By Janet Kelly
CHALLENGING times demand flexibility—and quick turnaround time. Which is exactly what was required of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. All the stars were aligned for the 39th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show to open as an in-person event at the National Building Museum, just as was the norm for the majority of previous shows.
Last spring as Covid-19 cases were going down, optimism that the show would go on—live—this fall was high. The artists were looking forward to connecting with an audience to show off their work and let people touch, feel and try on. But by the end of July/beginning of August, the pandemic was in charge and for the event to happen, everyone had to pivot.
The fall show will be virtual again. Beginning October 23 at 9am and ending at 10pm on October 31, “Celebrating American Artistry” will feature the work of nearly 100 contemporary craft artists online.
Says Trudi Hahn, Smithsonian Craft Show co-chair, “We think of it as one of the premier, most prestigious shows in the country for the quality of the crafts. If you want first-class objects that are gorgeous to wear or display, this is the place to get them in a wide variety of media.”
Whether you’re in search of gifts (hey, Christmas is coming!) for family and friends or you’re a serious collector, you’ll be able to browse and shop for one-of-a-kind pieces in categories that include wearable art and jewelry, ceramics, furniture, leather and glass and sell in a wide range of prices. Purchases will be able to be made securely through each artist’s digital shop. For more information and details, go to the Smithsonian Craft Show website.
Sponsored by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee (SWC), the Craft Show is a sale of the finest contemporary craft and design, handcrafted in America. Artists are selected from a competitive pool of applicants by a panel of jurors. Proceeds support grants to the Smithsonian for innovative education, outreach and research projects.