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Distinguished Educator Symposium
Saturday, April 28, 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

Spring Craft Weekend

Saturday, April 28 - Distinguished Educator Symposium
10am - 12pm 
| Smithsonian American Art Museum McEvoy Auditorium
Free and Open to the Public, Doors open at 9:30am

The symposium will feature our five Distinguished Educators Sonya Clark, Helen Drutt English, Andrea and John Gill and Albert LeCoff who will share their work and discuss topics in craft education with moderator and Executive Director of the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Stephanie Moore. Do not miss this outstanding, free public program!


About our Moderator: Stephanie Moore is the Executive Director for the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design a national nonprofit in Ashville, North Carolina, dedicated to advancing the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research, critical dialogue, and professional development. Prior to joining the Center, Moore was the Director of Visual Arts for VSA, an affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, responsible for providing overall direction and production of visual arts initiatives and curating over 40 exhibitions including Revealing Culture, a groundbreaking exhibition held at the Smithsonian Institution. Moore holds a BA in art history and studio art from James Madison University and an MA in museum studies/nonprofit management and visual culture/materials studies from George Washington University.


 2018 Distinguished Educators

Sonya Clark has chaired the Craft/Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2006. Previously, she was Baldwin-Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin. In 2010, Clark was honored by Cranbrook Academy of Art with its first Distinguished Mid-Career Alumni Award and in 2015 she received an honorary doctorate from Amherst College. Clark shared the coveted top award and $200,000 at ArtPrize, 2014, for her Hair Craft Project. She has received a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. For the 2017-2018 academic year, Clark returned to Amherst College, her alma mater, as a Distinguished Visiting Artist-in-Residence.

Helen W. Drutt English (Helen Drutt) was Founder/Director of her eponymous gallery in Philadelphia (1973-2002), which was among the first galleries in the United States to make a commitment to the modern and contemporary craft movement.  In 1973, she developed the first syllabus for a college-level course in the history of the field. She has received numerous awards and two honorary degrees. Over the past 45 years, her archives have served as an international resource for scholars and institutions. Drutt is a trustee of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, and Fellow of the American Craft Council. Drutt has built a permanent collection of contemporary crafts for The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and is currently documenting an important development in the field. She is married to H. Peter Stern, co-founder of Storm King Art Center.

Andrea Gill is Professor Emeritus of Ceramic Art at Alfred University’s School of Art and Design. She received an MFA in ceramic arts from Alfred University and a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Tiffany Foundation, Gill’s work is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute and many other public and private collections. She received The Peter Voulkos Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation and is a fellow of the American Craft Council.

John Gill is a Professor of Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He received an MFA from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. A frequent presenter on the international stage, Gill has taught students in China with colleague Wayne Higby, presented the keynote address at the 7th International Ceramic Biennale in Korea. and been named a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and his craft. His work is held in many permanent collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Crafts Council in 2014.

Albert LeCoff is a co-founder and the Executive Director of The Center for Art in Wood (formerly known as the Wood Turning Center) in Philadelphia. LeCoff has worked to promote the arts of woodturning and woodworking, and the artists involved in these pursuits through developing programs at the Center, organizing conferences and exhibitions across the United States, and lecturing internationally. Today, the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia stands as an invaluable resource for the study of finely crafted and conceived wood objects. In May 2018, after 31 years of service, Albert LeCoff will retire from his role as the Executive Director of The Center for Art in Wood.