The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) debuts a new program series this summer that honors Asheville as “Craft City.”
A thriving community of artists and a growing local food and drink scene defines the Asheville area for both lifelong residents and weekend visitors. At three outdoor pop-up studios this summer (July 7, August 4, and September 1) people of all skill levels and backgrounds can make a take-home craft under the guidance of a visiting artist.
Future programming, including Craft City Food and Art Tours and Craft City Meet the Maker events, will give participants the opportunity to learn about and sample the best small-batch, high-quality, and handmade products Asheville has to offer.
By celebrating Asheville with the Craft City program series, CCCD intends to increase public understanding about craft. Established in 1996, CCCD has championed the value of craft and supported the next generation of makers, curators, and scholars through fellowships, grants, conferences, exhibitions, and programs. In 2014, CCCD’s contemporary craft gallery, Benchspace, opened to the public in the organization’s new downtown Asheville facility.
“CCCD is proud to call downtown Asheville home,” says Executive Director Stephanie Moore. “With this program series, we are stepping outside of our gallery and into the city. We hope to introduce people to the handmade culture that surrounds us in fun and unexpected ways.”
“Craft City kicks off this summer with New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA), an international artist collective known for their participatory projects that combine athletics with craft,” says Marilyn Zapf, assistant director and curator. “In August and September we feature two Asheville-area artists: printmaker Jessica White and new media artist Victoria Bradbury.”
The Craft City manifesto reads: “Asheville is a Craft City. From the mugs we make out of local clay to the beer we brew with seasonal produce, craft is everywhere. We value the local, entrepreneurial, small-batch, high-quality, and handmade. That’s why so many makers are attracted to live and work here. If you are curious about craft and you love our mountain community, join us as we explore what makes Asheville a Craft City.”
The initial three Craft City pop ups will feature live music, festive local fare crafted by Buchi Kombucha, and a casual artist talks. While the events are free and open to all, participants who register in advance online receive a discount on the craft kit. For $7-$10, craft kits include all the materials needed to take home your own creation. Registration and more information is available at cccdnow.org/craftcity.
City Workshops are sponsored by Buchi Kombucha and funded in part by a grant from the Asheville Area Arts Council, and the vendors of Asheville Art in the Park. Craft City branding and design is sponsored by HNYCMB Creative.
UPCOMING CRAFT CITY PROGRAMS
Free admission, featured project kits $7-10 each. Projects vary, but recommended age is 12+. Advance registration and more information at cccdnow.org/craftcity.
Friday, July 7, 5-8 PM
Visiting artist: New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA), Boston, MA
Craft project: Finger-knit basketball nets
New Craft Artists in Action work at the intersection of craft and sports. Learn how to finger knit a basketball hoop with visiting NCAA artists. For $7 (pre-sale, $10 at door), buy a craft kit (includes net supplies, a mini 5″ basketball board, and ball), or work on regular-size basketball nets to donate to Stephens-Lee Community Center. Join CCCD the following day at Stephens-Lee to hang the finger-knit hoops and play basketball-related field games. (Field Games with the NCAA, Sat, July 8, 10 AM – 1 PM, Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave.)
Friday, August 4, 5-8 PM
Visiting artist: Jessica White, Asheville, NC
Craft project: Letterpress notebooks
Love letterpress? Try out this popular printing technique with Jessica White, Asheville-based printmaker and letterpress artist. For $7 (pre-sale, $10 at door), pick up a craft kit that includes paper for the cover and interior pages and waxed linen thread to bind your notebook together. Customize your cover using a variety of types and blocks and print them on your notebook using Jessica’s mobile printing press.
Friday, September 1, 5-8 PM
Visiting artist: Victoria Bradbury, Asheville, NC
Craft project: Light-up dioramas
Victoria Bradbury is an Asheville-based interactive media artist, blending code and virtual reality with craft. For $7 (pre-sale, $10 at door), purchase a craft kit that includes supplies to make a diorama of a mountain picnic scene. Bradbury will demonstrate how to make your diorama light up by creating a simple electric circuit with conducting tape, a battery, and a LED light. Step into this mountain scene with Bradbury’s Virtual Reality headset, and try your hand at setting up a (virtual) picnic.