Contemporary Crafts Market, an exposition dedicated to hand-crafted functional and decorative art, is nearing its 20th anniversary show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
Contemporary Crafts Market is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, June 10th to 12th. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is at 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $6 for adults, and children 12 and under are admitted free. The show features about 250 artists from across the country exhibiting their works. The show is held twice a year.
Featured items include hand-thrown ceramics, glassware, vintage-inspired textiles, woven items, wearable art, wood creations and glass furniture. Also fiber arts, sculptures, prints, photographs, furniture accessories, basketry, gourd art, mixed-media sculpture and hand-cast/sculpted jewelry.
The field of crafts is distinguished from art by the functionality of the works produced, according to show organizers Roy Helms & Associates. Handiwork and skill are used to create items such as pot holders, beaded jewelry, diamond rings and furniture.
Contemporary Crafts Market is a juried show that showcases what are considered “fine crafts,” organizers say. All work in the show must be handmade and must be represented by the artists themselves, disqualifying mass-produced and manufactured items, organizers say.
Crafts Market founder Roy Helms says he wants to challenge people’s perception of handmade art. “When we first launched Contemporary Crafts Market 20 years ago, people still thought of crafts as something out of the 1960s — homespun, earthy and rough-hewn,” says Helms.
But Helms says he views crafts with the same scrutiny he would fine art. “We started with very particular parameters, including discerning jury-selection on the basis of quality, artistry, originality and technical merit,” he explains.
One of the featured craftspeople that organizers cite as rejuvenating the handmade crafts genre is glass artist Josh Gelfand. He opened a glass studio, Revolution Glass, in 2002 as a space for “production, experimenting and learning,” he says.
Gelfand seeks to capture light, form, fluidity and color — the four intrinsic properties of glass — in his work, he says. He prefers minimalist pieces, mixing clean lines with bold colors. Gelfand’s glass works are distinguished by their concentric circle patterns and opaque colors.
Back for his second year with the Contemporary Crafts Market is mixed media sculptor Anthony Hansen. Hansen culls recycled materials from the empty lots and junkyards of his hometown, Morro Bay. By crafting everyday materials such as found aluminum siding, automotive sheet metal, wood fencing, screws and rivets from nearby landfills into sculpture, Hansen elevates these mundane materials to the level of art objects. He gets inspiration for his pastiche works from the various colors and textures of the found objects.
A number of exhibitors have been attending the Contemporary Crafts Market for the past 20 years, according to Roy Helms & Associates. Among a handful of returning 20-year show veterans are craft duo The Toymakers, Terrie and Richard Floyd. The Toymakers make a colorful array of pendulum clocks, ornaments and jumping jacks that are hand-designed, cut and sanded.
The duo’s jumping jesters and harlequins can be made to dance by pulling on their strings.
Returning for her sixth year is Justine Limpus Parish. Over the past 15 years, Parish has mastered a Japanese hand pleating technique called Shibori.
To create the effect of pleats on her painted scarves, shawls and collage jackets, she wraps fabric on poles and pushes the fabric into folds on the garment. The folded pleats are set on polyester and painted with metallic paints.
Information, (310) 285-3655.