Earlier this week Glenn Adamson came to UWM as a guest artist, invited by the Metals student organization Object, to answer some questions about his book, “Thinking through Craft,” and give a presentation on his research into Craft’s impact into the art world.
I was so lucky, because I got to spend most of the day with Glenn! He came to my studio and gave me a personal critique of what I am working on right now, which was really helpful to hear from an art critic perspective. He told me about where my work fits into what is going on right now in contemporary practice, which was really helpful in addition to the feedback I already receive about the actual making and how that fits into my field. I told him I wasn’t sure if what I am making could be considered jewelry or Metalsmithing, and he told me those lines aren’t even going to be there in the future, so I shouldn’t worry about it! It was just so great to meet with him! He gave me artists to look at, as well as shows that are happening right now that are dealing with the same subjects I am approaching and I can’t wait to start reading!
After our meeting in my studio, we went to Alterra and had a coffee and a snack. A one-on-one little chat over coffee with Glenn was an unexpected bonus! We chatted about his book, my background, his background, you know, coffee talk. ☺ It was really lovely.
After our coffee, Glenn and I headed up to campus to dissect his book, “Thinking Through Craft.” If you haven’t read this book yet, and you are at all interested in catching up with the big art vs craft conversation, this book is a definitely one of the more current additions. It was interesting to hear that most of the book was written for his dissertation back in 1997, although he added to it before it was published in 2007, he said it was mostly written when he thought this idea of craft wasn’t hip or cool at all. Now that it is a much bigger conversation, and with the sudden emergence and strength of the DIY movement, Glenn has already started creating an anthology, and is considering another book to continue the rich coversation he started with “Thinking Through Craft.” Glenn answered questions ranging from his background and interest in the subject to specific reasons behind his use of artists in the text. He made sure that everyone asked at least one question (I got greedy and asked two..) and he went into detail answering each question, making sure everything was understood. Everyone in the class enjoyed his visit so much. We all thought he was easy to approach, informative and he assured all of us our questions were valid and we should continue asking them because we are on the cusp of real change, but we have to be aware of what is happening around us and push ourselves further.
After our great personal Q&A with Glenn we all went over to the lecture hall and watched Glenn’s presentation about his personal investigation into craft as a methology in the art world. I talked to several people afterwards that thought he did a wonderful job.
My favorite artist that he mentioned was Lacy Jane Roberts and her pink knitted fence. I took some time and found her website, which I’ve added to the link list on the side, and she seems like a real rebel, craft style. Sweet. Thank you again Glenn!