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Tabletop – October 2017

Tabletop: An Exhibit of Functional Work
October 4 - November 5, 2017 
Juror: Kate Lydon 

See the Tabletop exhibit.
Download the Tabletop program.

Taking Flight, porcelain, by Shirley Gromen: Best in Show, Ceramic

Q & A with juror Kate Lydon

The Art League:
What were your initial interpretations of the theme “Functional Craft?” 
Kate Lydon: Artists that work in craft media express their ideas through functional, non-functional, and sculptural forms. My initial interpretation of the theme “functional craft” was that The Art League was interested in exhibiting works that the artists had created which were intended to be used functionally.

TAL: What did you notice about the artists’ own interpretations of the theme?

KL: In additional to the focus on functional work, several artists chose to express narrative themes with their artwork.

TAL: Many cultures of the world place a high value on preserving visual traditions—in your experience, where do you think craft in the United States falls between innovation and reverence?

KL: In my experience in the United States, craft artists and makers are working with different levels of experience and intent. Many are producing very innovative and thought provoking artworks on a range of themes. Despite their reason for making, I find that all visual artists work mindfully with reverence and respect to their material.

TAL: Is there anything (mediums, styles) you wish you had seen more of? Less of?
KL: It would have been nice to see and consider a broader range of artworks in fiber, metal, wood, mixed media and/or found objects. Interestingly, teapots and pouring vessels were the most common subject matter among the submissions.

TAL: What do you look for in a successful work of art?

KL: I consider high quality work to be well crafted, with elements that are unique to the artist’s rendering.

TAL: What were the unselected works lacking? What advice do you have for our artists?

KL: Every maker spends countless hours creating their artwork. For those artists that were not selected I would suggest they continue to push their craft in terms of quality and form.

TAL: What drew you to the award winners?

KL: Their beautiful craftsmanship and articulation of unique and interesting forms.

TAL: What do you hope the viewer takes away from this exhibit?

KL: I hope your viewers appreciate the time and effort that it takes to produce these beautiful one-of-a-kind works that have been made with commitment and skill. I hope viewers explore the unique details each maker has used to share their personal narratives.

TAL: Can you describe the show you juried in three words?

KL: Beautiful, well crafted, unique.

About the Juror, Kate Lydon

Kate Lydon is the Director of Exhibitions at the Society for Contemporary Craft and oversees the installation of exhibitions mounted at the Society's Strip District gallery and at its One Mellon gallery in downtown Pittsburgh.

With more than 25 years of experience with Society for Contemporary Craft, Lydon has a strong working knowledge of the contemporary craft field, artist and process, and public education about crafts.

She has juried for the Kentuck Festival of the Arts, Craftboston, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, the Tennessee Arts Commission, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Ohio Craft Museum. Lydon currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Gallery hours:
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Thursday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon–6:00 pm

*The Torpedo Factory may close at 5:00 pm for events. Please check Today's Hours to see if this affects your visit.  



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