Coming soon to the St. Paul RiverCentre from April 7-9, the American Craft Show aims to be three days of festivities celebrating all things handmade. Consisting of more than 250 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists from across the country, American Craft Council assures that it’s the perfect opportunity to touch, feel, and explore high-quality American craft and meet the makers behind the fabulous work. As the American Craft Council’s only Midwest show, this event a must-attend for craft lovers and local adventurers alike.
As a participating American Craft Show artist, Minnesota sustainable jewelry maker Susan Crow is looking forward to showcasing her East Fourth Street jewelry line at this special show. Susan’s eco-jewelry collection is a culmination of her deep connection to design and core belief that we need to preserve and restore our environment, not take away from it. Hers is a socially responsible brand of luxury jewelry handmade from Fairmined or recycled precious metals and environmentally and ethically sourced gemstones.
“The ACC St. Paul – even though it brings in artists from all over the country – still seems small town, which I really like. I’m proud to be a Minnesotan and think that we have so many hidden wonders in our state. The ACC St Paul has a friendly, active atmosphere that promotes people having a good time as they shop for finely crafted items. They do an excellent job at putting on events for people to enjoy themselves.” – Susan Crow
Susan is also part of a select group of ten Minnesota makers who will be highlighted in the Hip Pop showcases at the American Craft Show. These artists were selected by American Craft Council for their design abilities and are offered “pods” at the show to share with other emerging makers. Another talented Minnesotan and Hip Pop artist is St. Paul shoe-maker Amara Hark-Weber. Beyond making custom shoes for individuals, Amara teaches one-on-one tutorials and short courses at various schools, including Penland School of Craft, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Quest University. Amara has won numerous awards and fellowships for her shoe work, and additional past degrees from the London School of Economics and Bard College. Having participated in the American Craft Show two years ago, Amara is anticipating another promising event.
“To be surrounded by my community of peers, and at an event which values and showcases the handmade, was an extremely powerful experience. I work full time in a workshop by myself, and to have the opportunity to share what I do is wonderful. I’m looking forward to the conversations that the show will spark, and will take the inspiration and energy back to my shop.” – Amara Hark-Weber
Adding another form of artistry to the Hip Pop showcases is artist and teacher Becka Rahn, who will be sharing her unique fabric designs at the American Craft Show. Her primary work is designing fabric with engineered and manipulated photographic prints. She uses these prints to make one-of-a-kind wearable art garments, accessories, and the occasional home dec or wall art piece. One of the traditions of fiber art that inspired her is the idea of making practical and every day things be beautiful as well as functional. As a teacher, rather than being a specialist in one area, Becka’s specialty is being able to teach a beginning class in just about everything related to fiber art – felting, dyes, weaving, knitting, sewing, embroidery, beadwork, quilting. She loves watching the light bulb come on for someone as they have that “ah-ha!” moment or the gasp of excitement as they unfold their first dye project.
Before becoming a seller, Becka volunteered for the American Craft Council for several years as an artist demonstrator. This relationship spurred a passion for the event today, Becka feels a strong connection to the work accomplished and celebrated at the American Craft Show.
“I like that the show features that start-to-finish combination of live art making demos and amazing finished art. The quality of the work at the show is outstanding. The organization and staff are so professional and truly engaged and interested in what they do. The Hip Pop program in particular creates an instant community by assembling pods of six new artists that share space at the show. I have kept in touch with several of my previous pod-mates and we have even done a little collaborating. I expected to sell some work, but the impact of the show was so much more. I have made so many connections with other artists; students have signed up for classes; organizations have approached me for partnerships and collaborations. All of those happened because they saw me at the show and picked up my card or talked to me about my work. Since this will be my third year, I feel like I am really prepared this year and it’s much more relaxed for me. I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces (both fellow artists and customers) and getting to tell my stories to a whole new group of attendees.” – Becka Rahn
Below is the full list of the ten Minnesota artists who will be part of the Hip Pop showcases:
- Dominque Bereiter – jewelry maker
- Luck Borkenhagen – canvas leather bags and accessories
- Susan Crow – fine jewelry – sustainable metal sources
- Amara Hark-Weber – handmade shoes and accessories
- Autumn Higgins – ceramics
- Sarah Holm – leather accessories
- Betty Jager – metal jewelry
- Becka Rahn – fashion wearables and accessories
- Catherine Schoenherr – Non-metal jewelry
- Maggie Thompson – Makwa Studio – woven fashion accessories
For additional details on tickets, full artist lineup, accommodations, and more, visit the American Craft Show site!