American Fine Craft Show at Brooklyn Museum
Six artisans and one artist from Park Slope, Fort Greene, Ditmas Park, Bedford Stuyvesant, Gowanus, Bay Ridge and Bushwick will exhibit their jewelry, furniture, fine art and pottery along with 83 others at the fourth American Fine Craft Show at Brooklyn Museum November 19-20, 2016. Timed for holiday shopping—Christmas and Hanukah overlap this year—yet well before the holiday rush, visitors may also enjoy both current and long-term exhibitions at the museum. The show is produced and curated by An American Craftsman Galleries that has supported crafts artists since 1982, longer than any other gallery in New York City, representing the work of over 500 from across the country.
Five exhibitors are new to the show:
• About her rings, cuffs, bracelets and necklaces, Sonja Fries said: “Jewelry is architecture for the human body, on a small scale. Mine harkens back to my upbringing in rural Germany, combining elements of angular German geometry and European minimalism with soft, feminine features.” The Bedford Stuyvesant jewelry designer added: “My work is produced by hand, using traditional jewelry making methods like sawing, forging and soldering, using mostly classic materials: metals and stones/pearls. Much like an architect, I set out with a unique vision, carefully select my materials, design a piece and then start constructing, layer by layer.” All the metals and diamonds she uses are recycled.
• Furniture maker Stefan Rurak, whose studio is in Bushwick, describes his work as “defying conventional boundaries while merging modern conceptual design with time-honored craftsmanship built to span generations. By collaborating with the distinctive, profound properties of wood, the studio crafts furniture and accessories [clocks, case goods, chairs, benches, desks, dining tables, lighting, side tables and stools] that transcend utilitarian ends, and becomes art.”
• Ari Gradus’s paintings depict American and European scenes at the turn of the century in a naive, colorful style. His studio is in Park Slope and he also lives and paints in Israel where he was born in a small village. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris he completed his formal education at New York University. One of Gradus’s paintings is prominently displayed in Jerusalem City Hall where it is in the permanent collection. Another is in the entrance to Anshe Emeth Temple, New Brunswick, N.J. and in the permanent collection of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC, to name just a few of his prestigious installations.
• CJ Segal-Isaacson, The Hungry Cat Café Jewelry, Ditmas Park, said “Our jewelry is all about our customers. We enjoy customizing our designs to suit and enhance each, to alter colors, stones and length.” Segal-Isaacson’s original designs are made of gems and precious metal wire as well as cast silver. She holds a doctoral degree in medical research and is on the faculty of a medical college where she teaches and conducts research. She discovered her talent for jewelry after helping her young daughter make a necklace for her grandmother. After studying jewelry design she began to participate in fine art and craft shows.
• Influenced by the natural world, Alex Hossick creates jewelry in her Bay Ridge studio that embodies organic forms and intricate textures evident in all living organisms. Her artistic expression is achieved through hand carving and 3D computer modeling. Vivid colors and corals of the sea and the perfection of the urchin have become her muse. She has a BFA in metals and jewelry and a BFA in fibers from Savannah College of Art and Design. From an initial interest in fashion design she changed her path to jewelry, drawn to the lost wax casting process and precious materials as she discovered the expressive possibilities.
Visitors will look forward to again seeing the work of jeweler Christine Mackellar as well as potter Ming Yuen-Schat’s Ming’s Monsters.
• Jeweler Christine Mackellar specializes in natural forms—leaves, blossoms and twigs—for her bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pins and rings that she designs and produces in her jewelry studio in Brooklyn’s Gowanus section. Her jewelry is handcrafted at the bench from gold and silver using time-honored techniques. Recipient of awards and recognition, her work has been included in countless gallery exhibits and juried craft shows. In 1993 Mackellar, who is also a member of the American Craft Association and Society of North American Goldsmiths, was commissioned to create a White House Christmas ornament.
• Fort Greene-based potter Ming Yuen-Schat, Mings Monsters, hand-shapes–usually on the wheel–then alters each piece, his finger marks every monster. The spirit of each appears in the wood kiln where most of his work is fired. There flames, smoke and ash paint the pots with color and texture.
• Yuen-Schat said: “As an artistic form, wabi-sabi embraces that which is imperfect, asymmetrical, and deliberately crude, which is diametrically opposed to the influence of commercialized modernism which values slick, high-tech, machine-made objects and considers imperfection to be a defect.” Born in Taiwan, he earned a BFA in ceramics and architecture design from the Massachusetts College of Art and a Master of Architecture from MIT. Yuen-Schat has attended workshops with internationally recognized artists, including Bruce Dehnert, Fred Olsen, Torbjon Kvasbo, Takeshi Yasuda, John Dix, Lynn Munns, Josh DeWeese, Fong Choo to name a few.
Concurrent special exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum include “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty;” “Beverly Buchanan—Ruins and Rituals;” “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller” and a ticketed exhibition, “Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present,” $16 at the admissions desk.
For more information about the American Fine Craft Show at Brooklyn Museum, Visit www.brooklyncraftshow.com
Where:Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Directions: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/visit/directions.php
Hours:Saturday Nov. 19: 11 am – 6 pm. Sunday, Nov. 20: 11 am-6 pm
Tickets:Cash only at entrance: Adults – $16.00 Seniors -$14.00 Students – $10.00 Museum members with membership card – $8 Children under 10-Free. Online: $12 for everyone until Nov. 10 and $14 after that. http://www.americanfinecraftshowbrooklyn.com
Tickets Include general admission to Brooklyn Museum