November 2017: CraftNOW Philadelphia Returns for Year Three

Event Series Returns for Third Year with Innovative Programming, Globally Recognized Speakers, and New Partners.

CraftNOW Philadelphia

CraftNOW Philadelphia, a creative consortium of artists, galleries, museums, universities, retailers, and civic organizations, returns for its third year of programming to spotlight the vibrant contemporary craft movement in Philadelphia. Through a curated two-week event series, taking place Nov. 1 – 12, 2017 surrounding the opening of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show, CraftNOW encourages locals and visitors alike to engage with the art of craft. The 2017 theme – Fluid Boundaries: Intersections of Craft with Fine Art, Design, and Making – explores the evolution of craft in the twenty-first century and how it relates to other disciplines through lectures, interactive activities, exhibitions, and special events.

The 2017 CraftNOW series unites more than 100 artists, 13 special exhibitions, eight events (including the 2017 Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show), 15 venues (from independent galleries to the Kimmel Center), and world-renowned fine craft experts. 

We are thrilled to continue to spotlight the rich history of Philadelphia as a hub for innovation and creativity with the third year of our CraftNOW series. Philadelphia was once known as the 'Workshop of the World'. In 2017, the same spirit of industry and imagination drives our unique creative economy, and we are eager to share that with the local community and visitors, through this diverse group of artists, experts, and events.

Clara Hollander, President, CraftNOW

“We are thrilled to continue to spotlight the rich history of Philadelphia as a hub for innovation and creativity with the third year of our CraftNOW series,” said Clara Hollander, CraftNOW president and co-founder. “Philadelphia was once known as the ‘Workshop of the World’. In 2017, the same spirit of industry and imagination drives our unique creative economy, and we are eager to share that with the local community and visitors, through this diverse group of artists, experts, and events.”

Throughout the month of November, CraftNOW will provide unique opportunities for the public to discover and engage with the Fluid Boundaries of material-based art. New for 2017, CraftNOW kicks off their series on Wednesday, Nov. 1, with a joint reception for Crafting Contexts, a juried exhibition in partnership with Art in City Hall and the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. During this reception, the City of Philadelphia will proclaim November as “CraftMONTH” in Philadelphia, in recognition of the continuous efforts of CraftNOW, University of the Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show, and the craft community.

Over the course of 11 days, CraftNOW showcases the unique and engaging mediums of the art of craft throughout Center City and beyond. Additional CraftNOW signature events include:

·         CraftNOW partners with the Old City District to present A Well-Crafted First Friday on Nov. 3, from 5 – 8 p.m. See, shop, dine, and sip with evening hours at The Center for Art in Wood, The Clay Studio, Wexler Gallery and many other venues. CraftNOW specials are available at select bars and restaurants throughout Old City with presentation of the CraftNOW brochure. Visit for food and beverage partners.

·         The 5th Annual Irvin Borowsky International Prize in Glass Arts Lecture and Reception takes place on Nov. 9, at the University of the Arts, Hamilton Hall. Previous winners include Matthew Szösz, Bryan McGovern Wilson, and Helen Lee. The 2017 award presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by a reception at 6:30 p.m. Admission is FREE; registration required.

·         Also on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m., join Ruth and Rick Snyderman and local artist Ryan Greenheck to learn about the history of craft in Philadelphia and how it has shaped the city into a leading 21st century craft and making center during the Craft Then and CraftNOW discussion at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show. (Craft Show tickets required for entry.)

·         On Nov. 10, CraftNOW welcomes Abraham Thomas, the Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge for the Renwick Gallery at The Smithsonian American Art Museum, as the keynote speaker for the Fluid Boundaries Symposium. This will be the debut lecture for Thomas in front of a Philadelphia audience. Presented by The Galleries at Moore and Freeman’s, the Symposium will feature public lectures between 1 – 5 p.m. followed by the keynote address and reception.

·         On Nov. 11, CraftNOW Create steps out of the studio and into the heart of Philadelphia. From 11 a.m.  – 4 p.m., families are invited to take part in this FREE and family-friendly event at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, sponsored by Freeman’s Auction. Activities and demonstrations, presented by a dozen of the area’s top studios and institutions, include claymation, woodworking, 3-D printing, glassblowing, and button making.

2017 CraftNOW signature exhibitions include:

·         The Philadelphia Museum of Art invites guests to explore At the Center: Masters of American Craft, now through July 2018. This special exhibition focuses on the careers of Yvonne Pacanovsky Bobrowicz, Sharon Church, and Jack Larimore – pioneers in the ceramic and wood artistic mediums.

·         Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture at The Fabric Workshop and Museum displays Khan’s diverse architectural models, drawings, photographs, and films. Currently running through November 5, 2017, Khan explores the life and career of the Philadelphia icon, regarded as one of the greatest master builders of the twentieth century.

·         Remains: Process and Production in Craft at the Philadelphia Art Alliance presents the work of Holly Hanessian, C. Pazia Mannella, Mary Smull & Summer Zickefoose, now through November 19. This group exhibition highlights artists or collectives who raise questions about the making of crafting objects and its relation to process or performance, asking viewers to take an active role in creating meaning.

·         Now on view, The Galleries at Moore presents Narrative Horizons, Body Works, Nick Lenker and Ursula Von Rydingsvard. This collection of exhibitions presents contemporary practices heavily influenced by traditions of functional craft and the handmade. Narrative Horizons (through Dec. 9) features three fiber-based artists Kay Healy, Sophia Narrett and Erin Riley. Body Works (through Dec. 9) is a symposium of performances, workshops, and collaborative projects that examine the body as both material and tool. Nick Lenker: Recreation, The First Person (through Jan. 6) showcases this Philadelphia clay artist addressing the complexities of identity and intimacy within virtual/digital spaces. Ursula Von Rydingsvard: Visionary Woman (through Nov. 11) celebrates the sculptor in conjunction with Moore’s 2017 Visionary Woman Award Gala.

·         Between Oct. 6 – Nov. 26, 2017, The Clay Studio introduces guests to the art of ceramics with three unique CraftNOW exhibitions. Heirloom: Nicholas Kripal, His Students, and Friends honors the insightful and important legacy of the late Nicholas Kripal – Chair of the Crafts Department at Tyler School of Art and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Clay Studio. Watershed Legends: Paula Winokur, Wayne Higby, Jack Troy honors the master of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine – a vibrant partner in the national ceramics community. Mark Burns: King of Kitsch explores societal norms of sexuality and identity through humorous and abstract sculptural forms.

·         Criss Cross: Robyn Horn and Brian Dickerson at The Center for Art in Wood, Oct. 8, 2017 through Jan. 28, 2018, examines two artists working in different ways. Robyn Horn (with strong sculptural pieces) and Brian Dickerson (constructed paintings with paint on joined wood surfaces) enter an artistic conversation mirroring each other’s practice.

·         Art in City Hall, October 9– November 24, 2017. The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy presents Crafting Contexts, a juried exhibition by artists from the Philadelphia region displayed in our historic City Hall. This exhibition presents craft projects serving as a critical tool to examine culture, immigration, the environment, current events, and institutional traditions.

·         From Oct.17 – Nov. 19, Gravers Lane Gallery presents Mara Superior: Porcelain Stories Tyler School of Art. Mara Superior is known for works based on traditional forms, using sprigging and under glaze decoration on press molded or slab built wares that are strongly influenced by Superior’s interest in traditional American folk imagery, travel, and politics.

·         Challenging the traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that coexists in the expressive realms of design, fine art and contemporary glass and ceramics. Artists currently on view include Roberto Lugo, William Morris, Albert Paley, Peter Pincus, Timothy Schreiber, and more.

·         At InLiquid, guests will find Configuration: Nicholas Kripal, now through April 28, 2018. The first exhibition since his passing, Configuration is a collection of tightly conceptual sculptures inspired by tools and objects from everyday life.

·         Through Dec. 8, Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art hosts Adaptive Design of Greater Philadelphia. This collaborative project with Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities is designed to improve access to assistive technology that will facilitate inclusion and education for underserved Philadelphia children birth to 6 with paralysis and other disabilities.

·         CraftNOW closes out 2017 with the opening reception for Wayne Art Center’s Craft Forms 2017, An International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Craft on Dec. 8. Craft Forms is internationally recognized as a premier contemporary craft exhibition – the finest works in ceramics, wood, fiber, metal, glass, mixed medium, and 3D printing are featured, supporting the Center’s mission of expanding the public’s awareness of fine contemporary crafts.

The event series, open to the public, is bolstered by the 41st annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show, which runs from Nov. 9 – 12 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

For more information on the CraftNOW organization, partners, sponsorship, and programs visit Join the conversation and engage with the local craft community on social media with @craftnowphl (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and the official hashtag #craftnowphl.



About CraftNOW: CraftNOW Philadelphia was launched in 2014 by a consortium of two dozen individuals, galleries, museums, universities, retailers, and civic organizations whose mission is to promote Philadelphia as a national center of craft and making. CraftNOW serves as a citywide platform that celebrates Philadelphia’s unparalleled craft and artisanal legacy, showcases the area's many outstanding craft artists, galleries, and other institutions, and highlights the City’s continuing role in defining the future of craft and making. Each year CraftNOW promotes and/or sponsors a series of exhibitions, public demonstrations, and educational programs occurring concurrently with The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Contemporary Craft Show in November. These cultural experiences are designed to animate the City, grow the local creative economy, and offer opportunities for the public to engage directly with the art of craft. CraftNOW 2017 programming is supported by University of the Arts, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Freeman’s Auction, and the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund.

Media Contact: Crystal Casazza,, 215-867-8060

Source: CraftNOW Philadelphia

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