Florida Craftsmen will soon begin a year of 50th Anniversary Celebrations

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 each newsletter beginning in 2002, 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 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 us 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 representing the specific medium. Slides of work are also welcome for possible inclusion in this exhibition.
    • The Florida Craftsmen 50th Anniversary Competitive Exhibition will be hosted in the spring of 2003 by the Tampa Museum of Art, nostalgically recalling our 40th Anniversary Exhibition there in 1991. A prospectus will be mailed to every artist member, providing an opportunity for any member to enter this prestigious show.
    • The History of Florida as Told Through Its Crafts, an exhibition and book brainchild by former FC President Mary Klein, may be the organizations 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, and will include selections from Florida Craftsmens 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.
  • Florida Craftsmen will own their building by August 2002. Everyone should certainly be aware of FCs capital campaign at this point, and the dream will finally materialize, coincidentally in line with our 50th Anniversary! Your donations continue to remain an important investment in the organization, and please think of our future and legacy by contributing what you are able. We submitted a Cultural Facilities Grant to the State of Florida in early August , asking for matching funds of $367,000 to support the Renaissance Building purchase keep your fingers crossed!
  • Florida Craftsmens Permanent Collection. Currently consisting of approx. 75 historical, contemporary and educational pieces of artwork, the collection documents a rich tradition in contemporary crafts over the past half-century with distinction. As we meet our 50th Year milestone, the Board of Directors and the Permanent Collections Committee recognizes the need to cultivate the collection so it may represent and inspire generations to come. We ask the membership, those by whom we mark this place in time, to continue to exhibit the generosity Florida Craftsmen members have repeatedly done in the past. The cultural significance of FC deserves preservation for the future, and the Permanent Collection is among our most enduring contributions to Florida society. During Florida Craftsmens year-long anniversary celebration, we encourage our members and supporters to consider donating works of craft art or funds for the purchase of art to the Permanent Collection. Please contact Lorissa Hallenbeck, Gallery Director, for further information on Florida Craftsmens collecting goals and accession policies.