Exhibition spaces throughout Philadelphia present innovative artists working today in wood, clay, fiber, metal, and glass. Pictured is a piece by local artist Stacey Lee Webber as part of the Imagine Series that is inspired by the imagery on American and international coins.

November: CraftMONTH, CraftNOW Philadelphia turns 5

With 20 plus special events and exhibitions and an overall sense of celebration to go with its fifth-anniversary celebration, CraftNOW Philadelphia and the entirety of November (yeah, that’d be CraftMONTH) is busting out of its britches as never before. 

All this comes under the guidepost of CraftNOW Philadelphia uniting the local handmade community and making the public aware of this city’s history of the art of craft, as well as its currency as a contemporary craft scene for arts-based in wood, clay, fiber, metal, and glass. While this, as always, leads into the (now) 43rd annual Contemporary Craft Show with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (visit www.pmacraftshow.org for more information) running November 8-10 with a preview party November 7, every event throughout the month is unique and as factual as they are fanciful. 

Michelle Millar Fisher, Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will be the keynote speaker of CraftNOW Philadelphia’s Craft Capital Symposium on November 8.

This includes the free CraftNOW Symposium at Broad Street’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (118-128 North Broad Street) on November 8 at noon with the theme “Craft Capital” in connection to the economics of craft and the CraftNOW’s recent publication Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making. Another solid (and free) event is CraftNOW Create at the Kimmel Center at 11 a.m. featuring interactive ideas for in-house and take-home exploration. If you’d rather get out of Dodge on Saturday morning, there’s the Curator’s Tour, Glass Demo and Performance at WheatonArts (1000 Village Drive, Millville, New Jersey), November 9, 11:00 a.m. with Julie Courtney on a curator’s tour of Emanation in the Museum of American Glass featuring works by contemporary artists Jesse Krimes, Tristin Lowe, Martha McDonald and Laura Baird, Karyn Olivier, Richard Torchia, Allan Wexler, and Jo Yarrington. One of my favorite aspects of the Jersey jaunt is a live musical showcase with Phantom Frequencies, a mini-opera using glass instruments, performed by Philly opera singer Martha McDonald and local instrumentalist Laura Baird. 

 “Filling a gap in the cultural landscape, CraftNOW cultivates citywide collaboration and programmatic activity to showcase Philadelphia’s remarkable resources in the field and reinforce the city’s “civic brand” as the nation’s leading urban center for craft and making in the 21st century,” said Leila Cartier, Executive Director of CraftNOW last time around. “There are many individuals that are working in support of CraftNOW behind the scenes as well. Each of the institutions I just counted has their own director, curator, marketing and/or education personnel involved plus their network of artists and makers. Therefore, that number expands dramatically when you factor in these individuals and their contributions to the craft community.”

CraftNOW Philadelphia, in partnership with the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, will present CraftNOW Create on November 9. The event is a full day of hands-on exploration and take-home activities.

For more information on CraftNOW visit www.craftnowphila.org

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