The Guild Council

The Guild Council Program at Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art supports the dynamic relationship between regional artist-based organizations, the Museum and the College. It is dedicated to supporting the Museum’s mission through participation in selected community events, rotating displays of artwork in the Community Showcase and educational initiatives, as well as bringing together and strengthening the local craft community.

The focus of the Guild Council Program is on education, outreach, advocacy, collaboration and skill. By connecting makers in all arenas, the Guild Council Program provides a unique opportunity to shape future generations through knowledge of craft and craft-based practices.

Community Showcase

The Community Showcase, located in The Lab on the Museum’s second floor, exhibits outstanding community artwork as well as featured partnership projects. A different guild or artist collective from the Guild Council Program is featured in the Community Showcase every 4 to 6 weeks. Each display demonstrates an investigation into a specific media or way of working, linked to but different from the main exhibitions on view. Visit the Community Showcase to experience the diversity of artistic practices currently taking place in Portland.

On View

An Exhibition of Art Jewelry Collaborations
October 14 – November 22, 2014

The Pacific Northwest is internationally recognized as a center of innovation and excellence in glass and metal arts. Both of these “fire arts” are sustained by strong local communities, many of whose members joined hands to mount 3X2 Redux. Beadmakers and jewelers tend to work alone, engaging solo practices that create small-scale objects. Working as such, technical independence can impose a certain creative isolation.

In 2012, the International Society of Glass Beadmakers curated the first 3X2 collaborative exhibition. For this project, a glass beadmaker was paired with a metalsmith to create three pieces of jewelry. In essence, two artisans came together to produce three works, hence the title: 3X2. Unique to this project was that there was little contact between the collaborating artists. Instead, a juried selection of finished beads was offered to metalsmiths to incorporate into jewelry.

Wanting the creative synergy of 3X2 to continue, a committee was formed to curate 2×3 REDUX. For 2×3 REDUX, the committee wanted the artists to have a more collaborative experience. Northwest metalsmiths and glass artists from Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia were paired at random five months before the initial exhibition opening. This allowed time to build a working relationship based on true collaboration. Each team created three jewelry pieces: one for each artist, and one for the gallery show.

These collaborations took various paths and unanticipated turns. Some teams dealt with scheduling conflicts, injuries, and other unexpected life events. Regardless, both glass and metal artists have praised this collaborative exercise for bringing technical breakthroughs and new directions to their work. The metalsmiths approached the glass components as they would gemstones: an appropriate metaphor for the value that should accrue to works of art. As digital and virtual experiences increasingly supplant the tangible, these products of human hands working together are increasingly precious.

2×3 REDUX was organized by Laura Bowker, Sarah Gascoigne, Micki Lippe, and Cynthia Toops. This exhibition was featured previously at: Facere Jewelry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, (April 16 – April 30, 2014).

Artist Demonstrations

As part of the Guild Council Program and in conjunction with their Community Showcase display of artwork, local guild artists demonstrate their media-specific techniques and skills, in a casual environment where Museum visitors can ask questions and connect with local crafters.

Visit the calendar for more information about upcoming Community Showcases and Guild Artist Demonstrations.