There’s so much effort, discipline, problem-solving, and strategy in succeeding as a “working artist.” That’s why the idea of supporting this project really resonated with me and why I wanted to do this in her name. – Karen Krieger
We are excited to unveil a new initiative in the Contemporary Craft Store – The Janet Krieger Artist Spotlight. Each quarter, the spotlight will highlight the work of a different artist from our Store. Their work will be featured on our website, social media pages, e-newsletters, and in a dedicated space in one of our display windows facing Butler Street. The display window also includes a clay piece by the spotlight’s namesake, Janet Krieger. The spotlight is made possible by the generosity of Karen Krieger and Karl Krieger.
The first artist to be featured is ceramic artist Kenyon Hanson.
“Kenyon Hansen’s work is inspired by patchwork quilts, and structure and patterns found in nature among other things. Conceptually, we thought his work related to some of the themes we interpret in Janet’s sculptural work, and would pair in conversation well in the feature display window,” said Alyssa Kail, CC Retail Sales Manager.
About Kenyon Hanson
Kenyon is a full-time studio potter and educator in the Keweenaw Peninsula. He hopes his work both contributes to the field of craft and elevates the everyday experience. His soda fired porcelain and stoneware clay pottery has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in homes all over the world.
“The pulse of my practice lies in the rhythm of making the through repetition the work evolves, changing slowly in response to each firing cycle. Tactile and visual consideration and slowing down are key to this process,” said Kenyon.
You can shop a selection of Kenyon’s work at https://contemporarycraftstore.com/collections/kenyon-hansen.
About Janet Krieger
Janet was a painter, printmaker, ceramicist, and long-time supporter of CC. The spotlight is a gift by Karen Krieger and Karl Krieger, in tribute to Janet’s artistic career and desire to support working artists.
We had the opportunity to ask Karen about her mother and her ties to Contemporary Craft. Here’s what she shared:
“My mom was lucky in that she was able to carve out time for her art our whole life. She began as an oil painter and then went to CMU for a MA in printmaking when we were older. She worked as a printmaker for a long time. During that time, she also volunteered — designing graphics for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, designing posters for Poets on Street Corners, and serving as a member, and then president, of the Women’s Committee at the Carnegie Museum. Because of the chemicals in printmaking, and possibly just wanting a change of materials, she began working in ceramics in the 1980s. She was one of the very first people to attend Watershed in Maine, and also the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild.
“Her connection to CC began when she found The Store in Verona. She was interested in the functionality and aesthetic of handmade objects. She shopped there often, and continued when CC moved to the Strip District. I think I have/had more of a connection to CC than she did, but she learned from watching my career, how hard it is to be a working/production craft artist, and not a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) artist.
“Making the same item over and over again gives you incredible skill, but production work is often undervalued. I think we both believed that making OOAK work is far easier than designing and making work that people will buy, at a price the market can bear. There’s so much effort, discipline, problem-solving, and strategy in succeeding as a “working artist”. That’s why the idea of supporting this project really resonated with me and why I wanted to do this in her name. She was always supportive of other artists and always supportive of me — as was my dad. This project gives us a way to support artists who faced the same challenges that I faced. My dad and I are both happy to help promote them.”
We hope you’ll stop by to check out the spotlight and shop some of the work by the featured artists. Each quarter, the new artist will be announced on our social media pages and on our website at contemporarycraft.org/store.