Feature Articles

February 2014

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design Opens in Asheville, NC, with Exhibit of Windgate Fellowships

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, now in Asheville, NC, is presenting Taking Shape: Celebrating the Windgate Fellowship, on view through May 10, 2014. The show was juried by Cindi Strauss, the curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and features works from 14 of the 50 artists who were awarded Windgate Fellowships in the first five years of the program, which is now in its ninth year.

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (The Center) is pleased to open their permanent location in downtown Asheville. The Center, an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, finalized the purchase of 67 Broadway Street on Aug. 7, 2013. The purchase was made possible through a gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, a patron of craft in Western North Carolina and long-time benefactor, with additional support for renovations provided by Fleur S. Bresler and The Bresler Foundation.

The Center’s new 3-story home is situated in the heart of downtown Asheville’s thriving arts, music, and restaurant scene. The building, circa 1912, originally served as a garage, machine and repair shop, and automobile showroom before housing the Asheville-born and craft-focused book publisher Lark Books. The Center and Ken Gaylord Architects/ Blackhawk Construction have revamped the space. Non-essential fixtures and temporary walls have been removed to make way from an expanded exhibition area and office space, all the while maintaining the building’s historical aesthetic and integrity.

For nearly 2 decades, The Center has garnered the respect of the national and international crafts community with conferences, exhibitions, and publications, while also brokering millions of dollars in grants to prominent and aspiring craft artists, scholars, and institutions. In 2010, The Center produced Makers: A History of American Studio Craft the first studio craft survey published by UNC Press. They have done so from a humble locale tucked in the woods west of Hendersonville, NC. In moving to downtown Asheville, The Center will increase its local impact while maintaining and bolstering its national focus, visibly, and dedication to craft.

“Western North Carolina is the crossroads for craft in the United States,” said Stephanie Moore, The Center’s executive director. “The Center plans to draw attention, visitors, and resources to Asheville. This facility provides us the space to form significant partnerships and leave a lasting imprint - not only to preserve craft’s legacy but also to ensure its future. “

In late August, The Center unveiled “Programming Forward,” a strategic programming plan that utilizes their new Asheville home to strengthen its core programs and initiatives, which include awarding grants, hosting an annual Craft Think Tank, sponsoring regional lectures, developing local and nationally-attainable resources for artists, and organizing exhibitions of contemporary craft.

The 2014 exhibition schedule continues with an exhibition titled CTRL+P that investigates the implications of digital technologies on the making of sculptural and functional objects curated by Anna Walker and organized by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, on view from May 16 through Aug. 23, 2014 and a selection of internationally renowned Gee’s Bend quilts in partnership with Warren Wilson College’s Holden Visual Arts Center and Gallery from Sept. 5 through Dec. 30, 2014.

The mission of The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design is to advance the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research, critical dialogue, and professional development. The Center’s programs strive to support the best examples of research and practice in the field.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 828/785-1357 or visit (www.craftcreativitydesign.org).

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