35th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show: Jurors Announced

Smithsonian-Craft-ShowThe Smithsonian Craft Show co-chairs Ethelmary Maddox, Penny Pollard, and Kathy Sommerkamp announce the jurors who will select the more than 120 artists to showcase their work at this 35th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show in 2017. Widely regarded as the most prestigious juried show and sale of American fine craft, the Craft Show will be held from April 26 to April 30 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Participating artists will be chosen from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants, including many of the most accomplished artisans in the United States. The deadline for artists to apply is September 12; the application form is available at A fee of $50 is required. The jurors’ selections will be announced by the end of October 2016.

The jurors are Carolyn Benesh, coeditor and copublisher of Ornament,; Melissa Post, independent arts professional with a distinguished curatorial and gallery director background; and Rebecca Stevens, consulting curator, Contemporary Textiles, at The Textile Museum (now The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum).

“We are pleased that these jurors, who are extremely knowledgeable in fine American crafts and well-qualified to select the finest American artists have agreed to be part of our 35th Annual Craft Show,” say the co-chairs. “Their selections will represent the finest and most unique designs, skill, and vision of the most talented American crafts people.”

About the Jurors

Carolyn L. E. Benesh has been coeditor and copublisher of Ornament since its inception in 1974, when it began as The Bead Journal. In 1978 the name was changed to Ornament as the publication embraced all forms of personal adornment: contemporary, ancient, and ethnographic. Carolyn’s interest is primarily that of contemporary jewelry and clothing. She has published hundreds of articles on the subject, as well as speaking about these areas at museums and organizations. Each year Carolyn sponsors and selects the Ornament Award for Excellence in Jewelry at the Smithsonian Craft Show and Best of Show at Smithsonian Craft2Wear.

Melissa G. Post is an independent arts professional.  She has devoted two decades to the fine and decorative arts. Formed from the perspectives of curator, collector, gallery associate, practitioner, and scholar, Melissa’s knowledge of and passion for craft are broad and deep.  She was curator at the Museum of Glass (Tacoma), where she spearheaded the world-class Visiting Artist Residency Program, and at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design (Charlotte).  She previously directed galleries in New York City and Aspen.  Melissa has authored award-winning scholarly publications, project managed numerous exhibition tours, and developed innovative programming.

Rebecca A. T. Stevens has been the consulting curator for Contemporary Textiles at The Textile Museum (now The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum) in Washington, D.C., for more than 35 years. Her work includes numerous national and international curating, consulting, lecturing, and jurying engagements on five continents, and in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. Her writings include the books, The Kimono Inspirations: Art and Art-to-Wear in America co-edited with Yoshiko I. Wada and Ed Rossbach: 40 Years of Innovation and Exploration in Fiber Art co-edited with Ann P. Rowe, and numerous articles and essays for exhibition catalogues.

The April 2017 Smithsonian Craft Show is the 35th annual show produced by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. The event supports the committee’s program of yearly grants to the Smithsonian, which are awarded on a competitive basis to various entities within the Institution. These grants support a wide variety of projects that focus on the Smithsonian’s Four Grand Challenges: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe, Valuing World Cultures, Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, and Understanding the American Experience.  

And, please join the Smithsonian Women’s Committee when it presents the Smithsonian Craft2Wear, a curated exhibition showcasing the works of 55 American masters and 25 cutting-edge artists. Art meets fashion at the National Building Museum, from October 6 to October 8, 2016.

Since its creation in 1966, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee has contributed almost $12 million to the Smithsonian Institution.



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