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Florida Craftsmen Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

Florida Craftsmen originated in 1952 in DeLand, Florida as a small, grassroots group on the verge of what soon became an historic time in U.S. art history - now familiarly known as the Contemporary Crafts Movement.

In upcoming newsletters throughout mid-2003, we will try and provide members with a glimpse back in time to a particular Florida Craftsmen exhibition, a favorite exhibition juror, a list of some of those early award winners, famous Florida quotes and tidbits that have woven the fabric of our organization over the last 50 years.

In the meantime, hang tight while we take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the events to come:

A very ambitious exhibition schedule and a call to all artists

The summer of 2002 will kick off a year of special exhibitions dedicated to the 50th Anniversary, including shows such as In Excess, a members' show featuring artists such as Erman, Sally Broadwell, Nancy Merritt Diane Banks and David Bewley, who each work intensely and compulsively to produce intricate and beautiful patterns, colors and themes taken to the extreme.

Florida Craftsmen is seeking additional artists to include in this exhibition and if you feel your work fits the definition of "excessiveness", please send Gallery Director Lorissa Hallenbeck a set of slides, artist statement and resume ASAP!

Past Perfect/Present Tense, an exhibition curated by art consultant and FC President Marilyn Mars, will showcase past Florida Craftsmen award-winning artists from our historical, statewide competitive exhibitions.

The New Year will open with a curated exhibition titled Paper to Gold: A Fifty-Year Anniversary Exhibition, redefining the traditional and contemporary anniversary commemoratives such as paper (1st Anniversary), cotton, wood, silver (25th Anniversary), all the way up to gold denoting the 50th Anniversary.

One artist will be chosen for each year respresenting the specific medium. Slides of work are also welcome for possible inclusion in this exhibition, curated by Karen Valdes, Director and Curator of Exhibitions at Okaloosa-Walton Community College. We will be seeking artists for this exhibition as well.

The History of Florida as Told Through Its Crafts, an exhibition and literary project -- the brainchild of former FC President Mary Klein -- may be the organization's most ambitious project to date. The exhibition plans to chronicle the handcrafts of early Florida settlers, native Indians and early functional ware necessary for everyday living, including selections from Florida Craftsmen's Permanent Collection up to contemporary craft art.

An accompanying catalogue/book will invite historians, art collectors and scholars to lend written text to this initiative. Many of the above exhibitions will be available for travel throughout the state, and institutions interested should contact Michele Tuegel or Gallery Director Lorissa Hallenbeck for more information and exhibition schedules.

We are pleased to announce that the Florida Craftsmen 50th Anniversary Competitive Exhibition will be hosted in the spring of 2003 by the DeLand Museum of Art, nostalgically recalling the organizations' roots begun 50 years ago in beautiful DeLand, Florida.

To top it off, the exhibition will be juried by internationally-recognized master craftsman Robert Ebendorf, a member of Florida Craftsmen in the 1960's and faculty member at Stetson University at the time. (Many of you may remember Bob curating the Elsa Freund Retrospective Exhibition for Florida Craftsmen, which traveled nationally, beginning in 1993 - or his lively workshop in 1990 in Tampa celebrating our 40th Anniversary!) Stetson University's Art Department will also play a major role in the weekend conference that will accompany the exhibition, highlighting national workshop presenters through workshops and an exhibition.

Florida Craftsmen will soon be forming a local committee in DeLand that can assist with details of these events. We will be calling on many Area 6 members to join forces with the DeLand Museum and Stetson University staff this coming May or June. A prospectus will be mailed to every FC artist member this fall, encouraging each and every one of you to enter this prestigious, historical exhibition.

March 20-23, 2003

Florida Craftsmen's Regional Conference, Celebrating the State of Craft, coincides with the 50th Birthday Weekend and the opening of the 50th Anniversary Statewide Competitive Exhibition at DeLand Museum of Art.

Conference registration form. Registration deadline is March 12, 2003.

Exhibition Brochure (.pdf file, 256K)

Exhibition Calendar

February 1

Final juror acceptance and declined notices mailed to artists

March 6-12

Shipped work arrives at the DeLand Museum of Art

March 7-12

Hand-delivered work arrives at the DeLand Museum of Art

March 21

The Florida Craftsmen 50th Anniversary Exhibition Opens.
Public Opening Receiption from 5 to 7 pm, Awards Ceremony at 7 pm

March 20-23

Florida Craftsmen Regional Conference, Deland, Florida

May 8

50th Anniversary Exhibition closes

June 2003-August 2004

Exhibition travels throughout Florida