Anna Fariello, associate research professor at Hunter Library at Western Carolina University, will speak about the identity of American craft as part of American Craft Week in October.
Fariello will speak on the collective identity of craft at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at Charles Beall Auditorium on the campus of Haywood Community College. The event is free and open to the public.
Fariello directed Hunter Library’s online Craft Revival Project and now oversees the library’s digital collections. The talk, derived from “Objects and Meaning,” a book Fariello co-edited and to which she contributed two chapters, will address how academic disciplines and cultural institutions have assigned meaning to expressive objects over time. Fariello argues that it is not effective to examine craft using the language and system of evaluation for art history and that craft must have its own discipline-specific vocabulary.
“I used to think that it was possible to carry on deeper conversations about craft using the formalized language shared by art history, aesthetics and criticism,” Fariello said. “I no longer believe this. The very term ‘fine art’ negates the egalitarian values of craft and its influence upon the visual arts.”
Fariello’s is one of a number of talks, sponsored by HandMade in America and eight partner organizations, across Western North Carolina in recognition of American Craft Week, a project of Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow.