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Academics . Craft Biennial . Conference . Speakers 


Cleveland Institute of Art is honored to host these keynote speakers:

Glenn Adamson is a curator, writer and historian who works across the fields of design, craft and contemporary art. Currently Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, and Editor-at-Large of The Magazine Antiques, he has previously been Director of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Head of Research at the V&A; and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee.

Adamson’s publications include Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan Wilson); Invention of Craft (2013); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011); The Craft Reader (2010); Thinking Through Craft (2007). Most recently he was the co-curator of Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years at MAD (2016); curator of Beazley Designs of the Year, at the Design Museum in London (2017); and co-curator (with Martina Droth and Simon Olding) of Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery, at the Yale Center for British Art (2017).

Adamson’s new book Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Meaning of Objects was published by Bloomsbury in August 2018.

Twitter: @glennadamson
Instagram: @glenn_adamson

Elisabeth Agro is The Nancy M. McNeil Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She was hired to fill this inaugural curatorship in the department of American art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006, quickly establishing partnerships across the Museum in order to take a broader, more international view of contemporary decorative arts. Highlights among her wide-ranging exhibitions and installations include Wrought & Crafted: Jewelry and Metalwork 1900 – Present, Interactions in Clay: Contemporary Explorations of the Collection, Craft Spoken Here, Lino Tagliapietra: Paintings in Glass, and Calder Jewelry. In 2014 she launched Techné, Ambassadors for International Craft, a Museum affinity group. She recently completed the fifth and final installation of the series At the Center: Masters of American Craft highlighting the contributions of major contemporary artists, mainly from the Philadelphia region. These exhibitions showcased these artists’ ingenuity, virtuosity, and impact on the field, but also challenged the notion of what defines sculpture. In combination with her curatorial work, Agro serves on several Museum-wide committees, The Contemporary Caucus, African American Art Working Group, and as an advisor to colleagues of the Art Information Task Force.

Philadelphia is a hot bed for craft organizations; it won’t surprise you to know that she is an advisor to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Women’s Committee, the Center for Art in Wood, The Clay Studio, CraftNow, The Philadelphia Potters, and the former Philadelphia Art Alliance. Agro is Co-founder and advisor of Critical Craft Forum.

Agro is proud to announce her contribution in the Museum’s forthcoming Catalogue of American Silver in the Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Volume 1, which features metalsmiths from 17th to 21st centuries. The project that is currently consuming her attention but has captured her imagination is a major comprehensive survey of contemporary Korean art, planned for spring of 2021.

Ms. Agro received her BA in Italian Studies from Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and an MA in the History of Decorative Arts from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution/Parsons School of Design, New York. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Museum of Art, she held a curatorial position in the department of decorative arts at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Formally trained as a blacksmith, Tom Joyce is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost practitioners in the field for his early contributions to the art and science of forging iron. Apprenticing as a teenager in the early 1970s, and now working from studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Brussels, Belgium on forged sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos and mixed media installations, Joyce continues to examine the environmental, political and historical implications of using iron in his work. Incorporating industrially forged remnants and byproducts of large-scale manufacturing, Joyce's sculptures reference this material's former life as an indispensable component used by multinational corporations, governmental agencies, and military forces around the world.

Joyce was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2003, and later that year an Aileen Osborn- Webb Award from the American Craft Council's College of Fellows. He was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art in 2004, and in 2006, received the Distinguished Artist of the Year Award from Rotary International's Foundation for the Arts. He was honored with a Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2009, was a recipient of a United States Artists Windgate Fellowship in 2011, and was given an Honorary Doctorate from Santa Fe University of Art and Design in 2014. Joyce is a 2002 and 2013 alumni of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Art/Industry Residency program, and in 2008 was a lithography resident artist at Tamarind Institute.

Exhibiting internationally since 1981, Joyce's work has been shown at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Graf-Zeppelin Haus, Friedrichshafen, Germany; Exposicion Centro, Guadalajara, Mexico; Lounais-Suomen Käsi-ja Taideteollisuusoppilaitos, Mynämäki, Finland; Museum of Applied Arts, Moscow, Russia; and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France.

His work is in many permanent public collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Detroit Institute of Art; New Mexico Museum of Art; Luce Foundation Center for American Art; Mint Museum of Art; National Metal Museum; Boston Museum of Fine Art; Tucson Museum of Art; and Yale University Art Gallery. Since the first invitation to lecture on his work in 1983, Joyce has taught and presented in over 100 institutions, universities, and college campuses throughout the United States. Among them: Boston University, College of Fine Arts; California College of the Arts; Columbia University; Corcoran School of the Arts and Design; Cranbrook Academy of Art; Dartmouth College; Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University; Ohio University; University of Iowa; University of Minnesota; and the University of Wisconsin. As an invited U.S. delegate, panelist and keynote speaker, Joyce has also lectured at conferences and symposia in Canada, Czech Republic, Belgium, England, Finland, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Sweden and Wales.

Recent public commissions include seven forged stainless steel sculptures, "Two to One," for the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC (2014); for the newly dedicated National September 11 Memorial Museum, a 100' long quote by Virgil forged from recovered World Trade Center steel, "No day shall erase you from the memory of time" (2014); and a stainless steel and cast iron sculpture, "Thicket," at the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC (2015).

Born, William Thomas Joyce, in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1956, he moved to El Rito, New Mexico in 1974 and established his studio in Santa Fe in 1977.


Stuart Kestenbaum, the former director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine for 27 years, is credited with establishing innovative programs combining craft and writing and craft and emerging technologies. He is also widely known for helping to put Haystack on the map as one of the world’s preeminent destinations for artists. He received his B.A. in Comparative Religion from Hamilton College in 1973 and went on to attend Haystack in 1975. Prior to arriving at Haystack, Kestenbaum served as an associate, and later assistant director with the Maine Arts Commission. He is the author of the poetry collections Only Now (Deerbook Editions, 2014), Prayers & Run-on Sentences (Deerbook, 2007), House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook, 2003), and Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press, 1990)—and a collection of essays: The View From Here (Brynmorgen Press, 2012). He is a former poet laureate of the state of Maine.

Janet Koplos is co-author of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft (2010) and author of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture (1990) and other books. She has written extensively on crafts and on American, Japanese and Dutch contemporary art and has published approximately 2,500 articles, reviews and essays in some two dozen periodicals over the last 30 years. She was for 18 years a staff editor at Art in America magazine and is currently a contributing editor. She lectures, critiques and juries frequently, and has taught at Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Institute in New York, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a master’s degree from Illinois State University. She received a National Endowment for the Arts critic’s grant early in her career, in 2010 was named an Honorary Fellow of the American Crafts Council, and in 2015 was awarded an Art Writers Grant from the Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital. She is currently working on two books, one on the aesthetics and philosophy of American functional pottery, based on interviews with potters across the country, and the other a history of the New Art Examiner, a sometimes-controversial publication based in Chicago, which published from 1973 to 2002.

Judith Schaechter has lived and worked in Philadelphia since graduating in 1983 with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design Glass Program.

She has exhibited widely, including in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, The Hague and Vaxjo Sweden. Her work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Hermitage in Russia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and numerous other public and private collections.

She is the recipient of many grants, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Crafts, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, The Joan Mitchell Award, two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts awards, The Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Leeway Foundation grant.

Judith’s work is noted in two survey-type history textbooks: Women Artists by Nancy Heller and Makers by Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos.

Judith has taught workshops at numerous venues, including the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, the Penland School of Crafts, Toyama Institute of Glass (Toyama, Japan), Australia National University in Canberra Australia.

She has taught courses at Rhode Island School of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy, the New York Academy of Art and at The University of the Arts, where she is ranked as an adjunct professor.

Judith's work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2012 and she is a 2008 USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow. In 2013 Judith was inducted into the American Craft Council College of Fellows.

Twitter: @juditschaechter
Instagram: @judithschaechter