a curatorial collective

Crafted Strangers

Crafted Strangers at The Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design 


Crafted Strangers | The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design | September 15th 2017 - January 6th 2018

Crafted Strangers seeks to dismantle and call into question the parameters of fiction, while reclaiming culture through storytelling, tradition, and the body, with artists who identify as coming from the Native or immigrant culture.

In the United States and Canada government policies and popular media create a misleading narrative that places people of color at society’s margins. From cultural restrictions to harmful stereotypes the seemingly opposite experiences of the first and most recent people to live on this land share many of the same struggles. Framed within the Native American and immigrant experience, Crafted Strangers explores how craft can be used as a tool for regaining control over how one chooses to define themselves.

The seventeen artists featured in Crafted Strangers represent a diverse and unique perspective of racial and ethnic identities within the Americas. While craft has historically been a common means of expression across cultures, Crafted Strangers focuses on contemporary artists turning to craft as a means of reinterpreting tradition. Through the materials selected, the tools used, and the method of display, traditions of beading, weaving, tufting, sewing, collage, braiding and drumming are re-imagined. This treatment of the craft genre allows for a sophisticated dialogue that questions how strangeness or otherness are crafted and broken. What does it feel like to be a stranger in home, society, and country? These artworks look beyond first impressions and see identity as an evolving collection of experiences rather than a fixed story.