Craft/Work Programming by Rachel Wallis and Nora Renick Rinehart.
Craft: Race, Class and Gender” panel which featured artists Noelle Garcia, Jasmin Guerrero, Carrie Ann Schumaker and Jeff Rhodes. From Garcia’s traditional Native American beading on quotidian objects like staple guns or beer bottles to Schumaker’s elaborate gowns made of deconstructed romance novels, the panel’s participants simultaneously embrace and problematize the roles and identities placed on them by society and the art world. Issues around authenticity and appropriation are often prevalent in both the content of work and the mode in which it’s made.
Issues around authenticity and appropriation are often prevalent in both the content of work and the mode in which it’s made. Rhodes says his decision to utilize fibers had more to do with the resources available to him than the readings to which those materials would eventually lead. “I find myself in a place where i don’t have a dedicated studio space, I don’t have dedicated studio time so I make work in my home, on my couch or my dining room table. It’s a very domestic setting so it makes sense that I’m using a domestic process both logistically as well as conceptually.”* This story is familiar to women who have, in the past, often borne the brunt of responsibility around childrearing and housekeeping. Rhodes, who still considers himself a painter, admits that a lot of people continue to associate work with fibers as “feminine.”
these artists have all found ways of taking advantage of the communities they are a part of. We continued the exploration of this concept of community with a panel titled “Community and Craft: Art, Activism and Politics.” While art is often created in isolation, craft has a rich tradition of communal work, from quilting bees to knitting circles and more. Each of the panelists presenting at this event make work collaboratively to create pieces that investigate larger social issues.
Myungja Anna Koh