Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Faythe Levine: "Ambassador of the Handmade"

I am sure you all read the NYT on a regular basis, but I have to draw attention to the recent article about Faythe Levine which was put in the "Home and Garden" section of the Times. I was a little put off finding it in H&G, why not the Arts section? Especially since the article discusses American Craft Magazine's newly designed role to bridge the gap between Craft's Old Guard and the D.I.Y. movement. I find that the younger generations of art students (I put myself in this category) are paying attention to craft materials and concepts in their art. I feel a bit like it is up to "us" to redefine "Fine Art" as inclusive of Craft and all that it has to offer. I would be bummed to have the D.I.Y. movement separate itself out from Academia entirely...Is there really no room for someone with an MFA to make work just as political as the next person knitting?

I understand that the perception of the successful D.I.Y. crafters is that they are generally un-schooled or self-schooled in craft, but I think that isn't entirely true. Many of the successful craft artists on Etsy are coming from an art school background of some sort. Perhaps their skills as beaders or knitters is self taught, but isnt it often the idea in conjunction with the execution that makes alot of the D.I.Y. craft exciting and interesting? I think one of the most successful and well known examples of this kind of person is Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching--didn't she start as a painter?

I encourage you to read the article at NYT here and let me know what you are thinking...

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