MAY 4–JUNE 22, 2014


(Columbus, OH)—Opening May 4 at the Ohio Craft Museum, “The Best of 2014” will showcase award-winning contemporary fine craft by 74 artists. The nearly 90 works in clay, glass, metal, wood, fiber and mixed media were chosen by jurors Namita Gupta Wiggers, Director and Chief Curator, and Nicole Nathan, Curator of Collections and Registrar, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon.

Wiggers and Nathan selected the work from over 350 entries by nearly 140 artists. Fourteen were selected for awards for excellence in this, the 31st annual members competition, organized by Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

“Jurying exhibitions is a vehicle for curators to learn about work in other parts of the country, providing a lens into a new part of the world. The process has been illuminating,” Wiggers and Nathan commented in their jurors’ statement. “What we hope to bring forward in our selections are [works] that make you, the viewer, aware of the hand in the process of materials transformation: mud into clay, metal into adornment and fiber into sculpture.”

Visitors curious about such things can learn about the ideas and processes behind the objects from the artists themselves. Ten artists speak about their work in a user-friendly cell phone audio tour available free of charge (except for phone minutes). “It’s geared to personal preferences,” said ODC Executive Director Sharon Kokot. “You can access as many or as few of the tour stops as you wish and spend as much or as little time as you like at each stop.  You can even use it to preview the exhibition by looking at the images on our website while listening to the tour remotely.” To access the tour, visitors call 614-915-3753 from their cell phones and enter the stop number of the object they would like to learn about, or they can scan the QR code posted next to the object.

The exhibition opens with a reception honoring award winners on May 4 at the Ohio Craft Museum from 1 to 4 p.m. (A list of awards and their winners is attached.) At that time, the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented to the Richard M. Ross Art Museum at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware. The museum, notes Kokot, “has demonstrated a shared commitment with ODC to exhibiting the best in contemporary American fine craft.”

After closing at the Ohio Craft Museum on June 22, the exhibition will travel to the Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert, Ohio, where it will be on view July 12–August 24, then on to the French Art Colony in Gallipolis, where it will be shown September 5–28.

The Ohio Craft Museum is located at 1665 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212. Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 1–4 p.m.  Admission and parking are free. Telephone (614) 486-4402, or see our website www.ohiocraft.org, for further information. The museum is owned and operated by Ohio Designer Craftsmen and receives ongoing funding from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council and the Columbus Foundation.



“THE BEST OF 2014”

(Columbus, OH)— Jurors Namita Gupta Wiggers and Nicole Nathan selected 14 awards from the 89 works in “The Best of 2014,” on view May 4–June 22 at the Ohio Craft Museum:

The $1000 Challenge Award for Excellence—the exhibition’s top prize—went to fiber artist Sandy Shelenberger, Conneaut, Ohio, for Textures 2. Wood artist Melinda Rosenberg, Columbus, received the Watkins Printing Poster Award and Yassenoff Family Award for Excellence for 9 Books. Winners of cash awards are (name, title of work, award): Susan Skoczen Southard, Chicken Little, Pamela Morris Thomford Award for Excellence in Metals; Mary Ann Tipple, Occasionally a Sonorous Tone Would Erupt from a Band Member, Outstanding in His Field and Our Lady of the Kitchen, Jane H. Zimmerman Award for Excellence for Body of Work; Kelsey Leib, Spirit Vessel, Ruth Lantz Award for Excellence in Fiber; Tom Muir, Elegant Gentleman’s Prosthetic Moustache, Lonsway Memorial Award for Humor in Craft; Scott Goss, In Progress, Labino Memorial Award for Excellence in Glass; Stuart Gair Hudson, Liquor Set, Friends of Phyllis Clark Award for Excellence in Functional Ceramics; L. Sue Szabo, Strange Fruit, Collectors’ Award for Excellence; Carrie E. Longley, Cochlea Cucullo, Ed Honton Memorial Award for Excellence; Marilyn Akerson-Corbitt, Cascading in Wool, Barbara Robinson Award for Excellence in Traditional Craft; Sharon Tesser, Breaking Beans, QSDS Scholarship Award; Molly Burke, $1000 Ohio Designer Craftsmen Scholarship Award; Laura Elizabeth Mullen, Cast Iron Pearl Necklace, Emerging Craftsman Award.