Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Worcester Center for Crafts To Kick Off New, Innovative Youth Craft + Creativity Program With Hands-On Event On September 24

 Media Contacts:

Steve Jones-D’Agostino

Susan Wagner

New approach to craft education to be unveiled, offering youth 6-17 a window into creative 3-D thinking, knowledge of materials, and the mind skills and habits needed for the 21st century

August 24, 2016 – Worcester, MA – The Worcester Center for Crafts will introduce their new, innovative Youth Craft + Creativity Program at a free event on Saturday, September 24 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Craft Center, located at 25 Sagamore Rd. in Worcester. Classes in the new program are designed with an integrated, multi-disciplined approach to youth education for ages 6 through 17 that is creative, fun and hands-on. The September 24 event is designed as a sneak peek into the Youth Craft + Creativity Program and will provide information, demonstrations, and hands-on activities – plus an opportunity for advanced registration at a discount. 

The Craft Center has developed the Youth Craft + Creativity Program in response to parents, artists, educators and community members who have said it is needed - and needed now. “We’ve identified a void in Greater Worcester that we are trying to fill,” said Honee Hess, executive director of the Worcester Center for Crafts. “This new approach to craft education offers youth 6 to 17 a window into creative 3-D thinking, knowledge of materials, and the mind skills and habits needed for the 21st century.”

The Youth Craft + Creativity Program is distinct from other classes or programs because it is designed to teach the skills of craft while using it as a window, which takes students beyond the book and the screen to actually “think” and “do.” Classes introduce skills to be makers as well as to the art, aesthetics, science, math, engineering, and design that are fundamental in learning and making crafts. In this way, students are not only taught to work with tools, but also to understand more about skills that transfer from classroom to the world beyond. 

According to a 2012 white paper by Michigan State University researchers, arts-and crafts-trainable skills have been proven to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics success in K-12 classroom. Like Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, modern-day innovators in science and engineering are artists and craftsmen as well. The Michigan State research shows that significant arts and crafts experience is highly correlated with professional success in science and engineering as measured by outcomes such as major prizes and honors, patents, or the founding of new high-tech companies. The notable factor is not the type of art or craft, but the early introduction to arts and crafts in elementary and middle-school years followed by persistent practice of that art or craft into adulthood.

Craft education nurtures the 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, problem-solving and resilience that are prized by employers across the economy. As explained by Honee Hess of the Craft Center, “Craft enriches our society and economy in many ways, from master goldsmiths to makers who build film sets and props, from the small-batch production of designer makers and industrial designers to one-off ceramic masterpieces, and from centuries-old traditions to cutting-edge digital making and new product development. Makers contribute to sectors as diverse as engineering, manufacturing, medicine, technology, architecture, fashion and design.” 

Throughout the year, the Youth Craft + Creativity Program classes will be offered for youth and teens, ages 6 through 17. Beginning October 24, 2016, the Youth Craft + Creativity Program classes will be six-week sessions for students in age-appropriate groupings. The classes will meet once a week for two to three hours, depending on the class and age group. After-school and on weekends, the Youth Craft + Creativity Program classes will allow youth and teens access to hands-on making: ceramics, bookmaking, architecture, stained glass, glassblowing, jewelry-making, enameling, sculpture, 2-D to 3-D, puppetry, paper-making, fiber and textile arts, and much more!

Funding to create the Worcester Center for Crafts Center’s new Youth Craft + Creativity Program was provided by the Stoddard Charitable Trust, the Fletcher Family Foundation, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Southbridge Savings Bank, United Bank, Webster Five, Millbury Savings Bank, and individual donors. Bay State Parent is a sponsor of the September 24 sneak preview of the Youth Craft + Creativity Program.

About Us

The Worcester Center for Crafts 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 Craft Center has evolved over the past 160 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 - in Worcester. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass-studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the Craft Center is home to the Worcester State University visual arts-studios and partners in community outreach.

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 Craft Center is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO PASS program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. In addition, the Craft Center has an affiliation with Worcester State University.

For more information, contact Honee Hess, executive director of the Worcester Center for Crafts, at 508.753.8183 ext. 302 or hhess@worcester.edu.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Mother Daughter Journey Featured in Exhibit at Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA—The journey of a mother and daughter can be filled with rebellion and many road-bumps along the way as well as overflowing with love and admiration. The latter is what we see in an exhibition opening at the Worcester Center for Crafts’ Krikorian Gallery on July 22. Two artists, who happen to be mother and daughter, are featured: Rosalie Olds and Claudia Olds Goldie. The exhibition A Mother Daughter Journey: Rosalie Olds & Claudia Olds Goldie will be on view through September 10, 2016. Both artists make ceramic sculpture and figures dominate their work.

There are 15 works by each artist in the show. Rosalie Olds, in her late eighties, is showing work from many periods of her life; Claudia Olds Goldie is showing more recent work. Although the show opens to public view at HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY, July 22, an Artists’ Celebration will also be held on Thursday, August 4 from 5:30-7:30pm. The public is invited to both events, free of charge.

“I found the Worcester Center for Craft and it changed my life,” said Rosalie. “I had always wanted to do sculpture and was a student with Leon Nigrosh, gradually working my way up.” Although she had no plans to become a teacher, Rosalie taught aspiring ceramicists for over 20 years at the Craft Center. She periodically still teaches private students and at the Willows where she currently resides.

“My mom— my mentor, teacher, friend, and cheerleader. She has been all these things to me throughout my life. We are creative souls, artists, easily distracted, quick to be wonderstruck, easily pulled into our own worlds of private imaginings, terrible at remembering names,” said Claudia. “For all these reasons, I have loved my mother and pushed mightily against her.” In 1978, however, securing her first teaching position, Claudia found herself needing to teach her mother’s artistic material—ceramics. Her mother coached her in her new job and slowly Claudia found she couldn’t escape the allure of clay.

“I was hooked,” Claudia reminisces. “With no formal education in ceramics other than the valuable tutelage of my mother, I began to experiment with techniques to create my own personal figurative style and alternative, non-glazed surfaces.”

Showing the two artists together gives the viewer an opportunity to explore influences but also to see how each artist’s own time is reflected in her work and the individual skills and techniques that give each work respectively its power. Speaking of Claudia in American Craft magazine, Holly Walker writes, “Goldie portrays mature women with candor.” Rosalie’s sculptures are figurative, as well, but are often of animals as well as humans, and the sculptures sometimes also function as vessels.

On the closing day of the exhibit, September 10 from 10am-5pm, Claudia Olds Goldie will present a Sculpture Demonstration Workshop at the Craft Center where she will demonstrate a variety of approaches to her process of creating a hollow built, standing ceramic figure and a proportional, expressive head. This workshop is by registration only. Registration can be done online at Worcestercraftcenter.org (class #171CW006A) or by phone, 508-753-8183 ext.301. Claudia Olds Goldie received her BFA from Boston University College of Visual Arts and teaches sculpture and ceramics at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline. Represented by Boston Sculptors Gallery, her awards include the Society of Arts and Crafts Artist Award and a Kiln God Residency from Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts. She has shown her work nationally. Her work can be seen in numerous publications including 500 Figures in Clay (2004) and 500 Figures in Clay 2 (2012) by Lark Books Publishing.