Wednesday, August 16, 2006

call for essays on craft for anthology

This very cool call for submissions came through instant coffee:

Extra/ordinary: Craft culture and contemporary art
An anthology of critical writing edited by Maria Elena Buszek

Art historian Maria Elena Buszek is seeking proposals for contributions to the anthology Extra/ordinary: Craft culture and contemporary art. Proposed essays should draw upon and further develop the sense of meaning with which craft media have been imbued since the previous century, and articulate the growing role and recognition of traditionally denigrated craft media in the work of contemporary artists.

Since the Industrial Revolution began blurring the lines between industry and handicraft, as well as the upper- and lower-classes, artists have taken great pleasure in using such developments to similarly dissolve the centuries-old barriers that once separated the avant-garde and mass culture, masterpiece and kitsch, art and craft. In the process, artists have not only recognized the meaningful role of the ordinary in their art practices, but been drawn to media traditionally associated with handicrafts to suggest the power of these "ordinary" media-such as weaving, knitting,embroidery, ceramics, glass blowing, jewelry and woodworking-to create orreflect the kinds of profound meaning traditionally associated with the"fine" and liberal arts.

While the success of renowned artists from Jun Kaneko to Grayson Perry, Miriam Schapiro to Ghada Amer has demonstrated the degree to which galleries, museums, and patrons have been willing to embrace craft media as tools for creative expression in our expansive contemporary art world, art critics and scholars have done little to study or articulate the relevance of this fact. The anthology Extra/ordinary:Craft culture and contemporary art is an effort to fill this void. Essays addressing the following topics are of particular interest:
* Craft and conceptualism in contemporary art.
* Connections between handicraft and political activism.
* "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY) movements in popular culture and contemporary subcultures .
* The various legacies of Modernist philosophies on craft (from William Morris to the Eamses) upon postmodern culture.
* Scientific uses of and studies on craft media.
* Cultural or generational shifts/rifts in what constitutes "craft".
*Hybridization within traditional arts, crafts, and design contexts

Proposals should not exceed 600 words, and incorporate a 100-word author's biography.
Proposals may be sent as e-mail attachments in Word format to or to Maria Elena Buszek, School of Liberal Arts, Kansas City Art Institute, 4415 Warwick Blvd.,Kansas City, MO 64111. Questions concerning the project may be sent to Dr. Buszek c/o


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