Pack Rat magazine is boo-tiful
Note: Dear readers, this article was slated to appear in the next issue of Pack Rat. Due to time and budget constraints, we have chosen to post it here. Enjoy!
They say that great minds think alike. Perhaps they should also say that great hands make alike, because that seems to be the case with crafters Betsy Greer and Faythe Levine. In 2004 Levine (co-proprietor of Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery) came across Greer’s website, craftivism.com and found there a social concern, as well as a creative drive that mirrored her own. Since then, she has been paying close attention the use of craft methods and materials playing a role in politically motivated art work and projects.
This autumn, Levine has the opportunity to bring that awareness to the rest of us. She is the guest curator of Craftivism: Reclaiming Craft and Creating Community, running from October 9 to October 30 at Lawton Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. The exhibition showcases the work of such artists as Kate Bingaman-Burt, Amy Carlton, Cinnamon Cooper, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Jennifer Marsh, Cat Mazza, Handmade Nation, Lisa Solomon, Stephanie Syjuco, and Melissa Vogley Woods.
“Creative expression has always been a way to express resistance, voice opinion and raise awareness. I believe the work coming out of our generation is a part of a time-line of socially aware artists and makers,” Levine says. The pieces she has picked for this show are from artists working at the intersection of craft, activism, feminism, environmentalism, DIY, street culture, and more.
Both Levine and Greer continue to give a voice to a new wave of crafters who are using their hands as much as their mouths when they have something to say. Levine’s book (co-authored with Courtney Heimerl), titled Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design is available now as she prepares to show the accompanying documentary of the same name in the coming months. And Greer, who is featured in Levine’s book, has her own book coming out in November, called Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch. Together, they are boosting the world of handmade goods up from personally functional, to socially utilitarian.
Read more of our interview with Faythe Levine
photos from Lawton Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay