May 17 2012 Thursday at 02:08 PM

Support and Be Named // 40 Under 40 : Craft Futures at Renwick Gallery of Smithsonian American Art Museum


Jen Stark The Highest Point, 2010, colored and metallic paper, wood 

This is a very big deal people, and I want to be sure you know about it. Are you aware that the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum is about to open an exhibition focused heavily on the work of fine artists from the DIY Movement? The show is in celebration of the Renwick's 40th anniversary, thus: 40 artists representing the emerging generation since the Renwick opened its doors in 1972. 

Historical, cultural acknowledgement just doesn't get any more significant than this. And you know what? You made it happen. Your involvement in DIY and alternative crafting is the reason this show is taking place at all. So, listen up. This is your chance to proudly proclaim yourself a part of an historical cultural movement in arts and crafts pushed forward by a new generation of artists. I don't want you to miss out on how you can be a part of this exhibition.

The museum intends to buy the artwork from every artist featured in the exhibition to place in the permanent collection. Like most museums, they have to rely on donations in order to pay the artists for their work. Typically, this is where wealthy patrons and donors come in and why artwork in museums often are accompanied by credit lines like "a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Generous Patron of the Arts". In a unique move, they are instead asking for public donations specifically related to this show. Here's your chance to put your DIY community support where your mouth is.

This is not just a request for donations. This is your chance to be named in the exhibition. 

Donations of $10 or more made before July 11, 2012 will be credited in the exhibition. Here is your opportunity to support the work of artists within our own community who are being recognized by this prestigious and venerable institution -and show that you are a part of it. To give $10, text Renwick40 and your name to 20222 or visit Support 40 Under 40: Craft Futures.

Full disclosure: my own artwork will be in the show, but I am donating it as a gift. I want to see the artists involved get paid for their artwork by the people in the DIY community who made it all possible and ensure those works go into the museum's permanent collection. Even more: I want to see a loooong list of familiar names from the DIY community listed with the exhibition.

All things considered, as far as fund-raising goes, it's poetically perfect.

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About 40 Under 40 : Craft Futures (on Embroidery As Art)