Wednesday, August 16, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: New Artists-in-Residence Announced The Next Generation of Craft Artists Introduced

Worcester, MA-The Worcester Center for Crafts announces nine artists chosen to be Artists-in-Residence (AIR) at the Center for 2017-2018 year. These nine artists were chosen through a nation-wide competitive process and are with the Center for 1 to 2 years. The Artist-in-Residence program demonstrates the Worcester Center for Crafts' commitment to nurturing the next generation of craft artists.

New first-year Ceramic Artists-in-Residence include Paige Ward (Missoula, MT) and Faith Connor (Princeton, MA). Also serving as second-year Ceramic Artists-in-Residence are returning residents Jon Glabus and Ian Petrie. New first-year Glass Artists-in-Residence include Angie Hale (Reading, MA) and Momoko Shafer (Framingham, MA). Returning second-year Glass Residents are Amanda Nardone and McKayla Carville. This year's class of residents will give a noontime, brown-bag presentation on their work at the beginning of October. It will be open to the public, free of charge.

The Artists-in-Residence Program at the Craft Center is a way to "sustain craft" (our mission) and to insure the next generation of artists carrying on craft traditions. The program is open to aspiring artists in clay and glass; the program is designed to support the growth of pre-professional artists.

While at the Craft Center, the Residents are given a studio space and a supportive community: they are given advice and support through regularly scheduled critiques and peer reviews to assist them in honing their studio practice. They are presented with a membership in Arts Worcester to encourage their activity in the larger arts community and they have the opportunity to exhibit in a group show in the Center's Krikorian Gallery.

The Residents also provide service to the Crafts Center as they learn more about the business of their field(s). They perform a variety of tasks that are part of running the Center's media specific studios. While continuing their focused pursuit of their creative work, they are also given the opportunity to teach, mentor students, provide studio support and actively participate in the diverse studio communities that make up the Worcester Center for Crafts.

"The teaching experience I got was invaluable," said Dan Roe, a former resident now teaching at the Putney School Summer Arts Program and Williston Northampton School. "I learned to work with people of all ages and skill levels, making connections and making the workshops special for the students."

But the best part of the Residency for Roe was the community. "My studio mates were fantastic," he said, "providing feedback, friendship and constant support. I also loved the free access I got to the Center's professional staff-they were available whenever I wanted to walk down the hall."

"Being a sounding board for the AIRs is part of our job," says Honee Hess, Executive Director of the Center, "but it's also about our giving back to the field and passing on our professional expertise to those just entering the field of craft. We feel privileged to participate with these young artists."

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A Peek at Three 2018 A.I.Rs

Faith Connor - Ceramic Cups & Saucers

Faith Connor, new first year ceramic artist, graduated from UMass Dartmouth and has
already done a residency in Denmark. She works in porcelain and loves the effects of the wood-fired kiln on her work. Her work blends the skills of the potter with the skills of a draughtsman while reflecting the personal.

Graduating from the University of
Paige Ward - Ceramic, Wood & Weeds
Montana in Missoula, first year resident Paige Ward sees her work as that of common, made, and manipulated objects presented in installation and performance. Paige looks forward to what urban life will bring to her work as she also plans to push surfaces, explore layers, engobes, and context in pattern and glazes on her objects.
Amanda Nardone - Glass Necklace

Returning Glass resident Amanda Nardone is a
flameworker and creates wearable glass necklaces and earrings but also experiments with weaving with glass, and making corsets with glass that are meant to explore social commentary along with the medium.

The Artist-in-Residence term begins in September. For more information or to arrange interviews with the artists, please contact Honee Hess, Executive Director, hhess@worcester.edu or 508-579-8564 (cell)

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About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State visual arts studios.

The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, youth education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO card program, and receive funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: The Sparks are Flying! Worcester Center for Crafts' New Exhibit: Spärk


Michelle May (Curator) with her work.
Worcester, MA-  On view in the Krikorian Gallery of the Worcester Center for Crafts is Spärk, an exhibit of work by four talented and expressive women artists, all of whom are pushing their media to explore fantasy, reality, and the limits or no limits of beauty. The exhibit was curated by Michelle May of Worcester and includes work by May, Tara Sellios, Keri Anderson, and Jessica Lyn Burhans. It is on view in the gallery at 25 Sagamore Road through September 16, 2017.

The title of the exhibit speaks to the art on view as a fiery particle thrown off from a fire or emitting sparks of fire or electricity. Provocative? Edgy? “The show is perfect for HOT NIGHT when it opened,” says Gallery Director Candace Casey, “as it speaks to the energy of the work being shown, and the spark of creativity that it inspires!”

The artists are connected only through May. Tara Sellios is a Boston-based artist working
Work by Tara Sellios
in large format photography printed on metal. “I think of my work as theater, with each collection of images like an act in a play,” says mixed-media artist Tara Sellios. Since graduating from the Art Institute of Boston in 2010, her work has been largely influenced by art history. “I love altarpiece paintings and the surreal work of Hieronymus Bosch,” she says. “There is a sense of majesty and sacredness to it that has stood the test of time.” Others call her work simultaneously grotesque and beautiful.
Work by Tara Sellios (detail)
The Craft Center is planning a one-person exhibit of her work in January of 2019. Sellios has two large photographic installations in the exhibit.

Jessica Lyn Burhans creates expressive and “relate-able” color illustrations as well as
Jessica Lyn Burhans with her work
intriguing graphite drawings. Her illustrations have been nationally published and her work has been showcased in and around Worcester since 2004, including the popular Cirque Du Noir and Whiskered Wonderland events. Burhans is represented by a large grouping of small intimate drawings.

An educator who gets inspiration from music, dreams, nature, and movement, Keri Anderson picked up her long time love of painting four years ago. She has three paintings on view. Her efforts to capture human struggle result in a narrative and in the layers upon layers of paint. “People see what they want to see,” says Anderson, “so I like to leave my paintings open for questions.”

May, a painter, designer and marketer says that her creativity is “firmly centered in
Detail of Keri Anderson's work.
community…I enjoy pushing my personal boundaries and love to push the boundaries of others.” She is the creator of Cirque du Noir and the local equivalent of Slow Art Day. Eight of May’s paintings are on view in the show.

The Krikorian Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.



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About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State visual arts studios.

The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, youth education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO card program, and receive funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.