Application For Artists to Exhibit on JRA Day – show date: December 7, 2019
12th Annual JRA Day – Saturday, December 7, 2019

The James Renwick Alliance invites media based artists to submit an application to participate in the 12th Annual JRA Day, a one-day showcase for artists in the craft media. The JRA Day Artist Contract — Space Reservation Application can be found online at

JRA Day is sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance, an independent national nonprofit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA was founded in 1982 and fulfills its mission through public programs, publications, recognition of craft artists, and financial support, including contributions to the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. For more information on the JRA, go to

Last year’s JRA Day was a great success. The JRA plans to offer free admission and expand our efforts to promote the show. In 2018 most artists sold individual works at prices ranging from below $25 to as much as $600, and they expect a similar group of buyers this year.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The web site for the event is

JRA Day is open to all craft artists who are members of the James Renwick Alliance. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are not a JRA member, you may apply for the show, but participants must hold a paid membership in the organization within a month of acceptance in the event and on JRA Day.

Memberships for professional craft artists start at the ART level (Alliance for Renwick Tomorrow) at $80 per year. For additional information on JRA membership go to, call 301.907.3888, or email

A few changes in timing!

– Artist set up will take place from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

– The show will begin an hour earlier and will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

– Take down will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Panels are no longer available!

– Booth space that accommodates panels is limited.

– Artists may apply for a booth space and provide their own panel(s)

(for further details, see the application).

– Panels can be found online in searches for freestanding display panels

Additional notes (see the application for further details):

– The initial application deadline is June 30, 2019, and during this period preference will be given to artists who participated in last year’s show

– At least three reproducible 300 dpi JPEG images are required by July 15, 2019; photographs must reflect current work and be different from those previously used by JRA Day.

– The JRA will receive 40 percent of all proceeds from the artist’s sales.

– Advance promotion of JRA Day is done through postcards, the web site, social media, listserv notices, and press releases.

Please contact the JRA Co-Chairs if you have any questions.

Looking forward to a wonderful event on December 7!

Jere Gibber & J.G. Harrington

JRA Day Co-chairs

Wendell Castle, Sculptor That Merged Furniture & Art, Dies at 85

Wendell Castle, a visionary woodworker, furniture-maker and sculptor has died at the age of 85. Mr. Castle died late Saturday afternoon at his estate in upstate New York, according to an announcement by Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was an artist in residence. Mr. Castle suffered from leukemia and had been in and out of the hospital over the last two months.

In more than a half-century of work, Mr. Castle melded furniture with art, creating provocative tables, chairs, clocks and other objects that bemused, surprised and baffled those who saw them. He placed form above function, and frequently shifted styles and genres.

Wendell Castle, Ghost Clock, 1985, bleached Honduras mahogany, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1985

Wendell Castle, Ghost Clock, 1985, bleached Honduras mahogany, Smithsonian American Art Museum.

His best known work at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery – which looks like a white sheet was draped over a grandfather clock – is a masterpiece of illusion. The museum’s artwork description includes the following text: At first glance, Ghost Clock appears to be a grandfather clock hidden by a large white sheet tied with a rope. A close look, however, reveals a masterful deception: this entire sculpture was hand-carved from a single block of laminated mahogany. With meticulous detail, Castle re-created in wood the contours of soft, supple cloth, then completed the illusion by bleaching the “drapery” white and staining the base of the “clock” a walnut brown. This work is the last in a series of thirteen clocks the artist created in the 1980s; unlike the others, it lacks an inner mechanism. Its haunting stillness and silence suggest eternity—the absence of time.

Mr. Castle’s work — in media like wood, but also plastic, concrete, bronze — is exhibited in galleries and displayed in museums worldwide.

editor’s note: 

Wendell Castle’s 10 Adopted Rules of Thumb:

1. If you are in love with an idea, you are no judge of its beauty or value.
2. It is difficult to see the whole picture when you are inside the frame.
3. After learning the tricks of the trade, don’t think you know the trade.
4. We see and apprehend what we already know.
5. The dog that stays on the porch will find no bones.
6. Never state a problem to yourself in the terms it was brought to you.
7. If it’s offbeat or surprising then it’s probably useful.
8. If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it.
9. Don’t get too serious.
10. If you hit the bullseye everytime, then the target is probably too near.

James Renwick Alliance Spring Craft Weekend 2017!


The James Renwick Alliance’s (JRA) annual celebration of American craft, Spring Craft Weekend includes a symposium featuring five masters of craft art, the JRA annual gala, and a tour of the homes of prominent collectors. The events take place the weekend of April 1st – and so much is going on!

The 2017 Masters of the Media Lecture

FREE EVENT | Sponsored by the JRA
Visarts, Rockville, Maryland

The JRA’s featured five 2017 Masters of the Media represent the best of craft artists today. All have won awards and acclaim. All have exhibited in international galleries and museums, and in public and private collections. Many have taught; some are still teaching. And each and every one of them is truly inspirational.2017 masters of media JRA

The Masters will present their stories, their philosophies and their work in an engaging format which will include a Q&A session.

The doors will open at 9:15am for refreshments, coffee and the opportunity to visit a few of VisArts artists’ studios before the Masters’ program begins at 10:00am. Click HERE to register for the JRA Masters lecture.

Open to the Public | FREE | Advance Registration Required for All Attendees

Seating is limited; early registration advised.
VisArts | 155 Gibbs Street | Rockville, Maryland
Parking available in nearby public garages.
Nearest Metro: Rockville (Red Line)

35th Anniversary Gala & Masters Auction

The Washington National Cathedral is the venue for the JRA Spring Craft Weekend Gala. Besides the dinner, the JRA will be having an auction featuring works by this year's Master of the Medium Awards.

The Washington National Cathedral is the venue for the JRA Spring Craft Weekend Gala. Besides the dinner, the JRA will be having an auction featuring works by this year’s Master of the Medium Awards.

6:00PM, SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2017
National Cathedral, Washington DC

A special anniversary demands a special anniversary Gala. And what could possibly top spending Saturday evening at the Washington National Cathedral? Celebrate in grand style, surrounded by the amazing beauty and history of this important landmark. Chat, dine and even explore a bit with the help of the Cathedral’s attentive docents.

Register for exciting Craft Adventures both near and far during the cocktail reception. Bid high to make it count in the JRA Live Auction featuring selected works from each of the featured five Masters of the Media who will receive their awards during the program.

This year’s Gala promises to be memorable from the very moment those impressive doors open. Click HERE to register for the GALA.

$395 per person No charge for Patrons
Dress for a Party Black Tie Optional

Washington National Cathedral | 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW | Washington DC
Parking in Washington National Cathedral’s Garage $10

The James Renwick Alliance is an independent national non-profit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education, connoisseurship and public appreciation of craft art. Founded in 1982, the Alliance fulfills its mission through public programs, educational trips, publications, recognition of craft artists, and financial support of museums and other non-profit organizations, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Therman Statom on PBS “Craft in America” Series- TEACHERS Episode

Artist Therman Statom is featured in the PBS series  "Craft In America"

Artist Therman Statom is featured in the PBS series “Craft In America”. The TEACHERS episode premiers Sept 15 on PBS

CRAFT IN AMERICA, the Peabody Award-winning series on PBS, explores America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade, and taking the viewer to the artists, origins and techniques of American craft. Each episode contains stories from diverse regions and cultures, blending history with living practice and exploring issues of identity, ritual, philosophy and creative expression.


Glass artist Therman Statom is featured in the “Teachers” episode will premiere on PBS starting September 15 (*check local listings). This episode highlights renowned individuals who are committed to their own artistic visions and are equally committed to sharing their skills and passion for craft with new generations of students and artists of all ages. Have a look at the preview:

Pittsburgh’s SCC’s “Mindful” Exhibit: Exploring Mental Health through Art

Michael Janis;"Echoes" detail; fused glass, glass powder imagery; 2015

Michael Janis; “Echoes” detail; fused glass, glass powder imagery; 2015. photo by AnythingPhotographic

To raise awareness and increase understanding of mental illness, The Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) located in Pittsburgh, PA, will be mounting a “socially engaged art experience”  opening September 18th through March 12, 2016. 

The  traveling exhibition titled Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art is designed to break down societal stigmas and offers an opportunity to encounter and understand mental health through the lens of contemporary craft. Featuring more than 40 works created by 14 contemporary artists in the project’s main exhibition, and WGS artist Michael Janis’ glass artwork will be highlighted.

One in four adults lives with a mental health condition, yet this common illness often remains hidden behind a wall of secrecy and isolation. 

Presenting contemporary art in craft media by international, national and regional artists since 1971, the Society for Contemporary Craft offers cutting edge exhibitions focused on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art. The SCC remains one of the nation’s only non-profit institutions focused on contemporary craft..

Learn more about the Mindful project by visiting the SCC website for the exhibit:

The Society of Contemporary Craft

Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art

2100 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

For more info:

or call 412.261.7003.

Washington Art Works “The Grace of Craft”

Sean Hennessey, “Promises That Remain Unbroken”; kilncast glass, LED, steel

On June 6, 2014,  Washington ArtWorks will open “The Grace of Craft”, an exhibition curated by Über Collector Giselle Huberman. The show features fine art craft work selected by Ms. Huberman, and will be displayed in the “Urban by Nature” Gallery.  Seventeen artists to “come together to create a show that illuminates the power, the unlimited possibilities, the beauty, the grace of craft”says Huberman.

“Craft can tell stories. It can move us. It can serve us and adorn us. And it does all this in a quiet, self-effacing way.” – Giselle Huberman

The seventeen artists participating are each regional authorities in their medium. Artists include Phil Brown, Gayle Friedman, Rania Hassan, Sean Hennessey, Tamara Laird, Laurel Lukaszewski, Jan Maddox, Donna McCullough, Komelia Okim, Nikki O’Neill, Elissa Savos, Chris Shea, Tim Tate, Novie Trump, Andrea Uravitch, Rick Wall, Nancy Weisser.

Washington-ArtWorksThis show will be on display through the end of June. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday 10am-10pm, Friday-Sunday 10am-4pm.

Washington ArtWorks

12276 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852


Daily Art Muse Has Left The Building

>For the past two months, artist/writer Susan Lomuto of Daily Art Muse has been an apprentice for the Washington Glass School as well as three of the adjacent ceramic studios – Red Dirt Studio, Flux Studios and Ani Kasten Studio.

Susan Lomuto preps the kiln with Matthew Duffy.

Susan did the research apprenticeship as a way to gain insight into the lives of professional artists; hoping to see the how the artwork is made – the process – the success and strife – all from the perspective of the artist involved. Susan has (and will continue to) post some of the information on her blog Daily Art Muse. She also is planning on furthering the project into a book, and she wishes to create a full multi-media presentation (video, sound, photos, exhibitions) on the subject.

Susan photos Robert Kincheloe as he works on the torch.

Leaning how to make a good weld with Erwin Timmers. Salvaging glass for use in a recycled glass public art project.

This week marks the end of Susan’s DC apprenticeship – and she has posted about her farewell. Hugs all around – an we look forward to DaMuse’s writing and postings!

Click HERE to see her farewell posting (with animated photo).

(While sad to see her go – Susan hopes to return for a residency at Flux Studio this coming fall.)

"Material World" Exhibit Transcends Technique Vs Content


Material World, an exhibition at artdc Gallery (March 12 to Sunday, April 3, 2011) focuses on artists who use non-traditional materials or tradition materials in non-standard ways to produce their work. “The commitment these artists have for their materials and craft lets their processes inform the content of the work, not overwhelm it,” notes curator Stephen Boocks. “While viewers will inevitably wonder how the works were made and will marvel at the technical prowess, the pieces selected ultimately transcend the materials used, allowing each finished object to stand on its own.”
Featuring works by Sherill Anne Gross, Michael Janis, J. T. Kirkland, Matthew Langley, Katherine Mann, and Marie Ringwald, Material World features exceptional work diverse in style and “serves as a testament to the rich pool of talented artists from or with close ties to the DC area,” adds Boocks. “These six artists at varying stages of their careers all have a clear vision of what they’re trying to achieve with their preferred media. ”

The core of this exhibition deals with artistic media - how it relates to the artist’s work and why the artist chose that medium to make their artwork. Does the material support the work or does it get in the way? Do all elements work in concert with each other to create a seamless whole? In art, as in most things, it all comes down to a delicate balance.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Two artists talks will be held: Michael Janis and Marie Ringwald on Saturday, March 19, and Matt Langley on Saturday, April 2.
Gallery hours are Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

Material World
artdc Gallery at The Lustine Center
5710 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781

About artdc Gallery: Located in the burgeoning Arts District in Hyattsville, Maryland, just outside of DC, the artdc Gallery features painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and more by metro DC artists. For more info visit

Daily Art Muse’s Susan Lomuto Is Here to Work!


Susan Lomuto, a Connecticut based artist / writer, established a blog called “The Daily Art Muse” (DAM), showcasing contemporary fine craft.

DAM covers the global landscape of handcrafted artwork with thousands of readers of her weekday posts and content in over 3,000 archived posts. Susan created the site to inspire “artists, designers and collectors worldwide” and the website is frequently used as an educational resource in traditional classroom settings (high school and college) as well as online learning environments.
part of exploring what it takes to be dedicated to art and fine craft, Susan has set out to work as an apprentice for a number of artists across the country. She wants to learn – about art and about the life of an artist; ultimately writing in-depth about the working artist’s life. Many of her experiences will be featured in the Daily Art Muse blog. Susan is working at creating a multimedia experience complete with pictures, video and text.

The apprenticeship project continues this coming week, as she begins a 6-week internship with several DC area artists – including the Washington Glass School.

Said Susan of the process: I suppose I could have just planned a road trip to visit artists around the country, asking questions, taking lots of pictures, shooting video – but that felt incomplete. Instead, I wanted to develop a solid understanding of the how/why/when/what that makes this a well-lived life, so I am getting my hands dirty as an intern – in many cases jumping out of my comfort zone and into their studios, working in mediums unknown to these hands (like glass), sweeping floors, conditioning clay, gathering supplies – and whatever else they need me to do.”

How Washington Glass School welcomes Susan Lomuto.

“My first internship, with jewelry artist Dina Varano in Connecticut, was a quiet one, working in a studio nestled in the woods, away from the distractions of the outside world.
The DC internship promises to be a lively experience in an arts complex that is home to several busy studios and more than two dozen artists. I will make sure I’m ready for the
“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment once I get there!”

Read more of Susan’s travels and internship – click HERE.

For an update on Susan’s kick-off mtg with the studios – Click HERE

To help fund the arts endeavor, Susan has created a great fundraising project, complete with perks for donations. Click HERE to learn more about perks.