State of Craft

Area 2
According to Co-Area Director Bob Hargrave, plans are moving along smoothly for the FC Area 2 Invitational Exhibition at the Gadsden Art Center in Quincy coming up this fall. Our extended thanks to Bob and other Area 2 members for their concerted efforts on this project, and also to Co-Director Terry Carley for hosting an auction party allowing members long-distance the opportunity to bid on items for FC's Building Campaign in February.

Kudos to Mark Fletcher, who has spent much of his time over the last three years organizing and curating an exhibition of Japanese Ceramics for the Thomasville Art Center in Thomasville, GA. Definitely worth the trip, the show runs through September and is comprised of an elaborate display of tea ceremony pieces by three very historic ceramic masters - Bernard Leach, Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjiro. Mark organized a trip to the Center to see many of these extraordinary pieces in 1999 for FC's Statewide Conference, and he continues as a studio potter himself, having lived in Japan from 1993-96 where he apprenticed with a Japanese potter. More on the exhibition under DON'T MISS!

"Illuminations" was the title of the two-person exhibition at the LeMoyne Art Foundation featuring ceramic sculptures and vessels by Mary Donahue and Yvonne Edwards Tucker. The show ran through February 24th and was truly mystical and inspirational.

Area 4
Area Director Kathy Skaggs is planning an Area 4 get-together soon... be on the lookout for something in the mail! Kathy is co-owner of Atlantic Beach Pottery and assisted FC last year by hosting a Bruce Baker workshop at her facility.

Area 5
Our warmest wishes and heartiest congratulations to Mary Ann Marger on her recent retirement as Art Critic for the St. Petersburg Times. Mary Ann and husband Bruce have long been avid supporters of Florida Craftsmen, as members, contributors and in the many complimentary articles she has written for and about FC during her tenure. A special note to Florida Craftsmen from Mary Ann mentioned " It has been very gratifying for me to see the growth in the visual arts over the years, and Florida Craftsmen, by its uniqueness and excellent management, has certainly been a major player in educating us about the American Crafts Movement as well as presenting us with superb examples." We expect to continue to see Mary Ann and Bruce out and about at many local arts events. We have been enjoying the new reviews by Brandy Stark, and Florida Craftsmen also welcomes Lennie Bennett as the Times' new arts writer, also a Florida Craftsmen supporter!

The Oiseaux Sisters, aka Susan Dollmaker Andrews and Carolyn Rose Fellman, are featured in a mixed media installation exhibition titled Mnemonic Devices at the Maitland Arts Center (north of Orlando) through April 28th. This show comes hot on the trail of their very successful invitational Doll Show at the Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg. You can see some of their smaller works represented at Florida Craftsmen Gallery.

Madeira Beach studio potter Stephanie Schorr recently received an Artist Resource Grant from the Pinellas County Arts Council to purchase an outdoor festival tent and produce professional slides of her work and promotional postcards. Clearwater fiber artist CaroleAnn Lovin also received an Artist Resource Grant, allowing her the funds to purchase a heavy-duty four-harness floor loom. Congratulations, Stephanie and CaroleAnn -- both well-deserved!

Fiber artist and teacher at Nina Harris Exceptional Student Center, Andrea Beane received a grant through the Pinellas County Arts Council's Teacher Incentive Grant Program - alllowing her funds to purchase computer programs for mentally-challenged students to create artworks for portfolios and other creative technological art projects.

Tampa glass artist Duncan McClellan's piece in the FC Auction was a "hot ticket" item! You can catch Duncan's new body of work at one of many spring outdoor shows throughout the state including Winter Park and Mainsail. He will also be a featured artist once again in the prestigious SOFA NY Exposition June 3-7th. Much success, Duncan!

Area 6
Congratulations to former FC board member Helen Howell and other Florida Society of Goldsmith friends who are securing their own studio space in downtown DeLand soon. The group plans on hosting additional metal and jewelry workshops, and we hope they will be active participants as we begin plans for FC's 50th Anniversary and Conference in DeLand next March!

Our extended and grateful thanks to Center for the Arts Director John Lofgren, his excellent staff and to FC member Jacquie Fort in Vero Beach for their hard work on the 49th Florida Craftsmen Exhibition, which concluded March 3rd at the Center. (Note: Article in this newsletter with award winners listed!) Barbara Sorensen provided a very successful weekend workshop at The Center in January, and many individual works in the exhibition were purchased by East Coast collectors. Congratulations to all the participating artists and cheers to everyone that made this exhibition so successful, representing the best by Florida's craft artists.

Area 7
Dennis Elliott's untitled vessel nicknamed "Freeform Acorn" has been acquired by the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in Racine, WI - one of the pieces donated by the Jane & Arthur Mason collection to the museum. This nationally-known Cape Coral woodworker also has a wall sculpture currently on view at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution with other works from the Gallery's permanent collection. You can check out Dennis Elliott's work at: Congrats, Dennis!

South Fort Myers ceramic sculptor Jean Cappadonna-Nichols received a wonderful review in the SW Florida News-Press last fall for her two-person exhibition at the Alliance for the Arts with painter Jeff Whipple. The article, titled "Obsessed with Messages", seemed more than appropriate to describe Jean's incredible work: she manages to cover every square inch of her large, figurative works with painted imagery, using the body as a canvas, she states. The author mentions that the effect of viewing Jean's work is akin to reading a stream of consciousness passage from a William Faulkner novel... we couldn't agree more! Great work, Jean! A few of her sculptures were also on view in the annual Temple Beth-El Show in St. Pete this past January. Expect to see many more surprises from this gifted artist.

The Art League of Marco Island opened an exhibition titled "Kaleidoscope of Color" on March 3rd featuring abstracts by four artists including Billi R.S. Rothove's paper batik hangings. The show runs through April 3rd.

Area 8
Ceramic sculptor Ray Gross was one of the selected few craftsmen nationally to participate in the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show last November.

Area 9
Miami basketmaker Benjia Morgenstern and Key West wood sculptor Helen Harrison joined forces in an exhibition titled "Nature's Beauty" that opened January 31st at the Harrison Gallery in Key West. Helen featured her new works and Benjia was featured as a guest artist at the gallery. A very successful event, we hope!

We extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to former Area 9 Director Erman, whose wonderful wife Stella is undergoing extensive medical treatment at this time. Perhaps as a group we can help his family out as they do not carry any health insurance. Although he is applying to CERF for a no-interest loan supporting craftsmen, we are sure any donations would be most appreciated at this time. On a lighter note, we wish Erman much success during his solo show which opened March 8th at the Queen of Arts Gallery in Coral Gables. The exhibition, titled "Ideas, Preocupaciones y Otras Espinas" (translation: "Ideas, Worries and Other Thorns in My Side"), includes recent fiber works on paper and small studio art quilts. Wishing for a sell-out, Erman!

Former FC President Ray Azcuy recently had a solo exhibition of his new body of mixed media works titled "Iconography of the Everyday" in Miami and was in the Miami Art Exchange's Juried Exhibition titled "Unofficial/Official". We will be seeing some of Ray's work in an upcoming Florida Craftsmen exhibition.