiber art in Southern California, as well as to chart the region's potential impact on the craft.

We are thrilled to have Miyoshi Barosh's site-specific installation in our window— a whimsical group of legs made from machine-knitted found sweaters, polyester and cotton filling. Her work is not only 
inescapably cheerful, but an achievement both technically and conceptually. We welcome you to visit the Center to see her work along with other examples of some of the most exciting work in fiber today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Paul Marioni leads sand casting course at Palos Verdes Art Center (June 23-25)

Calling all glass students, inexperienced, practiced, and everything between: Paul Marioni is leading a three-day course in sand casting glass at the Palos Verdes Art Center, from June 23 - June 25. 

Paul Marioni with molten sand cast mask
Courtesy of Glass Alliance of Northern California

From the flier:

Sand casting is a process that is thousands of years old, known best in the metal working industry. Glassmakers have taken this knowledge and applied it to the hot casting process. One of the major benefits of this process is the immediacy and ease of manipulating the molds, including spontaneity and adding undercuts.

This workshop will focus on these aspects. We will be constructing molds from styrofoam and using ready made objects. We will discuss the process from making of molds, the preparation of the sand, ladling of glass and annealing. In addition to the technical aspects there will be lectures, demonstrations, and slide shows on  the aesthetics of cast glass and its implications as object and architectural elements. 

Open to all, no experience is necessary.

Monday-Wednesday, 6/23, 6/24 & 6/25, 10am-4pm
$630, Members $600

To register:  visit or call 310 541-2479
5504 W. Crestridge Rd. Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Last Chance... Seeing Into It: Messages in Glass closing June 28

The Craft in America Center had its first foray focusing specifically on the medium of glass, where our current exhibition, Seeing Into It: Messages in Glass, is on view through the end of JuneFeaturing the work of Paul Marioni and Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, the show is testament to the boundaries the two artists have broken: flat glass panels bedeck the walls like paintings; a conceptual approach infuses almost every work. While the strength of their work can stand alone, their historical backdrop makes them even more significant. Marioni was a pioneer of the studio glass movement of the 1970s; later that decade he inspired Stinsmuehlen-Amend to join the club. Both artists shared a mutual interest in challenging aesthetic trends and infusing their work with personal narrative, approaches that were unheard of in the historically-entrenched glass medium. Their use of glass as a form of expression, and their long friendship, are what brought this show to fruition.

Left: Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Grocery Nude To-Do (Calendar Girl), 2013, enamel fired on glass
Right: Paul Marioni, The Visitor, 1984, painted and blown glass

Paul Marioni's impact on studio glass is inestimable. By the time he was invited by artist Dale Chihuly to teach at Pilchuck Glass School, he had already earned his reputation as a rebel of sorts. Glass was a medium that rested comfortably as a decorative art form, and Marioni was pivotal in repositioning it as a conceptual medium. Glass did not have to come in the form of a window or fragile sculpture; it could be expressive; figurative; political.

Here are a couple highlights from the show:

Self-reflection recurs throughout Marioni's work. In Looking Back, it manifests quite literally as a portrait of himself as a skeleton, staring back at his own, living face. The skeleton and man, friends, smile back at each other. What could be a macabre memento mori comes off instead as a happy form of introspection and a graceful acceptance of the inevitable.

Paul Marioni, Looking Back, 2001, enamel fired on glass
Marioni continues to challenge our expectations in Mad Man, a portrait of himself as a devil. Although he is bathed in red and flashes a ferocious set of canines, he looks anything but mad; just a little mischievous. Nor does the devil of his “rocker” portrait, Lickin, look fiendish. As the kinetic sculpture rocks back and forth, its outstretched tongue boasts playfulness and sexual energy.

Paul Marioni, Lickin, 2005, kinetic cast glass
Collection of Susan Steinhauser and David Greenberg

Stinsmuehlen-Amend's A Man's Chair (2003) is comparatively forbidding in tone. In this enamel-on-glass panel, an armchair rests against a backdrop of flames; an enraged face, Gorgon-like, sprouts out of the chair. Once belonging to Stinsmuehlen-Amend's father, the chair was forbidden among she and her siblings. This is an index of the dysfunction that riddled her childhood, a reality that she fearlessly confronts in her artwork.

In her Calendar series, Stinsmuehlen-Amend reveals the intimate details of adult life. She has copied entries from her planner onto glass panels, revealing words like "chemo" and "Dr. Skanky," relics of her mother's struggle with cancer. The accompanying scribbles, expressions of her subconscious, are a contrast to the more cerebral experience of recording in a planner.

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, A Man's Chair, 2003, enamel fired on glass, mixed media on wood panels

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, T.G.I.F./April, Calendar Notations, 2005, painted and blown glass

The bravura and self-awareness of Marioni and Stinsmuehlen-Amend are a perfect match for glass. The medium is tirelessly evocative: it plays with light like no other material; it reflects; its inherent transparency renders it a valuable metaphorical tool; and its long history as a decorative art form makes it all the more compelling from a conceptual standpoint.

Seeing Into It: Messages in Glass is on view at the Craft in America Center through June 28, 2014.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Glass-Artist Rebel Paul Marioni

Craft in America Center is proud to host an artist talk and screening with Paul Marioni, a ground-breaking glass artist and founding member of the American Studio Glass movement. His work is featured in our current exhibition, Seeing Into It: Messages in Glass, which is in its final month—closing June 28th.

Marioni was a filmmaker before being swept away by glass as an artistic medium. His 1972 film, Hole, a pseudo-documentary about a man’s obsession with orifices, has won several awards. The release of Holes coincided with his discovery of studio glass, which for him marked a point of no return. He found the material could express his voice like no other. We will be screening his 20-minute film, shot in 16-millimeter, in conjunction with his talk.

Lickin', 2005, kinetic cast glass
Paul Marioni is known for his innovative approach to glass, pushing his techniques to their limits: his glass “rockers” defy the conception of glass as a fragile medium not to be toyed with. He excels not only technically in glass, but also uses it as a powerful conceptual platform: his enamel portraits and glass-blown sculptures have existential poignancy. Marioni has been a mainstay in the studio glass scene since the 1970s: he was asked by Dale Chilhuly to teach at Pilchuck Glass School in its second year, and also taught at the Penland School of Crafts, among other schools and programs internationally. His artwork can be found in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, Corning Glass Museum, Oakland Art Museum, and the National Museum of American Art, among others.

Paul Marioni in his studio
Photo courtesy of

Saturday, May 17, 2014

From the shelves: The Furniture of Sam Maloof

In honor of our recent visit to the Maloof Foundation, we pulled this from our library:

The Furniture of Sam Maloof by Jeremy Adamson
(Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)

Our visit to the Maloof Foundation

Craft in America Center is teaming up with the Maloof Foundation to plan the upcoming show "California Craft Now," an exhibition that will celebrate the spirit of the California Design shows of the 1960s and 1970s. It is due to open mid-2015, so stay tuned.

We recently paid a visit to the Foundation, an idyllic place located at the foot of Mt. Baldy and nestled in a lemon grove. (They make lemonade often.) The site is ripe for quiet contemplation. It also has a lovely exhibition space and garden, both featuring quality shows right now. Craft at Play, on view in the Jacobs Education Center through October 31, brings together hand-crafted toys and other objects from cultures all over.

Rod puppet, Rita Amacher
(Traditional on Indonesian islands of Java and Bali)

Shadow puppets representing characters from Hindu tale of the Ramayana, from Indonesia
Parchment, horn and paint

Russian Matroyshka Nesting Dolls
The Romanov Dynasty (1613-1917), partial sequence ending with the immediate family of Nicholas III

On display in the garden is the Foundation's biennial Sculpture in the Garden exhibition, running through July 10. Walking through the space feels like an inadvertent treasure hunt; at any moment you'll find yourself standing before a magnificent sculpture.

Fib-Cluster #2, David Kiddie

Recuerdos, Karen Neiuber
Ceramic mosaic assemblage

Janus, Dora De Larios
Then, of course, there is the Maloof house, now a living museum. Sam Maloof was a master woodworker and leader of the California modern arts movement. He and his beloved wife, Alfreda, made a resounding impact on the world of craft. Their home is not just an intimate time capsule but a living spirit of the arts and crafts movement-- the ceramics, rugs and, of course, the woodwork, speak to the evocative nature of craft materials and their ability to dance with another.

Sam Maloof's home, Alta Loma, California