Our final guest for the seminar, my good friend and colleague @namitapdx, has been ice-picking at the craftscape from multiple perspectives over the last 20 years: as lecturer, author, maker and recently, director of the MA in critical Craft Studies at Warren Wilson College. We concentrate during our convo on a fifth facet of her work, namely on her tenure as chief curator and then director of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon, and on the 60+ exhibitions she curated there. I am interested in her user-centric and interaction-oriented approach to exhibitions: how she thought of them as tactile and experiential, but also created circulatory systems outside of the institution’s gates. How is a museum a place for learning with objects, I ask her, and what does museum curators’ “ambivalent custodianship” of their collections look like in the future?
Biographie de.s intervenant.e(s)
Namita is a writer, curator, and educator based in Portland, OR. She recently became the Director of the MA in Critical Craft Studies, Warren Wilson College, NC, a new low-residency program focused on craft history and theory. She is the Director and Co-Founder, Critical Craft Forum, an online platform for community driven dialogue and discourse about craft. Before that, she served as the Director and Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft, in Portland, from 2004 to 2014.Her curatorial projects and programs include: « Object Focus: The Bowl », « Generations: Betty Feves »; « Touching Warms the Art »; « The Academy Is Full of Craft »; « Manufractured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects » (curated by Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov); and « Gestures of Resistance » (curated by Shannon Stratton and Judith Leemann). She edited a number of publications – including a forthcoming anthology on craft – and serves on numerous boards and publication committees.