November 1, 2011
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD), a center of UNC Asheville, is pleased to announce the 2011 Craft Research Fund grant awards. This is the center’s 7th year of awarding $95,000 annually to advance, expand and support research about craft in the United States for both graduate and professional level scholars. This national grant program is funded by a private charitable foundation.
The goals of this peer-reviewed grant are to support innovative research on critical issues in craft theory and history; to explore the interrelationships among craft, art, design and contemporary culture; to foster new cross-disciplinary approaches to scholarship in the craft field in the United States; and to advance investigation of neglected questions on craft history and criticism in the United States.
The grant program strives to support research of both emerging and professional scholars with two grant categories - Project Grants, for curators, academics, and independent scholars, with grants up to $15,000; and Graduate Research Grants, for master’s and doctoral students, with grants to $10,000.
Assistant Director Katie Lee, who administers this grant program, states, “The Craft Research Fund provides scholars both encouragement and financial support to research and contribute to the burgeoning field of scholarly discourse focused on studio craft in the United States. This program has yielded some of the best research currently available in this area of study, to date supporting 68 research projects, many resulting in scholarly publications.”
This year’s review panel included: Sarah Archer, chief curator, Philadelphia Art Alliance; Karen Derksen, director, Winthrop University Galleries, and instructor, Fine Arts, Winthrop University; Ethan Lasser, curator, Chipstone Foundation; and Mark Shapiro, potter, writer, curator and former Craft Research Fund grant recipient.
The 2011 Craft Research Fund Project Grants are:
$13,000 Diana Baird N’Diaye, Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, curator and cultural heritage specialist
Community-based, multi-sited research including oral history interviews and visual documentation of African American artisans of style: dress, hair, and other arts of the body in preparation for a publication, exhibition, website and public programs for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
$10,750 Janet Berlo, University of Rochester, professor of Art History
A study of 100 years of imitation and replication of Mimbres pottery by native and non-native potters, craftspeople and manufacturers, that seeks to understand the continuing power of this ancient tradition.
$15,000 Faythe Levine, independent scholar
Documentary film and book about the trade of sign painting in America. Oral history will include dialog about the past, present and future of the sign painting community, the impact signage has on the landscape and explore the community’s future potential.
$13,000 Janet Koplos, independent scholar
Research for a book on the philosophy and aesthetics of functional pottery today, including interviews with and profiles of a variety of potters across the U.S. and analysis of their work.
$10,000 Lorelei Stewart, Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago, curator
A major publication on Karen Reimer’s work, with innovative scholarly essays that address neglected craft history, theorize a new relationship of craft to labor, and explore how Reimer entwines craft, art, and contemporary issues.
The 2011 Craft Research Fund Graduate Research Grants are:
$9,750 Monica Steinberg, Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
This dissertation researches how Los Angeles Finish Fetish artists of the 1960s used their work and constructed alter-egos to engage in a craft-based, humorous critique of east coast minimalism.
$10,000 Sequoia Miller, Bard Graduate Center
This master’s research project will explore the context in which young studio potters of the 1970s sought to construct what they deemed authentic and meaningful identities through a life in craft relative to contemporary cultural practice.
$5,000 Paul James Morgan, University of California, Irvine
This project aims to understand how craftspeople price their crafts, examining the relationship between their labor, the use and aesthetic value of their crafts, and the craft’s consumer value.
$8,500 Monica Obniski, University of Illinois, Chicago
This grant will support research for a dissertation that will explore Alexander Girard’s design projects, his folk art collection, and the complex relationship of craft, the vernacular, and modernism in postwar American design.
Previous year recipients can be found at www.craftcreativitydesign.org/research/grants.php