Craft 2024

Craft Invitational 2024 June 29 through October 13


This summer DuMA will be hosting its fourth biannual Craft Invitational, a wide-ranging and inspiring exhibition that showcases the strong craft traditions of the Midwest. A celebration of making and makers, the Craft Invitational features more than 50 works by 21 different regional artists, all of whom are pushing the boundaries of forms, processes, and materials while respecting the long lineage of craftmanship.

In this exhibition viewers will find familiar materials—wood, glass, metal, paper—fashioned and interpreted in radically new ways. “These are artists who are stirring it up,” said DuMA curatorial director Stacy Peterson, who coordinated the curatorial team of five artists featured in the museum’s 2022 Craft Invitational: paper artist Jocelyn Châteauvert of Mount Vernon, Iowa; ceramicist Paul Eshelman from Elizabeth, Illinois; glass artist Joe Ivacic of Chicago, Illinois; wood artist Tom Loeser of Madison, Wisconsin; and jewelry maker and gallerist Alicia Velasquez from Iowa City, Iowa. Working with Peterson, the team established the themes of the exhibition—which include an emphasis on longevity and sustainability, and an incorporation of current events—and submitted artists for consideration, looking for exceptional works made in the area.

Every work selected for the exhibition offers a twist. Fiber artist Catherine Reinhart presents a textile based on the form of a topographic map, fashioned from her children’s laundry. An homage to the Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen is a pair of shoes made of handmade paper—and human hair. Bracelets by Clayton Salley find their origins in the very twenty-first-century process of 3D printing. While these and other included works may appear to be part of traditional genres or made with conventional materials and processes, all were selected for this exhibition for their innovation in form, technique, and content.

This innovation takes different forms across the works in the exhibition: woodworkers draw on expressive hand work while commenting on current events; glass artists exercise masterful skills in their expression of conceptual content; ceramicists stretch the boundaries of their materials from delicate translucency to dense energy; and jewelers return to treasured old ways of making to envision their work in new ways.

Across these disciplines, DuMA’s Invitational brings forward the future of craft. Respectful yet innovative, at turns serious and whimsical, the featured artists inflect centuries of practice with curiosity, experimentation, and decidedly contemporary sensibilities. Craft is indeed just not alive and well but thriving in the heartland.


Hannah O’Hare Bennett, Madison, Wisconsin
Derek Brabender, Stoughton, Wisconsin
Sandra Byers, Rock Springs, Wisconsin
Liesl Chatman, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jarrod Dahl, Ashland, Wisconsin
Joshua DeWall, Chicago, Illinois
Pearl Dick, Chicago, Illinois
Narciso Meneses Elizalde, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Robert J. Farrell, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Emerald YellowRobe Frommelt, Dubuque, Iowa
Rita Grendze, Geneva, Illinois
Yohance Joseph Lacour, Chicago, Illinois
Carmen Lozar, Normal, Illinois
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, St. Paul, Minnesota
Catherine Reinhart, Ames, Iowa
Amelia Rosenberg, Iowa City, Iowa
Sylvie Rosenthal, Madison, Wisconsin
Clayton Salley, Iowa City, Iowa
Matthew Urban, Normal, Illinois
Betsy Youngquist and R. Scott Long, Rockford, Illinois