Announcing the Inaugural Center for Craft Archive Fellows

The recipients of the Center for Craft’s 2022 Craft Archive Fellowship are Xenobia Bailey, Jeffrey Gan, Elizabeth G. Greenlee and NE Brown, Siera Hyte, Maru López, and Olivia Quintanilla. For their six projects, they receive grants of US$5,000 to research and analyze archives of their choice, allowing them to pursue both conventional and innovative approaches to archive research.

Focusing on underrepresented and nondominant craft stories in the United States, the grantees will participate in a joint virtual program presented by the Center for Craft and the American Craft Council and will publish their grant in a special issue on Hyperallergic, the Craft Archives is dedicated to the summer of 2023.

The unique themes they’ve chosen span centuries and communities, and we’re excited to see what they discover as their research progresses. Meet the Fellows and learn about their projects:

Xenobia Bailey (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
James Forten: A man of cloth, with a mind of steel and a heart of gold

James Forten was born in Philadelphia in 1766 to free Black parents and by the age of 14 was employed – and later a prisoner of war – on large sailing ships. He later became a master sailmaker and built a thriving business in the ports of Philadelphia. Xenobia Bailey will explore how these early experiences at sea helped Forten advance his craftsmanship and studio practice.

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Jo Hamilton, “Crochet Portrait of Xenobia Bailey” (2021)

Jeffrey Gan (Alameda, California)
Craft and Performance in Indo Refugee Community Centers, 1960–1975

Through interviews, scrapbooks, and dance costumes preserved in personal collections, Jeffrey Gan will chronicle the flowering of material crafts and performance in the Indo refugee centers of Southern California in the 1960s and the subsequent decline of these practices in the 1970s in response to the Investigate pressures of assimilation.

Elizabeth G. Greenlee and NE Brown (Berea, KY)
Black American Craft at Berea College and Lincoln Institute

Through analysis of documents and physical objects in the Berea College Special Collections and Archives and the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center’s Artifacts Teaching Collection, Elizabeth G. Greenlee and NE Brown will explore the history of black crafts at two schools in Southern Appalachia: Berea College , the first non-segregated and coeducational college in the Southern United States; and the Lincoln Institute, an all-Black high school founded by Berea trustees.

Above: Photo Betsy Blake Photography | Below: NE Brown, “Self Portrait” (photo Elizabeth Powell)

Siera Hyte (Waterville, ME)
detsadatliyvsesdi: fight to cling to each other or cling to each other

Through the lens of Cherokee value detsadatliyvsesdi (struggle to cling/cling) Siera Hyte will delve into archives reflecting how tribal, community and intergenerational artisanal education efforts contribute, traditional weaving practices, ancestral modes of knowledge and Indian Removal Act kinship relationships.

Photo Eric Stedma

Maru Lopez (San Diego, CA)
Crafts, Lists, and Fairs: Building Puerto Rican Identity in the 1950s

Reflecting on the role of crafts in the construction of Puerto Rican identity, Maru López examines the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) official documents from the 1950s cataloging craftspeople for the development of crafts fairs and centers.

Photo Jane Shukan

Olivia Quintanilla (San Diego, California)
Oceanic Chamoru Craft: Past, Present and Future

Inspired by the Sinahi – Crescent-shaped shell jewelry modeled after the Mariana Trench and made by the indigenous Chamoru peoples of the Mariana Islands – Olivia Quintanilla will be investigating various forms of Chamoru craft archives at the Micronesian Area Research Center and Guma’ Cultural Centers, as well as through oral histories with cultural workers, to To better understand the Chamoru craft through the theme of the connections between the ocean and marine life.

The Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina is a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing craft by nurturing new ideas, funding craft grants, and supporting the next generation of makers, curators, and critics.

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