Dec. 13, 2006
For the first time the work of Pennsylvania's talented craftsmen is represented in a statewide juried exhibition featuring glass, ceramic, metals, wood and fiber. PA Craft brings together the professional and amateur artist alike in an inaugural exhibition that has been drawing enthusiastic reviews from visitors since opening on the first floor of The State Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 North Third Street, Harrisburg, in November. The exhibition runs through March 19, 2007, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

Visitors to the exhibit have an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind items featured in the exhibit. Radius, HACC Gallery and Museum Shop also features additional pieces made by some of the craftsmen whose work is displayed in the PA Craft Exhibition.

PA Craft was formed through a collaboration of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development also provided some funding. The group saw a need among craftspeople who have limited opportunities for exhibition. In response, 335 artists, representing 45 counties, submitted more than 900 works of art for consideration when the call for entries was announced earlier this year.

"PA Craft looks fabulous and represents some of the Commonwealth's finest craftsmen," said Linda Lefevre, associate dean of HACC's business, hospitality, engineering and technology division. "Visitors to the exhibition should also stop in Radius for unique one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. In addition to featuring the work of HACC Craft students, the shop features merchandise produced by members of the PA Guild of Craftsmen and other local artisans."

"This annual juried exhibition will provide a showcase for the long tradition of craft production in the Commonwealth, from traditional to contemporary, and will support efforts to nationally promote and market our vibrant craft industries," said Barbara Franco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The range of work featured in the exhibition, as well as the geographic spread of the artists participating is apparent in the list of the state's top craftsmen who took home awards for their artwork represented in PA Craft.

David H. Brethauer, of Downingtown, won The State Museum Purchase Award for his untitled wood piece, which was made from Cardinal Tree.

The first HACC Contemporary Craft Marketing Purchase Award went to Sara Baker, of Unityville, for her ceramic stoneware titled Crescent Canister. A second purchase award went to PA Guild of Craftsmen member Philip Haralam, of Lancaster, for his ceramic porcelain titled Box.

Gary Guydosh, of Pittsburgh, earned The PA Guild of Craftsmen $500 cash award for his glass piece titled Water Lily.

The HACC Foundation presented two $500 cash awards to artists featured in the exhibit. The first went to Ed Bing Lee, of Philadelphia, for his fiber piece titled Pyromorphite Noir. Ellen Himic, of Cherryville, took the Foundation's second award for her photoetched silver titled Interlocking and Spin: Salt & Pepper Shakers.

Several upcoming workshops and lectures have been planned in conjunction with the PA Craft exhibition. Scheduled for January and February, the topics include glass beads, clay animals, and making jewelry with precious metal clay. For detailed information and registration, call 215-579-5997, send an email to Jessica Lantz at Radius, HACC Gallery and Museum Shop, or visit the Website below.

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