Press release from the Center for Craft:
On Saturday, Nov. 16, from 2-6 p.m., the Center for Craft will celebrate its public grand reopening after nearly a year of renovations to its historic 1912 building at 67 Broadway in downtown Asheville. This new National Craft Innovation Hub promotes the vitality of craft in a digital age, and serves as a creative destination and resource for artists, researchers, curators, and the local community, marking the success of the Building a Future for Craft campaign launched in 2017.
Encompassing an additional 7,000 square feet of program space, including expanded galleries, event and meeting spaces, and coworking space serving the creative sector, this one-of-a-kind National Craft Innovation Hub will engage both the national craft community and Western North Carolina residents, further establishing the Center for Craft as a thought-leader in what craft means today, as well as how to support emerging voices and makers.
The historic building will be a destination in itself, featuring newly-commissioned works inside and outside, as well as hand-crafted furniture and signage created by renowned artists. “We are so excited to reopen our doors and share the Center for Craft’s National Craft Innovation Hub with residents and visitors to Asheville,” said Center for Craft Board President Barbara Benisch. “Not only is it a beautiful and collaborative space, but the building also reinforces our mission to advance the understanding of craft by allowing more people to engage with the Center.”
Visitors will also now be able to access free exhibitions seven days a week within the new Bresler Family Gallery and John Cram Partner Gallery. The opening exhibition in the Bresler Family Gallery, Craft Futures 2099, takes on the ambitious question of how craft might look eighty years from now, giving a nod to the campaign that brought the space to fruition, to usher in the new innovation hub.
Concurrently, the John Cram Partner Gallery will include exhibitions developed by local academic partners, UNC Asheville and Warren Wilson College, putting the national craft landscape in the context of our local community, other creative disciplines, and the liberal arts. UNC Asheville’s inaugural exhibition, Making Meaning, brings together fourteen UNC Asheville alumni whose work shifts our perceptions of material, method, and meaning, creating new vocabularies in clay, digital media, photography, printmaking, assemblage, and textiles. “As one of the Center for Craft’s long-time academic and artistic collaborators, UNC Asheville is honored to partner in the creation of an urban creative campus in downtown Asheville and to curate the first exhibition in the John Cram Partner Gallery,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Nancy J. Cable. “Together, we are expanding opportunities for even greater interdisciplinary collaboration between UNC Asheville and the broader Asheville community.”
Beyond gallery exhibitions, a Craft Research Fund Study Collection will make available the collection of research that the Center has funded for over a decade and will be complemented by an area for hands-on activities to introduce visitors to craft. A new coworking space offers a collaborative and functional environment with installations by Harvey Littleton, Tanya Aguiñiga, and Jamil D. Harrison, to name a few. And the Sara and Bill Morgan Board Room, Benisch Family Kitchen, Explore Asheville Assembly Hall, and Michael Sherrill Loft will welcome national and local groups for meetings and events with state of the art equipment and a contemporary, industrial vibe.
The Center for Craft Public Grand Reopening is on Nov. 16 from 2-6 p.m. In addition to new exhibits and building tours, visitors will enjoy future-themed immersive installations, hands-on activities, music, food and more!
Anyone interested in coworking space is invited to register for an open house to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 5-7 p.m. Learn more at centerforcraft.org/cowork.
A special preview event for Center supporters and partners who donate $350 or more is scheduled for the evening of Friday, Nov. 15, one day before the public grand reopening. For more information or to donate, visit centerforcraft.org/support.