Photo by: Sean Donnelly

The resurgence of interest in craft has fueled a far-ranging dialogue about the nature of craft and its growing relevance to an expanding range of creative practices. While the historical location of craft on the margins of contemporary artistic production is acknowledged as a potential strength, Craft Forward purposely reverses this construction to locate craft at the center of meaning. This structure is designed to generate dialogues that spiral outward along conceptual through lines beyond the conventional boundaries of the field, to address the principles of craft in the broadest sense and to focus on craft as both a custodial practice and a vehicle for cutting-edge innovation.

Craft Forward opens with keynote speaker Glenn Adamson, Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum, author of Thinking Through Craft and The Craft Reader, and coeditor of the Journal of Modern Craft. As a leading voice for the primacy of craft practices today, his presentation sets the conceptual and historical framework for subsequent presentations and discussions during the symposium.
Craft Forward brings together a selection of important contributors to the field of craft with presenters outside the traditional craft disciplines whose work nonetheless shares an ethos of considered making, an understanding of cultural traditions, and an interest in the formation of meaning through materiality. Presenters were selected and arranged in provocative pairings to simultaneously respect the time-honored studio traditions, confound customary notions of craft, and expand the quickly evolving definitions of craft into the future.
Confirmed Speakers
Confirmed Moderators
Glenn Adamson
Ayse Birsel
Otto Von Busch
Liz Collins
Bridget Cooks
Teddy Cruz
Paul Flores
Theaster Gates
Nancy Hernandez
David Howes

Lauren Kalman
Sheila Kennedy
Chris Lefteri
Lydia Matthews
Cat Mazza
Allyson Mitchell
Patricia Powell
Chris Taylor

Frank Wilson
Julia Bryan-Wilson
Julian Carter
Donald Fortescue
Aimee Phan
Maria Porges
Ted Purves
Sanjit Sethi
Allison Smith