Made in WNC

Marilyn Zapf

Made in WNC
Curated by Marilyn Zapf
Organized by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

Made in Western North Carolina (WNC) examines the designer-maker movement through a regionally specific lens. It considers how historical events, such as the industrialization of the New South and the Appalachian Craft Revival, combined with the more recent impact of globalization, increased connectivity offered by the Internet, and the rise of the maker movement are shaping the practice of regional designer-makers.

Since 2008, the designer-maker movement has established itself as a new form of creative entrepreneurship defined by small batch or limited run production, combining craft-based practice with new technology, and marketing to a design-based consumer.

The designer-makers in WNC are unique in that most of the twenty-four studios and four artists included in this show come from a making background. Instead of starting from a concept, problem, or user group – as a designer might – they often start from skill, process, and a desire to make products to fit their own lifestyle. Thus, the term maker-designer becomes more applicable in the setting of WNC.

Maker-designers are creating new combinations of craft and design in a way that readdresses the industrial and craft history of WNC by prioritizing local supply chains, creating sustainable manufacturing solutions, and making work that aesthetically reference the industrial past. This exhibition highlights the legacy and influence of regional craft-based industry (textile, furniture, and ceramics) on contemporary practices of making through four themes: lifestyle branding, heritage, innovation, and collaboration. While the designer-maker movement continues globally, these maker-designers are investing their skills in this region. They make things here, in WNC.

On View:

September 4, 2015- January 9, 2016
Benchspace Gallery & Workshop
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design
67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801