Distinguished Artist Series 2019-20

Four times a year, the James Renwick Alliance brings notable American craft artists from around the country for the Distinguished Artist Series. 

Sept. 21-22, 2019

Tom Loeser

Nov. 16-17, 2019

Rebecca Hutchinson

March 7-8, 2020

Annie Evelyn

May 9-10, 2020

Kate Kretz

The Distinguished Artist Series (DAS) offers a Saturday workshop from 9:30am-12:00pm (fee, registration required). The artists will demonstrate some of their unique techniques, discuss their work, and the overall medium. Workshops may be hands-on or demonstration only. Workshop participants are also invited to attend a Saturday potluck dinner with the artists in a local collectors home.

On the Sunday of the DAS, the JRA provides a free public lecture from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at the American University at the Katzen Arts Center. The artists will show examples of their work and discuss their influences and careers.      

Members can register for the entire season at a discounted rate! 


Tom Loeser

Tom Loeser is a wood artist and furniture designer/maker. He is a Professor of Art and Head of the Wood/Furniture area of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin system. 

Loeser uses his deep knowledge of the history of furniture to create pieces with a completely new narrative. He makes functional and dysfunctional objects, such as benches sitting on feet made of old shovels, folding chairs that double as wall art, and rocking chairs that are conjoined, forcing sitters to move closer to one another. Loeser's imaginative new forms challenge convention, invite play, and encourage engagement in a way that is irreverent, full of humor and brimming with possibility.  

His Winter-Spring 2018 exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City entitled "Please, Please, Please" was curated by American Craft expert Glenn Adamson. Tom Loeser is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Award of Distinction from the Furniture Society. 

Artist Workshop: 
Saturday, September 21  |  9:30am - 12:30pm
Location TBA
$50 members  |  $60 non-members
$175 for all 4 workshops, members only
This workshop will include a lecture portion and a hands-on/demonstration portion, where Tom will demonstrate his milk paint process.

Public Lecture:
Sunday, September 22  | 2pm - 3pm 
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center  |  4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC


Rebecca Hutchinson

Rebecca Hutchinson's complex paper clay pieces evoke the natural world by creating patterns and repetitions often found there.  Using materials such as fired and unfired porcelain, old clothing, branches, and industrial surplus, she combines her skills in papermaking and ceramics to create things that exceed the limitations of one medium alone, especially in the large scale that's possible in her work.

Hutchinson's shows have included groupings of giant hanging pods, forests of crocheted paperclay vines, or bunches of overgrown flowerlike forms that feel freshly gathered from a giant's field and hung to dry.  With these objects, she celebrates the "complexity of engineering" and the inexorable force for survival in the natural world.

Rebecca Hutchinson is a Professor of Ceramics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, and is included in many collections and museums worldwide.  

Artist Workshop:
Saturday, November 16  |  9:30am - 12:00pm
Pyramid Atlantic, 4318 Gallatin St, Hyattsville, MD 20781
$50 members  |  $60 non-members
$175 for all 4 workshops, members only

Public Lecture:
Sunday, November 17  | 2pm - 3:30pm  (after the Chrysalis Award)
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center  |  4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC

Please note: There will be a short presentation by the JRA's Chrysalis award winner before Rebecca's lecture.  This special award will be given this year to an emerging artist in mixed media.


Annie Evelyn

When interacting with artist Annie Evelyn's furniture, expect the unexpected. Joy and laughter are central to her aesthetic, steering her towards unorthodox materials and designs. You might encounter a wavy wooden chair topped with glass vials to hold individual fresh flowers. Or, a pair of motorized coin-operated tables that cause objects to skitter off and crash. Seats made of concrete or aluminum, seemingly rigid materials, are cleverly tessellated to provide flexible seating that conforms comfortably to the body. Evelyn's work is lightened by humor but grounded in impeccable craftsmanship, making for a joyous and satisfying interaction with each piece.
 
She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and has garnered multiple awards and residencies. Most recently, she was a finalist for the 2018 Burke Prize and was included in the exhibition "The Future of Craft Part 2" at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.

Artist Workshop: 
Saturday, March 7  |  9:30am - 12:00pm
Artists and Makers, precise venue TBA
$50 members  |  $60 non-members

$175 for all 4 workshops, members only

Public Lecture:
Sunday, March 8 | 2pm - 3pm
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center  |  4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC


Kate Kretz

Kate Kretz intends her mixed media work to be "beautiful, exquisitely-crafted gut punch." She takes an unblinking look at difficult topics, and renders her response with stitchery, painting, or woodburning. Whichever medium will have the most potency. With each stitch or mark, she increases the power of her "incantation" to counteract the negative and to create a thoughtful, healing object. Kretz has used human hair to embroider unsettling pieces which examine motherhood, sexuality, and aging. Her recent pieces using deconstructed Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats caused her work to be banned from Facebook and Instagram, an ironic outcome to her artistic fight against hate speech. Kretz's unsparing examination of important subjects is a deeply aesthetic and intellectual experience.

​She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and earned her MFA from the University of Georgia.  She has participated in numerous group and solo shows, and has received wide media attention for her unusual and powerful body of work.

Artist Workshop:
Saturday, May 9  |  9:30am - 12:00pm
Location TBA
$50 members  |  $60 non-members

$175 for all 4 workshops, members only

Public Lecture:
Sunday, May 10 | 2pm - 3pm
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center  |  4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC