News / USA

American Story Told Through Art

Artists at the Smithsonian Craft Show weave the essence of America into their work

Thick, woven spheres are handcrafted from recycled street sweeper bristles by mixed media artist and repurposing advocate Aaron Kramer of Santa Monica, California.
Thick, woven spheres are handcrafted from recycled street sweeper bristles by mixed media artist and repurposing advocate Aaron Kramer of Santa Monica, California.

The Smithsonian Craft Show is one of the most respected craft shows in the United States and one of the hardest for an artist to take part in.

Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, believes the annual show "tells America’s story through the art of craft."

It’s held in the National Building Museum, a grand space in the nation’s capital, with enormous Greek columns each rising almost 23 meters. Now in its 29th year, the show featured 120 artists, including 54 new exhibitors who were selected from more than 1,300 applicants. The Smithsonian Women’s Committee organizes the show.

Artists from across the country came to market their work in booths set up in the exhibition hall. Their inventive pieces were done in wood, glass, metal, fiber, ceramics and mixed media.

Mark Perry, a sculptor from Rhode Island, showcased large sculptures of animals and humans that he made primarily out of wood.

Sculptor Mark Perry sells works such as his hand-carved peacock for $25,000.
Sculptor Mark Perry sells works such as his hand-carved peacock for $25,000.

His trademark peacock, which he custom builds for clients across the country, was inspired by a 19th century weathervane. The tail is made of hand-carved disks suspended by wires which move when the piece is touched. The peacock has a price tag of about $25,000.

But you can also find less expensive pieces at the show, ones that cost a few hundred dollars or less.

Christine Adcock came all the way from California to sell her elaborate baskets. “Nature is my primary inspiration,” she says.

Heidi Austreng, program coordinator for the Women’s Committee, says thousands came to the four-day show this year, despite heavy rains. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice were among the visitors.

The Smithsonian Craft show at the National Building Museum featured works by 120 artists.
The Smithsonian Craft show at the National Building Museum featured works by 120 artists.

“For the exhibitor, it is really an honor to be in the Smithsonian Craft Show,” says Austreng, who adds it is also an experience to be “in the historic and magnificent venue of the National Building Museum.”

Proceeds from ticket sales and donations fund education, outreach and research at the Smithsonian Institution.

Organizers are already at work on special plans for the show’s 30th anniversary to be held next April.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More