The American Craft Council is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 Emerging Voices Awards, which recognize an emerging artist, an emerging scholar, and five shortlisted artists.
“ACC is committed to supporting new, diverse voices and material practices shaping the field of contemporary craft,” says executive director Sarah Schultz. “We’re excited to see how this cohort of artists will continue to break new ground.”
ACC’s Emerging Voices Awards are given biennially in recognition and support of the next generation of makers and thinkers in the field. The awards build on the legacy of the “Young Americans” exhibition program initiated by ACC in 1950. Reflecting the multiple paths for emerging talent in the current craft climate, the awards recognize the talent of artists within five years of their major training (including apprenticeships and residencies) in addition to formal academic training.
Jurors for the 2019 awards were: Beth McLaughlin, the chief curator of exhibitions and collections at Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts; Jennifer Ling Datchuk, a San Antonio-based ceramist and the 2017 ACC Emerging Voices Artist; and Michael Radyk, a textile artist and former director of education for the American Craft Council.
“Those selected for the awards demonstrate a keen understanding of the agency of material and the potency of objects,” says McLaughlin. “Diedrick Brackens’ allegorical scenes merge diverse textile traditions with multiple materials to dismantle repressive social constructs. Scholar Sarah Darro is a brilliant storyteller, and her fearless curatorial work will undoubtedly propel the contemporary craft field forward.”
“I was touched to read personal reflections on how craft has been passed down through artists’ families and how their practices have served as a way to honor their stories,” Datchuk says. “I felt the pain of the work that remains to bring historically underrepresented voices into institutions. I learned so much about the origins of process, the labor that goes unrecognized, and how complicated it can be to define craft in contemporary culture.”
Of the winners, Datchuk says, “the narrative textiles of Deidrick Brackens struck me with their material and historical power combined with investigations into masculinity and the African American body and identity. Sarah Darro’s approach to the diverse communities she has served and shown in her curatorial practice was exciting to read about.”
In addition to prize remunerations, all awardees will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Craft magazine as well as at “Present Tense: 2019” ACC’s conference in Philadelphia on October 10 – 12, 2019.
Read the full press release for more information about this year’s honorees.