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 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 themself.
The seventeen artists featured in Crafted Strangers represent a diverse and unique perspective of racial and ethnic identities within the Americas. While craft has been a common means of expression historically across cultures, Crafted Strangers focuses on contemporary artists 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 reimagined. 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? Look beyond first impressions and see identity as an evolving collection of experiences rather than a fixed story.
The curators would like to acknowledge that we are guests in the unceded territory of the Tsalagiyi Detsadanilvgi people of what is presently called Asheville, North Carolina.
Exhibition opens Friday, September 15th with a public reception from 5-8 pm. Exhibition open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6 pm, following.
Crafted Strangers is curated by the 2017 CCCD Curatorial Fellows Matters Unsettled (Cass Gardiner and Quizayra Gonzalez) and organized by CCCD.
The 2017 CCCD Curatorial Fellowship was made possible by the John & Robyn Horn Foundation. Exhibition programming is supported by Donna and Ralph Briskin. CCCD is supported in part by a grant from the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Benchspace programming is supported in part by Sara and Bill Morgan.