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Guilds: Are You Looking Inward or Outward?

Several presentations for the upcoming Professional Development Seminar focus on the "grass roots collection." By using the term "grass roots collection" I mean artists or craftspeople playing an active role in collecting work of other artists and makers.

Ohio-Designer-Craftsmen-logoOne stellar example that I discovered is the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. This craft guild has been in operation for 50 years. In 1993 they purchased their own building, and started the Ohio Craft Museum. The Ohio Designer Craftsmen also has a collection of 400-500 objects from members of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen or citizens of Ohio. Ohio-Craft-Museum-logo

For the recent interview on Metalsmith Bench Talk, I invited Betty Talbott to start the conversation about their guild collection.Betty Talbott is the Director of the Ohio Craft Museum and Artistic Director of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

The Ohio Designer Craftsmen sponsors four retail shows a year generating revenue for the participants and income for the museum operating expenses. They also have a gift shop, sponsor workshops and programming for their community. along with exhibitions at the Ohio Crafts Museum.

Listen to the archived interview on Jay Whaley Metalsmith Bench Talk where Betty talks about the guild and their collection. She says "guilds tend to look inward to help their members,"  but the success for the Ohio Designer Craftsmen is that they look outward to their community. If they educate their community, it serves the craft artists. 

Artists and makers consider her words of experience. Think about how your local guild can create more opportunities, starting a collection, or hosting retail shows.

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Harriete Estel Berman by ASK Harriete is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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