Annual Auction at Haystack

Annual Auction at Haystack

James Renwick Alliance Craft Study Tours

The James Renwick Alliance runs a very popular program of local, national and international educational craft tours to acquaint our members with the work of craft artists, studios, and art centers in a particular area. A study tour usually includes visits with an artist(s) in the studio, an exhibition or show at a gallery or art center, and a visit to the home of a collector of craft art.

JRA Caucus study tours are a special benefit for caucus members and gallery directors. The caucus tours tend to be longer and more extensive than the alliance study tours.

Upcoming Trips:



Queen City Treasures: Craft Study Tour

Charlotte, North Carolina

February 3-6, 2011

Ceramic Vase

Ceramic Vessel by Nicholas Arroyave-Portela of London

Organized by David Montague and Marc Grainer

The James Renwick Alliance Board of Directors and tour leaders David Montague and Marc Grainer invite members of the Alliance to participate in a craft study tour to Charlotte, N.C. from Thursday, February 3 to Sunday, February 6.

With the opening of the New Mint Museum this past September, the centerpiece of a five museum complex development in downtown Charlotte, there is much to do and see in the “Queen City” of the south.  And of particular significance to members of JRA, the inaugural show at the new Mint Museum of Craft+Design (MMC+D), now an integral part of the new Downtown Mint Museum, features the collection of British ceramics of our fellow members Diane and Marc Grainer.  In addition to visiting the MMC+D and the Grainer collection, tour participants will also have the opportunity to explore other rich heritage in craft in NC through visits to galleries, marvelous private collections, artists’ studios and museums featuring traditional Carolina craft art.

Programming for the Charlotte trip will begin mid-afternoon on Thursday, February 3, with a curator-led tour of the traditional decorative art holdings of the original Mint (Randolph Road) museum with decorative arts curator Brian Gallagher.  The Mint has an extensive collection of North Carolina traditional pottery.  Now that the new museum has opened, significantly more space is available to display traditional craft at the original museum.  Subsequent to the museum tour, we are planning a visit to a private collection followed by a reception/buffet dinner at the home of Renwick Alliance Craft Leaders Caucus Member and Mint Museum of Craft+Design Founders Circle past President Barbara Laughlin.

Friday morning will be devoted to the new MMC+D.  Marc and Diane Grainer will accompany tour participants on a walk-through of their collection, and Annie Carlano, director of MMC+D, will lead a tour of the permanent collection and discuss her vision for the craft museum.  Lunch will be in the Mint Museum’s newly opened Halcyon Restaurant.

Friday afternoon activities will include visits to “uptown” locations including several private collections, galleries and an art center.  For those with the stamina, there will be time to visit the other museums in the downtown museum complex, all of which are open late for the first Friday.

Friday evening, there will be a reception for tour participants and members of the MMC+D Founders Circle equivalent support group in the board room of the Mint Museum,  followed by dinner at a downtown club to which MMC+D members will be invited (walking distance).

Saturday activities will be distinctly different in that we will go “country” and visit Seagrove, N.C., home to well over 100 working potters.  We will start at the North Carolina Pottery Center and then visit studios of some of the top names in Carolina pottery.  We will be joined by potter Bonnie Burns, who owns Great White Oak Gallery and who will be a knowledgeable expert in showing us the very best Seagrove has to offer.

Our Sunday schedule will be devoted exclusively to private collections.  If you have become a bit nervous about too many references to pottery, rest assured that several of the best glass collections in the U.S. live in Charlotte and that Charlotte has many more outstanding craft collections than the craft study tour can visit in one weekend.

Because there is frequent US Airways service between Washington area airports and Charlotte, the tour will include bus transfers.  A bus will depart the Charlotte airport at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, February 3, and return to the airport at 2:50 p.m. on Sunday, February 6.

The cost of the trip is $475 which includes bus transportation for the group throughout the trip, entrance and tour fees, gratuities, two receptions, two lunches, two dinners and a $100 voluntary nonrefundable tax deductible donation to the James Renwick Alliance.  This amount does not include hotel, airfare and insurance costs.

Lodging is at the Marriott Courtyard, 237 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, N.C. at the rate of $99 per night (excluding taxes).  A limited number of rooms have been booked at this rate and will be allocated on a first come/first served basis.  Trip participants will be given a telephone number to call to make reservations directly with the hotel.  The Marriott Courtyard is one block from the Downtown Mint Museum.

 For more information, please contact