Wednesday, November 7, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Celebrating 50 Years of Craft Festivals: Worcester Center for Crafts Unveils Line-Up

WORCESTER, MA - The Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester announces its fiftieth year of organizing Craft Festivals by unveiling the artists participating in the 2018 Holiday Festival of Crafts which will occur at their 25 Sagamore Road facility on Friday, November 23, Saturday, November 24, and Sunday, November 25, 2018. 

Featuring sixty-one fine craft artists and their work, the Festival is held indoors and includes free parking and an on-site cafe provided by Bushel N Peck. The Festival is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM - 5 PM, and on Sunday 11 AM - 4 PM. Admission is a $5 donation to the Crafts Center with children 12 and under free.

Artists participating this year include: Marian Ives (Ives Weathervanes & Ornaments), Susan Garry (Felt Experience), Virginia Stevens (Virginia Stevens Designs), Ann Szerlip (Ann Szerlip Glass Designs), Mary Risley (Mary Risley Jewelry), Aron Leman (Aron Leaman Glass), Betty Barrett (B Barrett Jewelry), Laura Pierce (Iris Designs), Samir Dhamija (My Méz), Sibel Alpaslan (Ceramics by Sibel), Jan Franco (JMF Dezigns Exquisite Jewelry), Andy Osborne (Beaded Dragon Artisans), Janice Kissinger (Janice Kissinger), and Nancy Wolinski (Nancy Marland Jewelry). 

Also coming are Lora Wahl Kudisch (Many Colored Glass), Trish Kozub (Idazz Custom Designs), Frank Dobai (The Shade Tree, LLC), Michelle & Bill Champitto (Fresh Cut Glass), Reid Gilmore (Central New England Woodturners), Marcy Schepker (Pear Tree Studio), Peter Jones (Mountain Street Pottery), Doug Burritt  (Harbor Sweets), J. Ann Eldridge (Ann Eldridge Prints), Betsy Keeney (Centre Village Studio), Lauren Beaudoin (Creative Dexterity), Syd Milliken (Malabar Glass), Regina St John (Chena River Marblers), Carole Michelfelder (Taproot Threads), and Ania Davis (EPOCA).

Rounding out the artistic line-up are Tony Restivo (Wood Wonders), Brenda Morrison (Jasmine Keane), Deborah Kracht (ArtHead Studio), Michael Gadsby (Custom Wood Works), Linda Williams (Country Weaver Designs), Vartus Varadian (Vartus Design), Carol Joannidi & Dana Hunt (Little Cat Metals), Melissa Rioux (DAFNI greek Gourmet) David Pollock (Maggie's Farm), Elizabeth Ryan (Looka Jewelry), Renee Mallett (Amaranth & Rue), Nancy E. Burke (Quicksilver Glass), Dianna Beaulieu (D.J. Jewelry Designs), Kim Cutler (Kim Cutler Ceramics), Heather Bevilacqua (Grinns), Aisling Colleary (Horizon Line Ceramics), Lauren Blais (Lauren Blais design), Tracy Levesque (Tracy Levesque Fine Art), Hillary Hutton (Hutton Handwovens), Suzanne & Steven Rosendahl (Teagan and Ash), Marcia Press (Meshugenah Hat Company, llc), Marianne Janik (Calli B.), Mark Hutton (Hutton Studios), Patrick Zephyr (Patrick Zephyr Nature Photography), Jennifer Moran (Gracie's Gunnies), Nancy Engel (Goodness Remedies), Susan Swift (Swift Farms), Caroline Golden Kirkland (c.e. golden), Tomoko Sakai (Supercooled), and Heather Kidson (Heather Bell Designs). 

L to R: Blue Bowl - Supercooled, Tomo Sakai ; Jewelry - EPOCA , Ania Kowalska Davis ; Paper Frames - Teagan & Ash , Suzanne & Steven Rosendahl

Artists include ones who have been represented at the Festival in years past and new ones. “We love to give new artists a chance to expose our Festival audiences to their work,” said Candace Casey, WCC Gallery/Gallery Store Director and organizer of the Holiday Festival, “and to find artists in our own community who deserve a chance to shine and offer their work to the community.” 

Artists participating from the local area include Kim Cutler (ceramics, Worcester), Tomoko Sakai (Supercooled, glass, Worcester), Trish Kozub (IDAZZ Designs, jewelry, Hopkinton), Josh Swalec (blacksmith, Leicester), Lauren Beaudoin (Creative Dexterity, jewelry, Springfield), Elizabeth Ryan (Looka Jewelry, Spencer), and Tony Restivo (Wood Wonders, Springfield). Josh Swalec, Tomo Sakai, Lauren Beaudoin, and Liz Ryan have taught at the Worcester Center for Crafts.
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LOCAL ARTISTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS. Kim Cutler’s work has elegant designs and simple decoration which she attributes to her years as a professional graphic designer. She is also involved with the Worcester Garden Club and has headed the WAM Flora in Winter program. Lauren Beaudoin spent many of her teen-aged years at the Craft Center working and experimenting with metals. She has been the Head of the Center’s Metals Department and now has a jewelry line called Creative Dexterity which features collections such as OCD, Bonjour Nino, and Repurposed. Elizabeth Ryan whose business is called Looka Jewelry was born into a family that embraced all of the arts and crafts but discovered her love of working in metals and the world of small objects and jewelry during her studies at Massachusetts College of Art.  Tomo Sakai and her husband Eric Cruze are setting up their studio in a historic home in Worcester. They pull glass cane which they use in their finished products at the Center’s New Street Glass Studio where they both served as Artists in Residence. Tomo teaches as well at Corning Glass Museum. Josh Swalec is one of the visionaries behind WorcShop, an industrial makers space in Worcester, and creates knives, implements, serving utensils and more. Trish Kozub is a return jewelry artist who has yearly customers who eagerly await each Festival to see what new designs she has. Tony Restivo specializes in custom wood work like jewelry boxes, keepsake boxes, and custom furniture.

 Contact Honee Hess at hhess@worcester.edu if you are interested in lining up interviews.
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L to R: Ceramic - Mountain View Pottery, Peter Jones ; Josh Swalec hammering at Hot Night in the City 2018

The Holiday Festival of Crafts is the logical partner to the Buy Local and Eat Local movements of the last decade as it features hand-made work exclusively in an environment where you can meet the maker, you can take your time, and the artist can personally assist you. 

The Festival is part of the Craft Center’s mission to create and inspire a creative community by showcasing craft and artisan gifts for purchase - mobiles, wooden puzzles for adults and for children, glass and ceramic ornaments as well as wind chimes, wooden kitchen utensils, ceramics, soap and candles, wearables, jewelry, children’s toys and more—all handmade American work.

“It is amazing that the Center has maintained true to the creative community for this long by continuing to provide a delightful, safe, and interesting space for artists to display their work,” said Craft Center executive director Honee Hess. “Fifty years of emptying the studios, putting up tents, lining up volunteers, providing parking, and then opening the doors to a winter wonderland of creativity for the people of Worcester and surrounding areas—well, that’s a lot of passion for a small organization, its staff and volunteers—but the dividends for the artists and our audiences are well worth the fifty years of work!”

Sponsored by UniBank, the Festival continues the tradition of the Worcester Center for Crafts as an economic engine for artists.  “The Festival has become a tradition,” says Candace Casey. “It is our pleasure to promote the best of American handmade craft.”

The year-round Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery Store will also be open during the Festival making work available by over 300 other artisans from all over the country including fine glass work by Simon Pearce. 

The Festival is also an opportunity to give the Gift of Craft: Festival goers can buy gift cards for use in the Gallery Store and to sign up for a variety of classes and workshops. The Craft Center offers instruction for adults and for youth in both six-week classes and shorter workshops where you can learn the skills of making with glass, metal, enamels, clay and more. 


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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. In 2009, WCC became partners with Worcester State University and now hosts WSU visual arts program in its studios. The Craft Center’s mission is “inspire and build a creative community through the promotion, appreciation and teaching of craft.” It accomplishes this 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 receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: The Craft Center Goes UNDER FIRE Juried Enamel Exhibition on View in the Krikorian Gallery

Worcester, MA—The Worcester Center for Crafts will present UNDER FIRE 2, a national juried exhibition of works solicited for show by the Enamel Guild North East beginning Sunday, October 21 through November 17, 2018 in the Center’s Krikorian Gallery. Over sixty artists from as far away as Washington State and the Virgin Islands and as close as Massachusetts and Worcester are featured in this exhibit which focuses on the artistic use of ground glass pigments fused on metal.

Jennifer Davis Carey, a Worcester enamel artist and faculty member at the Worcester Center for Crafts, has three works in this exhibit including a wall piece entitled, “60 Million and More” made with antique slave shackles, enamel and copper. “My recent work,” says Jennifer Carey in her catalog entry, “considers the experience of the outside in the United States, and the expression of indigenous African religions in the Americas. The latter, elements of which survived the Middle Passage, have enabled a people to survive the former.”

60 Million and More, work by Jennifer Carey

The exhibit opens with presentations by artists in the Center’s Multimedia Studio on Sunday, October 21 at Noon with a reception honoring the artists beginning at 1pm. The public is invited free of charge.

UNDER FIRE 2 organizes enamel works into three categories: Objects, Jewelry and Wall Pieces. Jurors for the show are Aurelie Guillaume, a young enamellist whose fresh approach is already winning many accolades; Bella Neyman, an independent curator and writer specializing in contemporary art jewelry; and Jan Harrell, a highly acclaimed enamellist, metalsmith, sculptor and educator.

The jurors not only selected the work to be shown in the exhibit but they awarded three prizes. First place prize winner is Kat Cole’s “X Marks Necklace,” a wearable necklace made with steel and enamel. Second prize is given to Aaron Patrick Decker for his brooch, “Squished Guard,” made with copper, enamel, and nickel. Jennifer Marcson’s wall piece, “Claustrophobia,” made with copper, enamel, and aluminum won third prize.

Jan Harrell, one of the jurors, is teaching a workshop on October 19-20 at the Craft Center called Under Fire with Jan Harrell. In this unique 2-day workshop, enamellists will learn some exciting new advances in mark-making with enamels. Harrell is an internationally known enamellist based in Texas. Registration is required for this workshop by calling 508-753-8183, x 301 or online at www.worcestercraftcenter.org .

The title UNDER FIRE comes from the process of the enamel arts: vitreous pigments are applied to metal but then must go “under fire” (into a hot kiln) to fuse and become enamels.

“At the Worcester Center for Crafts, enameling has been a mainstay of our Metals Department reaching back at least into the 1950s,” says Honee Hess, Executive Director. “The famed enamel artist Lilyan Bachrach (1917-2015) learned her craft here and Judith Danner guided its loyal and steadfast artistic crew for over 30 years.” Enamel at the Craft Center is considered a craft that has ancient roots and which has developed, changed and become more creative and more widely accepted by other craft artisans. “We thank the Enamel Guild North East for bringing this creative show to us,” said Hess.

Hours at the Krikorian Gallery are Tuesday through Saturday, 10-5. Admission is free.

X Marks Necklace, by Kat Cole

Uyuni, work by Sarah Perkins
 
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NOTE: Jennifer Davis Carey, a local Worcester enamel artist, is one of the artists selected for this national show. Interviews can be arrange with Mrs. Carey.
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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 immigrants 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 University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to inspire and build a creative community through the promotion, appreciation and teaching of craft." This mission includes the public education initiatives adult education classes and workshops, , exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, its Youth Craft + Creativity program and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.