PBS Craft in America to feature International Quilt Museum
“Quilts,” a new episode of PBS’ “Craft in America” program will feature the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s International Quilt Museum. The show broadcasts at 8 p.m. Dec. 27 on NET.
The Peabody Award-winning documentary series, “Craft in America,” discovers the beauty, significance and relevance of handmade objects and the artists who make them. For more than a decade, the series has taken viewers on cultural journeys across this nation, honoring the multiplicity of traditions that have come to define our country.
In this episode Carolyn Ducey, curator of collections, and Leslie C. Levy, executive director, introduce the International Quilt Museum, where the mission is to build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts.
“We are thrilled to partner with ‘Craft in America’ to help tell the story of American quilts,” Levy said. “This episode truly captures the spirit and heart of our rich quiltmaking tradition. Were also excited to share our collection, exhibitions and research with a national audience through the lens of this captivating episode.”
The “Craft in America” crew visited the museum in March to film interviews and view quilts from the collection.
In this episode, viewers meet contemporary masters of this traditional art form.
Historian and storyteller Ken Burns, a passionate quilt collector, who appears in the episode, calls quilts the “simplest and most authentic expression of who we are as a people.” The International Quilt Museum recently exhibited 28 quilts from Burns’ American quilt collection. He views quilts as an essential building block of culture.
“This is what human beings are required to do, to take raw materials and transform them into something greater than the sum of their parts,” Burns said. “And that’s what a quilt is, that’s what art is.”
The episode also features these contemporary artists and makers:
Susan Hudson, a Navajo/Diné artist from Sheep Springs, New Mexico, who was taught to sew by her mother who was forced to sew at an “assimilation” boarding school. Hudson’s pictorial quilts honor her ancestors and the proud history of the Navajo people using a crossover style inspired by Ledger art. Recounting history through her ledger quilts has made Hudson an activist storyteller, chronicling the hardships endured by her ancestors.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe has a fine art degree in painting but found her life’s passion in quilt making. Now a New York-based international award-winning quilter, fabric designer, teacher, author and lecturer, Findlay Wolfe is known for making quilts that look difficult to make, then teaching quilters to make them.
Michael A. Cummings is a nationally recognized quilter who lives and works in the historic Sugar Hill neighborhood of New York. Self-taught, Cummings brought years of painting and collage skills to his quilt making. Inspired by jazz and working in the narrative tradition, Cummings and his sewing machine tell stories of the African American experience across historical, cultural, philosophical and mythical realms.
Judith Content uses inspiration from nature and a Japanese resist dye technique, arashi shibori, to create glorious abstract wall quilts in her Palo Alto, California, studio. Content dyes then composes fabric into an abstract kimono form and uses her sewing machine as a drawing tool to achieve an evanescent visual haiku that communicates to viewers both emotionally and intellectually. These art quilts, made to be viewed on walls rather than placed on beds, expand both the definition of the quilt and its place in the art world.
Learn more about the “Craft in America” series and view additional video clips.
Craft in America
Craft in America, Inc. is a (c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Carol Sauvion in , and based in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to document and advance contemporary American craft and traditional craft practices through educational programs in all media. It is dedicated to fostering an appreciation of handmade craft, the makers committed to its practice, and the contribution craft makes to our national cultural heritage.
In , with grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the support of private donors, filming began for three one-hour television documentaries on American craft.Craft in America, the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winningPBS television documentary series of the same name premiered in Now in its thirteenth year, the twenty second and twenty third episodes air December 27, 
Each episode takes viewers inside the homes and studios of skilled makers, who speak of the creative process—in their own words—as finely crafted works emerge from their hands. Thus far, over two hundred artists have been filmed including MacArthur Fellows beadworker Joyce J. Scott, woodworker Sam Maloof, and blacksmith Tom Joyce. Other artists include birch bark basket maker Dona Look, and Mira Nakashima, daughter of furniture maker George Nakashima. Additionally, episodes have highlighted numerous schools and craft institutions committed to advancing and preserving American crafts such as Pilchuck Glass School, Pewabic Pottery, Penland School of Crafts, North Bennet Street School and The Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum. The series is notable for its diversity of native and multi-cultural craft artists as well as more widely recognized practitioners.
The episodes "Borders" and "Neighbors", cross the southern boundary of the United States for the first time to focus on our shared history and influence upon each other. This was an outcome of Craft in America's participation in Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the Getty's ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with the city of Los Angeles, California. Producer/Director Carol Sauvion describes these episodes as carrying a message about international relations, and cross-cultural exchanges that affirms – that there are no borders in art.
"Borders" takes viewers across the Mexico border, and back again, to explore the connections and influences between Mexican and American craft artists. It visits Mexican master altar maker Ofelia Esparza, the Mexican celebration Day of the Dead, American artist Kiff Slemmons and many others artists forging unique and ongoing cultural exchanges.
"Neighbors" brings viewers across the southern border of the United States to meet Mexican ceramic artists Carlomagno Pedro Martínez, Magdalena Pedro Martínez, and the work of American silver designer William Spratling. It explores the cross-fertilization between Mexican craft artists and their neighboring American craft artists such as muralist Judy Baca and Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice, California.
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|First PBS air date||Featured artists, specialties, and locations||Comments|
|Democracy||December 11,||Julie Schafler Dale (gallerist and craft historian) |
Linda J. Mendelson (textile artist)
Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit and Aleut multi-media artist)
George Rodriguez (sculptor)
Christina Bothwell (glass artist)
Additional projects include establishment of the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, California  to extend the reach of the documentary series by hosting artist talks, curating exhibitions, authoring books, maintaining an archival library of books, magazines, DVDs and video footage on craft, and an extensive website with further information on artists and craft organizations nationwide. The Center also provides the Craft in Schools educational outreach program, connecting students to professional artists with hands-on workshops and talks to public, underserved schools in the greater Los Angeles area. Education Guides are linked to each episode for use in classrooms , and various other resources to further knowledge of crafts, and inspire viewers, artists, researchers and others.
- Lauria, Jo; Fenton, Steve (). Craft in America: celebrating two centuries of artists and objects: [ companion to the Craft in America PBS television series and to the traveling museum exhibition of the same name] (1sted.). New York: Clarkson Potter. ISBN.
Craft In America
The first episode takes a personal tour through craft's history in America.
The second episode examines the relationship of craft artists with their physical environment, which serves as a source of materials and inspiration.
The final episode focuses on the spiritual connection between artisans and their communities.
"Origins" focuses on the origins of the American craft movement and features artists who tie their work to early craft techniques and pass these techniques to others in a continuum of creativity.
"Process" looks at what inspires a person to choose a career in craft and demonstrates how they go about acquiring the knowledge and necessary skills.
This episode of "Craft in America" looks at the ways many craft artists go beyond skill to personal and political expression.
This episode explores the creative home environments and personal dynamics of four families of craft artists and asks: Is talent inherited? What's it like to live in a household where objects are made by hand? In this episode, former President Jimmy Carter shares stories of Ed Moulthrop, a fellow Georgian who is known as the father of modern woodturning.
Explore woven textiles and story quilts by artists Faith Ringgold of Harlem, Randall Darwall of Cape Cod, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood in California and Terese Agnew in Wisconsin.
This episode explores America as a crossroads: a land where craft evolves from global influences, a place of exciting intersections between modern technology and the handmade.
"Forge" profiles exceptional artists who are working in what may be the only tangible example of "alchemy" we have - the forging of metal magically transformed by fire.
This program celebrates some of our most important traditions.
"Industry" explores the business of the handmade, going into workshops where artists are crafting the future and making contributions to the local and national economies.
"Service," part of the PBS veterans initiative Stories of Service, is the story of craft and the military.
Focus on the makers of finely crafted handmade instruments - guitar, ukulele, trumpet, banjo and timpani - and the renowned musicians who play them, including Joan Baez, Jake Shimabukuro, Rhiannon Giddens, Scotty Barnhart, Tony Ellis and Joseph Pereira.
This episode explores craft artists, objects and traditions of various holidays, featuring Lion Dancers and float builders of San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade, ceramic artists in Detroit making festive pieces at Pewabic Pottery and Motawi Tileworks, Kwanzaa celebrations in Chicago and Oakland, and woodblock Christmas cards made by Yoshiko Yamamoto in Washington state.
Follow artists committed to passing on their skills and passion for craft to new generations.
NATURE celebrates the beauty, inspiration, and future of the American landscape.
Explore the relationships and influences Mexican and American craft artists have on each other and on our cultures.
Travel to and from the U.S. and Mexico to explore the people, history, traditions and crafts, noting how aesthetics cross from one country to another and back again in an organic and ongoing cultural exchange.
Explore craft practices definitively Californian, from Native Americans continuing ancient traditions, to contemporary artists expressing new iterations of the art of the handmade.
Meet artists, curators and collectors who envision limitless possibilities of craft and imagine new methods of achieving that vision.
Learn about contemporary quilters as we celebrate the role quilts have played in our country's story.
Artists explore issues of gender, race, culture and place, offering true expressions of their experiences in this world.
Meet artists who use narrative to communicate personal and universal truths.
Explore how craft is intertwined with our nation's defining principles.
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