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Tennessee Craft



Best of Tennessee Craft

Best of Tennessee Craft

Craft Stars

A Reception Honoring the 2021/22
Best of Tennessee Craft Award Winners
at Gruhn Guitars

Saturday, August 6 | 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a celebration of the 2021/2022 Best of Tennessee Craft Award Winners! The evening will honor exemplary craft art, with awardees in attendance and examples of their artwork on display. Guests can enjoy a demonstration from Best of Tennessee Craft Award Winner Beizar Aradini, a musical performance on the oud, and a tour of Gruhn Guitars workshops. Kurdish-themed heavy appetizers, a dessert bar featuring favorites from awardees, and wine and non-alcoholic beverages are included.

Tickets are $40 per person. Best of Tennessee Craft 2021/2022 awardees and Collectors’ Circle sponsors may reserve two complimentary tickets per household. Capacity is limited, so purchase your tickets soon!

You may also purchase tickets by check or money order. Please mail your payment and attendee details by July 30, 2022 to: Tennessee Craft, PO Box 120066, Nashville, TN 37212.



Craft Stars is generously supported by:

The Best of Tennessee Craft 2021 Biennial was presented at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, October 29, 2021—February 20, 2022. Jurors Peter Baldaia and Annabeth Hayes Dooley selected the 75 craft artworks for this exhibition, ranging from traditional forms to cutting-edge conceptual pieces, representing artists from Memphis to Johnson City.

Award Winners

Best in Show – Beizar Aradini

First Place – Marty McConnaughey
Sharps Chapel—Basketry

Second Place – John Jordan
Cane Ridge—Wood

Third Place – Ashley Seay

Merit Awards: 
Jeanne W. Brady, Smithville—Fiber/Textile | Sherri Warner Hunter, Bell Buckle—Sculpture | Monya Nikahd, Watertown—Fiber/Textile | Lesley Patterson-Marx, Nashville—Fiber/Textile | Ronald E. Young, Chattanooga—Wood

2021 Best of Tennessee Craft Exhibiting Artists

Beizar Aradini, Nashville—Fiber/Textile
Chris Armstrong, Nashville—Fiber/Textile
Elizabeth Barthel, Franklin—Jewelry
Roberta Bell, Nashville—Mixed Media
Cindy Billingsley, Cookeville—Sculpture
Lindsay Bodanza Dawley, Loudon—Wood
Jeanne W. Brady, Smithville—Fiber/Textile
Judy Brater, Knoxville—Clay
Curtiss Brock, Smithville—Glass
Jeff Brockett, Mt. Juliet—Wood
Ben Caldwell, Nashville—Metal
Rick Cannon, Memphis—Wood
Martha Christian, Nashville—Fiber/Textile
Bill & Tina Collison, Unicoi—Wood
Louis Colombarini, Dowelltown—Sculpture
Judith Condon, Sewanee—Sculpture
Travis E. Curtis, Whites Creek—Wood
Laurie Davis, Nashville—Mixed Media
Rima Day, Thompson’s Station—Fiber/Textile
Audry Deal-McEver, Nashville—Clay
John Donovan, Nashville—Clay
Richard Dwyer, Gray—Wood
Eliza Frensley, Nashville—Printmaking
Mindy Herrin-Lewis, Johnson City—Jewelry
Sherri Warner Hunter, Bell Buckle—Sculpture
Stephen Hutchins, Joelton—Sculpture
John Jordan, Cane Ridge—Wood
Ulrika Leander, Norris—Fiber/Textile
Simon Levy, Ashland City—Wood
JoEl Levy LoGiudice, Ashland City—Fiber/Textile

John C. Lucas, Sparta—Wood
Alisa Martin, Madison—Jewelry
Asia Mathis, Nashville—Clay
Marty McConnaughey, Sharps Chapel—Basketry
Keavy Murphree, Nashville—Clay
Monya Nikahd, Watertown—Fiber/Textile
Abraham Pardee, Sparta—Sculpture
Carrie Anne Parks, Chattanooga—Clay
Lesley Patterson-Marx, Nashville—Fiber/Textile, Mixed Media
Jin Powell, Memphis—Sculpture
Tom Rice, Franklin—Sculpture
Mary Ruden, Seymour—Sculpture
Jennifer Sargent, Memphis—Fiber/Textile
Brooke Elena Schneider, Nashville—Clay
Ashley Seay, Nashville—Sculpture
Felicitas Sloves, Memphis—Fiber/Textile
Tim & Nancy Startup, Nashville—Sculpture
Sarah Stobbe, Arlington—Clay
Hanna Traynham, Johnson City—Clay
Vickie Vipperman, Kingston Springs—Fiber/Textile
Sadie Wang, Baxter—Jewelry
Kimberly Winkle, Cookeville—Wood
Will Winton, Sewanee—Sculpture
Rena Wood, Cookeville—Fiber/Textile
Ronald E. Young, Chattanooga—Wood
Becky Ziemer, Memphis—Clay

Are you interested in purchasing any of the works in this exhibition? CLICK HERE for an inventory and price list.
Contact Tennessee Craft to facilitate communication with an exhibiting artist.

Then and Now: A Black Craft Symposium

Then and Now: A Black Craft Symposium

Then & Now: A Black Craft Symposium was a day-long event at the Tennessee State Museum on Saturday, February 12, devoted to honoring the legacy of Black craftspeople in Tennessee and examining Black Craft in Tennessee today. This event highlighted the voices of Black craftspeople from the past and present, encouraging visitors to learn the history and heritage of Black Tennessee craftspeople and interact with contemporary Black craft artists.

These talks were livestreamed and are available on the Tennessee State Museum website at https://tnmuseum.org/videos

10:00 a.m. Black Craftspeople on the Tennessee Landscape: Dr. Tiffany Momon, Assistant Professor of Southern Studies at the University of the South, gave her keynote talk discussing her work with the Black Craftspeople Digital Archive.

11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. History of Black Craftspeople in Tennessee Museum Gallery Tour: Museum guides led 30-minute tours of the galleries highlighting Black craftspeople in Tennessee.

1:00 p.m. Making a Home: William Edmondson’s Calling: Presented by Mark Schlicher, this lecture spoke to Nashville sculptor William Edmondson (1870-1951) and his legacy in Tennessee. Edmondson was known for his animal and human figures that he created from limestone, and in 1937, he became the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

2:00 p.m. Where We Were and Where We’ll Be: The Future of Craft Artists: This moderated discussion with current Black Craft artists in Tennessee focused on their challenges and triumphs in contemporary craft. Carlton Wilkinson moderated the panel, which included Betty Turner, stained glass; Santana Matlock, concrete; Christine Roth, pottery; Ameena Henderson, pottery; Jackie Welch Schlicher, pottery, and Michael Gatson, wood.

Artist Talk & Demo:

Best of Tennessee Craft Award Winner Beizar Aradini

Beizar Aradini, a Fiber/Textile artist based in Nashville, discussed her recent artist residency in Peru and her background and artwork as part of the Midstate Chapter’s “Tennessee Craft Maker Meet Up” series hosted at the Tennessee State Museum. You can watch a recording of Beizar’s talk and demo via the Tennessee State Museum’s Live Stream.

The Best of Tennessee Craft exhibition included two of Beizar’s embroidered artworks, including “My Existence is Political,” which took the top prize in the biennial.


2021 Best of Tennessee Craft Awards Sponsor

Laura Anne Turner

2021 Best of Tennessee Craft Collectors’ Circle

Teri and Jose Alea
Margie and Tim Arnold
Rick and Kay Cannon
Maggie and Brad Fansher
Talbott and John Grimm (The Copper Fox Gallery)
Harry ‘Wis’ Laughlin
Simon Levy and JoEl Levy LoGiudice
Jane Ann and Chan McCullough
Pat Moody
April and Bill Mullins
Linda M. and Craig L. Nutt
Roy Overcast and Ralph DiPalma
Kim and Fred Waag
Regine Webster and Todd Fryling
Jennifer and Nathan Weinberg
Steve Wylie and Holly Tucker

Event Sponsors:







Family Day

The Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee Craft enjoyed “Craft Day at the Museum,” a family day holiday celebration and demonstration with some of Tennessee’s best craft artists on Saturday, December 11. Participating craft artists, all of whom have work in the Best of Tennessee 2021 Biennial exhibition currently on view at the Museum, included keynote speaker JoEl Levy LoGiudice, along with Chris Armstrong, Richard Dwyer, Monya Nikahd, Ashley Seay, and Becky Ziemer. Visitors met the artists, saw them demonstrate their craft and how they approach their work, learned what inspires them, and discovered why they work in their mediums.

To inspire Tennessee’s future craft artists, the Tennessee State Museum’s Children’s Gallery hosted a day of kids’ crafts and activities, while adults were invited to guided tours of the Best of Tennessee Craft 2021 Biennial. The keynote in the Museum’s Digital Learning Center by LoGiudice featured a panel discussion with ten of the exhibiting artists and an audience Q & A. Visit the Museum’s website to watch a video of the keynote and panel conversation.


Craft a New Year

Join the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee Craft this January for our “Craft a New Year: Learning Craft Workshop Series.” For three Saturdays in January, we’ll offer introductory classes in accessible craft mediums: Rug Hooking, Jewelry Making, and Printmaking. Each class is a one-day, six-hour course designed to get you started in a particular Tennessee craft tradition. Course instructors are some of the top artists and teachers in their fields. All skill levels are welcome, but classes are designed for beginning adults with little or no experience. For more information and to register, visit: https://tnmuseum.org/craft-a-new-year.



Support the Best of Tennessee Craft

Would you like to recognize the finest Tennessee Craft art as a sponsor, reaching audiences from across the Volunteer State and beyond at the world-class Tennessee State Museum? Contact Bonnie Matthews, Director of Development, for more information and to discuss the unique opportunities available this fall.

Individual patrons and fans of contemporary craft art are invited to join the Best of Tennessee Craft Collectors’ Circle. Circle members will enjoy:

    • Private collectors-only tour of exhibition before the Opening Reception with Guest Juror Peter Baldaia
    • Invitations for two to Opening Reception & Awards on October 29, at 5:00 p.m., with artists, jurors, and leaders from across the state at the Tennessee State Museum (1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN)
    • Name included on wall text of exhibition at Tennessee State Museum
    • Public recognition in virtual program and printed Annual Report as member of Collectors’ Circle
    • Invitations for two to casual Closing Celebration honoring Best of Tennessee Craft award winner

Collectors’ Circle sponsorships are $250 per household (includes benefits valued at $100 for potential tax deduction of $150). Payment may be made via credit card below, or checks may be sent to Tennessee Craft, PO Box 120066, Nashville, TN 37212-0066. The deadline to receive full benefits is September 10, 2021.

Information for Exhibiting Artists

The 2021 Best of Tennessee Craft exhibit showcases fine craft of Tennessee, providing public visibility and recognition for the quality and diversity of craft found throughout the state. This juried exhibition will present cash awards including $1,500 Best of Show.


June 1, 2021 11:59 pm: Deadline for receipt of entries
July 1, 2021: Notification of selection
September 1—September 15, 2021: Receipt of selected work at the Tennessee State Museum
October 29, 2021—February 20, 2022: Exhibition open to public; reception by invitation only
March 1—March 15, 2022: Artwork pickup by appointment. Work may be returned to artist by the Tennessee State Museum, using artist-provided pre-paid shipping labels or may be picked up in person.


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