Those pushing the boundaries of craft and inspiring new generations aren’t always just the artists. VISIONARIES includes curators and collectors who envision limitless possibilities of craft and imagine new methods of achieving that vision.
Jack Lenor Larsen
We begin with the man many in the art world consider the ultimate visionary: Jack Lenor Larsen, fiber artist, designer, scholar, world traveler and collector. A Renaissance man with an unwavering interest in the world around him, Larsen has infused his designs with an inclusive perspective that continues to inspire new generations.
Larsen mentors many talented artists, such as weaver Krista Stack and visionary weaver Kay Sekimachi, whose experimental and innovative work led her to invent complex on and off-loom weaving techniques.
Black Mountain College
Larsen also introduces our viewers to artists and institutions like Toshiko Takaezu and Black Mountain College, a groundbreaking art education experiment. Curator Helen Molesworth tells the story of Black Mountain College and its influence on culture and art, revealing the legacy and relevance of the handmade.
Forrest L. Merrill, through his distinctive approach to collecting, has played an important role in the story of craft. For Merrill, the art and artist are inseparable and he nurtures the artists whose objects he discovers. One such artist is Kay Sekimachi, who considers him a mentor and a friend.
We jump to revolutionary book artist, Felicia Rice, rooted in the experimentation of the boundary-breaking 1960s. We document her exploration of performance art and the creation of inventive artist books, often illuminating Latino stories and poems.
Watch a preview of the VISIONARIES episode (1min)
Husband James Schoonover on book artist Felicia Rice
Curator Helen Molesworth on handwork
Fiber artist Kay Sekimachi on card weaving
Kay Sekimachi on Peter Collingwood & Cynthia Schira
Fiber artist Kay Sekimachi on her father's drawing
Collector Forrest L. Merrill on jeweler and sculptor Merry Renk
Collector Forrest L. Merrill on metalsmith Dirk van Erp
Collector Forrest L. Merrill on blacksmith C. Carl Jennings
Associate curator Wendy Van Deusen on working with Jack Lenor Larsen at LongHouse Reserve