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Crafts: Art by Any Other Name
Sunday, December 18, 2022, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
Saturday, November 19-Sunday, December 18
Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00-5:00pm
This exhibition features ceramicist JoAnn Axford, painter Shaari Horowitz, woodworker Alistair Jones, quilter Katharina Litchman, basket maker Tina Puckett, and designer/metalsmith Munya Avigail Upin.
“How often have you gone to a craft show and been amazed by the talent? As a curator, I’ve always found it astonishing that craftspeople were not referred to as artists and their work not prominently displayed in galleries,” says show curator Barbara Lax Kranz. “This show will dissuade the notion that crafts do not belong alongside other arts in a gallery setting. It will highlight their intrinsic artistic value, and the creativity and skill that goes into their creation.”
Glenmont, NY-based ceramicist JoAnn Axford works exclusively in porcelain. While the beauty of the natural world is evident in her pots and vases, they also display themes such as endangered species, invasive plants, and root systems. Post-graduate studies in botanical illustration at the New York Botanical Garden inspired her to use a technique she developed to carve bas-relief onto her wheel-thrown pots. Her work is in many private collections and has been included in many craft shows, including the prestigious “Strictly Functional Pottery National” at the Smithsonian.
Artist Shaari Horowitz lives in Sharon, CT. She adorns wood bowls with layers of patinated gilding and hand-painted designs, creating one-of-a-kind works. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Horowitz is guided by an old-world color palette taking imagery from classical sources such as medieval tapestries, ancient textiles, and the frescoes of Pompeii. The wood bowls she adorns with her paint are sometimes revived from the past, while others are created by her woodworker husband, Alistair Jones.
Alistair Jones was born in England and apprenticed in the English woodworking tradition. In addition to turning bowls and building a plethora of unusual and practical boxes, his long career working in wood includes custom furniture and yacht interiors. Most recently, his passion is making traditional longbows, which will be on display at the Spencertown show.
Originally from Switzerland and now living in Jeffersonville, NY, Katharina Litchman studied at Parson’s School of Design. Her early quilts focused on the interaction of color and pattern. Her more recent works feature a variety of flora and fauna subjects. These images resonate with her personal interest in the natural world and her efforts in support of conservation. She has been inducted into the Catskill Mountain Quilters Hall of Fame as the first art quilter and her work can be found in the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum.
Based in Winsted, CT, Tina Puckett has long foraged for American bittersweet vine to incorporate in her weaving of baskets, wall sculptures, furniture, and ceiling hangings. Much of her color palette is influenced by the experience of being raised in South America. She weaves for the joy of creation and loves sharing her pieces with others. Her work has been seen in numerous publications, including Yankee Magazine, New England Crafts, and Connoisseur Magazine. Her weavings were also part of the Cheongju International Craft Biennial in South Korea.
For close to fifty years, Munya Avigail Upin of Lenox, MA, has been working with metals. Her diverse body of work includes jewelry, sculpture, vessels, and traditional sacred items. Her pieces have been featured in over 140 exhibitions in the United States, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, and Germany. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship, a Niche Award, and a special commission from the Jewish Museum in NYC, where her work remains part of its collection.