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.

Friday, October 5, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Artists Report on their Journeys and their Work At Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA—What influences a young person to start working in ceramics or glass? There are as many answers to that question as there are artists/makers in the world.

But on October 10 and 17, at two brown-bag lunches hosted by the Worcester Center for Crafts, the public will get a glimpse into the motivations of the Center’s current group of ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE. The talks which are free to the public will begin at Noon.

On Wednesday, October 10 the public will hear from Faith Connor, a second year resident who resides in Lancaster, MA. She is a ceramics artist. Also on the bill for October 10 are Michelle Grey (ceramics), Phoebe Scott (ceramics), Meredith Collins (glass), and Angela McHale (2nd year Glass resident).

Abby Nohai (ceramics) and Momo Shafer (glass) will highlight the October 17 lunch talks—both are second year residents. Also speaking on October 17 are Lindsy Marshall (glass), Molly Roderick (glass), and Kim Gardner (ceramics).

The Worcester Center for Crafts’ Artists in Residence Program is a way to sustain craft and insure the next generation of artists carrying on craft traditions. Open to aspiring artists in clay, and glass (and those who might work across more than one medium), the Worcester Center for Crafts’ Artists in Residence Program is designed to support the growth of pre-professional artists. Residents are chosen through a competitive process and are with the Center for 1 to 2 years.

Artists in Residence terms generally begin in September and go through 10 active months, culminating with a group exhibit in the Krikorian Gallery, which in 2019 year will be in May. 



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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.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Show it All At Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA—The title of the new show at the Krikorian Gallery of the Worcester Center for Crafts is deceptively simple: FACULTY SHOW. True, the exhibit is about the faculty showing us what their craft is and how they practice their craft but it is also about showing what extraordinary talent is represented in the Craft Center’s artist/teachers. The show opens with a free public reception on Thursday, September 13 from 5:30-7:30 pm and is on view through October 13, 2018.

“Our faculty is incredibly talented and versatile,” says Gale Scott, head of the Glass Program. “They have been both keepers of tradition and explorers of innovation in their fields. And they are so willing to share their expertise with our students!”

Included in the show are Lauren Anabela Beaudoin (jewelry), Jennifer Davis Carey (enamels), McKayla Carville (glass), Meredith Collins (glass), Faith Connor (ceramics), Paul Dumanoski (photography), Pam Farren (metals), Kimberly Gardner (ceramics), Ginny Gillen (ceramics), Jon Glabus (ceramics), Peter Grigg (enamels), Erika Jorjorian (jewelry), Katherine Judd (photography), Kristen Kieffer (ceramics), Jeanne Kowal (stained glass), Lori Mader (ceramics and youth), Laura Marotta (multimedia and youth), Carol Tripp Martens (ceramics), Angela McHale (glass), Thomas O'Malley (Head of Ceramics Department), Ian M Petrie (ceramics), Ron Rosenstock (photography), Elizabeth Ryan- Belton (jewelry), Tomo Sakai (glass), Kristen Momoko Schafer (glass), Phoebe Scott (ceramics), Patti Sprague (multi-media and youth), Joshua Swalec (blacksmithing/forging), William Vanaria (metals), Toby Walters (glass), and Matthew K Wright (photography).  


Instructor Tomo Saki with Eric Cruse pulling glass cane for their work at New St Glass Studio

“Craft is an intersection of materials, skill and creativity,” explains Tom O’Malley, head of Ceramics and Photography at the Worcester Center for Craft. “The work that our faculty does in their own studios shows prospective students the real range that the materials of clay, metals, glass and photography present to the creative maker.”

Faculty talents are shown in work as diverse as Kristen Kieffer’s elegant ceramic mugs, vases, and presentation pieces to Tomo Sakai’s cool, polished cane glass bowls to William Vanaria’s damascus tools and innovative jewelry, each carrying on a traditional craft but adding their own personal interpretations and ideas into that craft. “It is important to note,” said Pam Farren, Manager of the Metals Studio, “ that our faulty are active makers—they are in the studio honing their skills and creating work on a very regular basis so our students get the advantage of that working knowledge.”



Classes taught by faculty whose work will be on view include Forge a Magic Wand; Jewelry I: Introduction to Metals; Lost Wax Casting; Glassblowing I; Basic Venetian Assembly; Stained Glass; Wheel I; How to Make Better Pots; Steeped in Tea and Tradition; Introduction to the Lighting Studio; Cyanotype Workshop; Introduction to Digital Photography; Serving Ware for the Holidays; and Introduction to Darkroom Photography among others.


The Krikorian Gallery at the Worcester Center for Crafts 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 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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Become a Maker! Adults & Youth Classes & Workshops Open for Registration

Worcester, MA-The Worcester Center for Crafts at 25 Sagamore Road, Worcester has opened its registration for fall classes and workshops for adults and youth and is receiving registration online by phone at 508-753-8183, x 301 or in person at the Craft Center. Online registration can be found at www.worcester.edu/WCC-Classes/.

Work by Bryan Randa
Adult classes are offered in ceramics, glass, metals including jewelry and enamels, and photography. These classes begin September 10. New this year in our photography department is a Cyanotype Workshop on September 29 taught by Paul Dumanoski. New on Tuesday nights in ceramics is a six-week class called "Steeped in Tea and Tradition" taught by Ginny Gillen; in this class you'll learn to hand-build tea bowls, cups and tea-related items while your designs are informed by a sampling of teas from around the world. New in our metals department is 4-week Friday evening/Saturday morning class on Lost Wax Casting and a 6-week class in Sterling Silver Etching & Hollow Fabrication. For people interested in exploring Glass at our New Street Glass Studio, there are many options including Studio Sampler that will introduce students to glassblowing, flameworking and fusing!

Need a chance to take your potting skills to the next level? Enroll in November's Potter's Bootcamp taught by Ceramic Department Head Tom O'Malley. The ancient art of Stained Glass will be taught on Tuesday nights at the New Street Glass Studio.

Visiting Artist Bryan Randa will teach two Intermediate to Advanced Weekend Intensives in Glass: Nov. 17-18, Sculpting from the Flame and Dec 8-9, Hot Glass Sculpting.

The Youth Craft + Creativity program is dedicated to presenting students ages 6-17 with opportunities to have fun exploring the materials and skills of craft while also learning about the math, science and engineering that are part of making ceramics, metals, glass and more work. Classes begin the week of October 1.



Six to nine year olds can participate in Clay for Kids with Lori Mader or Old Paper, New Paper with Bayda Asbridge. Made with Metal taught by Pam Farren is offered for 10-13 year olds as is Clay by Hand with Ginny Gillen.

Teens can chose between a variety of six week classes including Flameworking, Intro to Ceramics,Intro to Glass, Stained Glass for Teens and Enameling for Teens. Each is two hours long, once a week and is taught by a practicing craftsperson/artist.
 
New this year are a variety of workshops being offered to students ages 12-17 and 14-17 at the New Street Glass Studio. These workshops are short introductions to working with glass and more product oriented. Workshops occur throughout the fall.


Scholarships are available to both adult and youth students who may not have the financial means to attend classes at the Worcester Center for Crafts. Applications for scholarships can be found at www.worcester.edu/WCC-Scholarship-Program-and-Evaluations/. The Craft Center is appreciative of the support of the Lilyan Bachrach Scholarship Fund, the Barrett Morgan Scholarship Fund, the Schwartz Foundation, and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for their support of our educational and scholarship programs. For more information see www.worcestercraftcenter.org or call 508-753-8183, x 301.



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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.

Friday, August 3, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Three Artists, Three Styles: Gentle Enough for Daily Use Opens August 9 at the Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA- Work by Don Hartmann, Luis Fraire, and Robb Sandagata will be on view in the Worcester Center for Crafts Krikorian Gallery at 25 Sagamore Road, Worcester from August 9 to September 8, 2018 in an exhibition provocatively entitled, "Gentle Enough for Daily Use."  Gallery Hours are Tues-Sat, 10-5pm.  Admission is free.

A reception honoring the artists will be held on Thursday, August 9 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Craft Center.

All three artists-Hartmann, Fraire, and Sandagata-- are painters but approach their artmaking using different styles and perspectives. All three are also musicians. Collectively in this exhibit, however, they purport to bring to the public a gentle but deeply cleansing collection of new and improved works of art.

What does GENTLE ENOUGH FOR DAILY USE mean?  In general it is a branding term in the modern American marketplace for products that typically are associated with having certain abrasive qualities but combined in such a way that there are no unpleasant aftereffects of the abrasion: gentle enough for daily use.

Robb Sandagata is known for his narrative, sometimes grotesque figures that play with biomorphism and reference pop culture, punk and various styles of music. His recent work explores themes of politics, chronic illness, and masculinity.  He studied at Sarah Lawrence College and has a MA in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix (Tuscon, AZ). He works at Davis Publications in Worcester while living and maintaining a studio in Lowell.  He recently co-curated Parallels, a series of exhibitions of Worcester and Lowell artists shown in both cities.

Luis Antonio Fraire is a Worcester area musician, visual artist and Gallery Manager at The Sprinkler Factory in Worcester.  In the "Gentle Enough for Daily Use" show at The Worcester Center for Crafts, he creates a single, large installation piece transporting the viewer to an urban Mexican street scene at night. His use of bold shapes, vibrant colors and re-purposed materials are inspired by Mexican folk art. In this work, he invites the viewer to share both the momentous and surreal in a typical scene from the Barrio Antiguo, the historical quarter of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Fraire is a 1st generation American with extended family living in and around the Monterrey metropolitan area.

Don Hartmann is currently completing a series of 100 goat paintings and is known for his emotive, confrontational style of figure painting.  Originally from Ohio, Hartmann has studied at Ohio State University and the University of Hartford.    

"Until we see the work come through the door," says Candace Casey, director of the Krikorian Gallery, with a laugh, "we won't know if it, indeed, is gentle enough for daily use! We're very excited to have these three creative artists and musicians in our space.  The surprise element is a wonderful part of GENTLE ENOUGH FOR DAILY USE."

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Honee Hess, hhess@worcester.edu


Gentle Enough for Daily Use featuring (l to r) Robb Sandagata, Don Hartmann, and Luis Fraire, 2018

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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.



Thursday, July 5, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Hot Time in Worcester on Friday, July 20 Craft Center Turns Itself Inside-Out for Free Public Event

AiR Jon Glabus helps a visitor throw clay
WORCESTER, MA - The fiery processes of craft and their transformative power will be on display at the Worcester Center for Crafts' free block-party style event, HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY on Friday, July 20 from 6-9pm. Many of the demonstrations and events will take place outside to accommodate visitors, and for dramatic effect. Also included in the event are music, food trucks, and artist displays.

HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY is organized by the Worcester Center for Crafts as a thank you to the public for supporting craft, artists and the Craft Center. The Craft Center can guarantee that there will be fire since fire and heat are essential elements to working with glass, clay and metal---three of the materials that will be demonstrated at Hot Night. Fire and heat are the elements which transform those more ordinary materials into wonderful works.

Dusk's darkness will give way to the warm glow of artists' illuminating demonstrations of the ancient arts of glassblowing, raku firing, flame working, and blacksmithing. The public will have an opportunity to try their hand at throwing pots in an area outside called Wheel Throwing Under the Stars. This will feature short introductory hands-on experiences with centering clay and throwing pots. Visitors can try it themselves!

Josh Swalec mans the anvil
A portable glass furnace will be set up in the parking lot to demonstrate the glassblowing that goes on daily at the Worcester Center for Crafts' New Street Glass Studio (35B New Street).

Blacksmith Joshua Swalec will forge metals outside, and the Raku artist Ginny Gillen and her class will do a pottery raku firing. Inside in the Metals Studios, faculty and students will be working and exhibiting their work in jewelry, enamels and more.

New this year will be an activity outside in which the public will help to create some cylindrical, carved clay sculptures that will be displayed outside of the Craft Center once the works are fired after Hot Night. Also new this year is a free drawing for some very HOT Craft Center t-shirts. Each participant coming in the front "gate" will receive a free drawing ticket which they can drop into the drawing box in the Gallery Lobby.

Flameworker, Molly Jackson, demonstrates
Jubilee Gardens, a popular band from the area who play an all original, eclectic mix ofmusic with hints of world, pop, folk, and rock will provide the music for dancing, eating, and celebrating craft and the Worcester Center for Craft in the community.

"Hot Night gives us the opportunity to literally turn ourselves inside out in order to tell the community THANK YOU for being partners with us," said Honee Hess, executive director of the Crafts Center. "We have these 'hot' activities going on every day, but on HOT NIGHT we bring them out into the open for all to see and enjoy." Activities at HOT NIGHT are free to the public, although donations are accepted.

Opening that night in the Krikorian Gallery of the Center is an exhibit of Tess Barbato's paintings. Tess won the opportunity for a one-person show at the Center as the first prize winner of NOW: New Work, New Artists, a joint exhibition between Arts Worcester and the Worcester Center for Crafts in 2016. Tess' work, meticulously painted in a photo-realist style, transform mundane objects into subjects that demand attention and invite conversation. Gallery Director Candace Casey remarks, "this show reminds us of the depth of talent in all of the visual art forms that we have in this area! Tess, our artists in residence, our faculty, our students...the list is very long of creatives who are involved with the Craft Center."

Raku Firing
Fueling the crowd will be the award-winning bbq purveyor, BT's Smokehouse of Sturbridge with its wood-fired BBQ, Off the Hook Roadside Eatery of Rutland which specializes in Lobster Rolls, Chowder, other New England favorites like hamburgers & hot dogs, Sabor Latino with its Latin-themed menu and vegetarian rice, beans, and empanadas, and a new favorite Kettle Korn.

The Queen's Cups
For dessert, Worcester State University alum, Renee King brings the Queen's Cups' award-winning cupcakes and desserts to the event. To top things off for the over-21 crowd, Austin Liquors has arranged a tasting of Worcester's newest brewery product, Down the Road Brewery beer. Food prices are set by vendors.

Parking is available in the former L&J parking lot and on Sagamore, Grove, and Park. Handicapped parking is in marked spaces behind the Postal Union building.

For more information or to arrange a photo opportunity, please contact Honee A. Hess, Executive Director of the Crafts Center at hhess@worcester.edu.

_____________________________________________________
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 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, 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.

Monday, July 2, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Tess Barbato Opens July 12 at Worcester Center for Crafts Hyper-Realist Painter Winner of NOW 2016

Photo courtesy of tessbarbato.com
Worcester, MA- An exhibit of oil paintings by Worcester artist Tess Barbato opens in the Krikorian Gallery of the Worcester Center for Crafts on July 12, 2018, and will be on view through August 4. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5 and admission is free. An artist celebration will be held as part of the Center's HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY event on Friday, July 20.

Tess Barbato is a young, 21st century American realist oil painter whose work is painted in a traditional manner, but whose imagery and concept is anything but traditional. In 2016, her work "Cake" was chosen as first place winner of the ArtsWorcester/Worcester Center for Crafts NOW exhibition which qualified her for a one-person exhibit at the Worcester Center for Crafts.

Work by Tess Barbato
"Tess's work is very much in demand," said Krikorian Gallery Director Candace Casey. "Her paintings are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and they draw you in immediately; then you start to think and wonder what are they really about?"

The artist, Tess Barbato possesses a larger than life vision that results in incredibly detailed portrayals of the most mundane of objects. Pill bottles spilling their contents, packages of pork ribs supersized, a stack of coins, a cap from a prescription bottle turned upright like a fluted cake: these images and more inhabit her work, beatifying and beautifying at the same time.

Work by Tess Barbato
Barbato inherited her artistic sensibility from a long line of family artists and graduated Summa Cum Laude in Fine Arts from Plymouth State University. She cites her lifelong struggle with dyslexia for her compulsion to make art and to use it as her preferred means of communication.

"I use art to communicate about certain current social topics which have caught my attention," reads her artistic statement. "The medium of oils allows me to create dimensionality and add suppleness that depicts an almost palpable rendering of the subject. This medium allows me to depict ordinary, often overlooked items in a distinctly tactile way." And, in a tactile way that produces a POW! In the viewer's brain as the viewer starts to relate to the work in a narrative way.

"Cake", by Tess Barbato, 2016 winner of NOW: New Work, New Artists
Tess' paintings have been accepted for numerous juried exhibitions and have accumulated several awards and honors. Some of her recent showings have been in the Art of the Figure, juried by Philip Pearlstein in Setauket, New York; Less Is More: Small Works in a Great Space, juried by Jack Rasmuissen and Joann Moser in Annapolis; The New England Collective IV juried by Kaveh Mojtabai and Brian Goslow, the Publisher and the Editor-in-Cheif of ArtScope Magazine at Galatea Fine Art in Boston.

She is currently working out of her studio in Framingham, Massachusetts. 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Honee Hess, hhess@worcester.edu

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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 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, 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.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Discover Clay at the Worcester Center for Crafts



Video edited by Spring 2018 Graphics Intern, Nana Nakazwe

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Countdown Begins for the Pottery Invitational!


Make Your Plans Now!
May 4 - 6, 2018
Friday, 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Sip & Shop
Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM
Demonstrations and more
Sunday, 11 AM - 4 PM
Coffee Klatch and Demos

Free Admission
Show and sale of work by 22 nationally known potters

Monday, April 23, 2018

Meet the Makers and Celebrate ArtWeek at the POTTERY INVITATIONAL 2018

WORCESTER, MA - Over twenty potters will be featured in the upcoming POTTERY INVITATIONAL 2018 at the Worcester Center for Crafts held May 4-6 at the Center on Sagamore Road. Admission to the Center and to the Pottery Invitational is free of charge all weekend.
2018

Teapot by Stuart Gair
Meet the makers at this special exhibit and sale of handcrafted pottery on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Twenty-two of the region's most talented ceramic artists have been chosen by curators Holly Walker (Vermont) and Sarah Heimann (New Hampshire) to display their work in the Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery in this pop-up kind of show. The artists accompany their work for the weekend so people can discover the how's and why's of making incredible ceramic work--and maybe start a collection!

Included in this year's Pottery Invitational are Susan Dewsnap (Auburn , ME); Jerilyn Virden  (Greensboro, VT); Kathy King (Belmont, MA); Gertrude Graham Smith  (Bakersville, NC); Jody Johnstone  (Swanville, ME); Tom White (Northfield, MA); Brian Taylor (Brewster, MA); Colleen McCall (Elmira, NY); Tom O'Malley (Forrestdale, RI); Michael McCarthy (MA ); Seth Rainville (New Bedford, MA); Autumn Cipala (Thomaston, ME); Brenda Quinn (NY); Normandy Alden (West Winfield, NY); Nick Seidner (Middletown Springs, VT); Stuart Gair (MA); Linda Casbon  (Brooklyn, NY); Diane Rosenmiller (Middletown Springs, VT); David Eichelberger (Floyd, VA); Noel Bailey (VT); and curators Sarah Heimann (Lebanon, NH) and Holly Walker (Randolph, VT).

In their Curators Statement, Heimann and Walker say, "In our choice of established and early career ceramic artists, we underscored excellence and integrity of work. We anticipate a dynamic exhibition, exemplifying the current breadth of approach and aesthetics in the ceramic field. We look forward to lively conversations sparked by this diverse group."

Friday night, the exhibit is open from 5:30-8:30pm and will feature a special "Sip & Shop," an informal opening for the Invitational complete with beverages and treats, and some off-the-cuff remarks from the curators. Music will be provided by Jose Castillo, a guitarist who was awarded a Worcester Arts Council Fellowship in 2015.

Saturday, the Invitational is open from 10am-5pm. Demonstrations by the Craft Centers' Artists in Residence are scheduled at 11 and 2 and will give the public insight into the process of creating functional pottery. Demonstrations will occur in the Center's fully-equipped Ceramics Studio down the hall from the Krikorian Gallery.

Cups by Gertrude Graham Smith
Pop-up talks by the artists will occur at regular intervals during the weekend to give the "inside" insights to participants. Artists will be commenting on other artists'
work, giving you an additional perspective on what makes a good pot!

Sunday, the Invitational is open from 11am-4pm. Coffee Klatch, a free meet-the-artist coffee tasting occurs 11am-1pm. Coffee will be courtesy of  Armeno Coffee Roasters with pastries for purchase by On the Rise. Buy your favorite handmade mug, fill it with some brew and talk to the artist who created it-what could be better? 

The 2018 Pottery Invitational has many of its events listed as part of ARTWEEK an award-winning innovative festival featuring hundreds of unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to arts, culture, and the creative process. "The Craft Center's Pottery Invitational is proud to be a partner with ArtWeek," said Executive Director Honee Hess. "Having the Pottery Invitational listed as an ArtWeek partner is high praise for the quality work that is on display."

In addition to the 22 artists and their works, visitors to the Pottery Invitational will have their choice of olive boats for purchase on Friday night and a chance to win a Raffle Bowl-each artist will donate a bowl to be raffled off to benefit the Worcester Center for Crafts.

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More about the Worcester Center for Crafts & the Invitational:

Work by Holly Walker
The Pottery Invitational was started at the Worcester Center for Crafts in 2003 as a way to expose the community to the work of regional and national ceramic artists, and to assist artists in creating a new market for their work. Based loosely on an event held at the renowned Art School at Old Church in Demarest, NJ, the Worcester Center for Crafts Pottery Invitational has grown into the Center's premiere large-scale educational event for the public around the work of clay artists.

"The Pottery Invitational is part of Worcester's creative economy," said Honee Hess, executive director of the Crafts Center. "It markets the work of artists who sell their work. People come from far and wide, stay in hotels and eat in local restaurants, and we move closer to our mission -- sustaining crafts as an important part of our community and society." An appreciation of all things hand-made is good for artist, business, and the community.

Work by Sarah Heimann
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 handcrafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved into New England is 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 receive funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

For more information or to arrange a photo opportunity, please contact Honee A. Hess, Executive Director of the Crafts Center at hhess@worcester.edu.

__________________________________________________
About ArtWeek:

ArtWeek works to spotlight how the creative economy is thriving in Massachusetts by offering unique and affordable neighborhood-based events that provide increased access to art, culture, and creativity.Through community and artistic collaborations, this festival provides experiences in dance, folk and traditional arts, fashion, media arts, spoken-word, poetry, writing, contemporary visual arts, music, opera, theater, design, film, and much more. Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek is a 10-day innovative festival featuring hundreds of unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. This annual award-winning festival was born in Boston in 2013 and has since expanded to serve communities all across Massachusetts. www.artweekma.org
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SCHEDULE FOR POTTERY INVITATIONAL 2018

FRIDAY
5:30PM                 Show Opens Free to the public
                             Sip & Shop*: cash bar, nibbles & informal curator talks
8:30PM                 Show closes for the day

SATURDAY
10:00AM               Show opens free to the public
11-12:30PM          Artist-in Residence demos in the Ceramic Studio
2-3:30PM              Artist-in Residence demos in the Ceramic Studio
5:00PM                 Show closes for the day   (work to right: Holly Walker)


SUNDAY
11:00AM              Show opens free to the public  
11:00-1:00PM      Coffee Klatch*: free meet-the-artist coffee tasting provided by 
                             Armeno Coffee Roasters with pastries for purchase by On the 
                             Rise. Buy your favorite hand-made mug; fill it with some brew and talk to the artist  who created it.
11-12:30PM          Artist-in Residence demos in the Ceramic Studio
2-3:30PM              Artist-in Residence demos in the Ceramic Studio
4:00PM                 Show closes.

Work by Tom White


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

4/11/2018 and 4/12/2018 Street Access to Craft Center

Sagamore Road will be blocked due to construction work for both 4/11/2018 (Wednesday) and Thursday, 4/12/2018.  There will be access from Grove Street for today, though we are currently uncertain about Thursday.  

We have been told by construction that they anticipate the road work only lasting until 3 or 4PM each day, but please remain cautious of road blocks and raised structures along Sagamore.

Please check out Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/worcestercraftcenter ) for further updates.

Thank you for your patience!

Monday, March 26, 2018

April Vacation Week Programs Announced

Worcester, MA -- The Worcester Center for Crafts, located at 25 Sagamore Road is offering parents an opportunity to enroll their children in fun craft programs during the April School Vacation week, April 17-20. Workshops for ages 6-9 and 10-13 are two and a half hours long in the morning from 9:30-Noon and in the afternoon from 12:30-3pm. A free supervised lunch is offered for those who bring their own brown-bag lunch.

Additionally, older youth can chose to attend all-day workshops (9:30-3). For teens (14-17) the Center is offering "Found Object Fun" on Wednesday, "Photo Enamel Transfer " on Thursday, and a "Stained Glass Workshop" on Friday. In addition, a "Whittling Workshop" is being offered for 10-17 year olds on Tuesday.


(Found object clock made by instructor Pam Farren who will be teaching Wednesday's "Found Object Fun" featured at left; students will be making jewelry and other smaller objects, time permitting.)

Some of the workshops include "Clay Castles," "Mosaics," "My Own Tote," "Royal Crowns," "Off the Page," "Carve It!," "Shiny," "Let's Move it!," and "Resplendent Pendants." These workshops will introduce students to a variety of media including ceramics, metals, fabrics, wood, and to many techniques.

A particularly exciting technique for teens to discover is working with Photo transfers on enameled metals. Students will bring a photo or image they like and will learn how to turn it into a black/white decal and apply the decal to artistically enameled metal.

Registration can be done online at www.worcester.edu/Youth-Craft-and-Creativity-Classes/ or by phone at 508-753-88183, x 301 (Mon-Fri, 10-5). Short workshops are $30 each and include all materials and use of equipment. All day workshops are $65 per day. Register for 4 workshops and save 10%.

________________________________________________________

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 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, 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.