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Distinguished Artist Series 2017-18

The James Renwick Alliance's annual Distinguished Artist Series brings notable craft artists from around the country to provide workshops and free public lectures.

Sept. 23-24, 2017            Alex Bernstein, Glass
Nov. 18-19, 2017             Sonia King, Mosaics
Mar. 10-11, 2018             Chris Antemann, Ceramics
Apr. 21-22, 2018             Sharon Church, Jewelry

The Distinguished Artist Series (DAS) offers a paid workshop on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  Each artist discusses their work and the making involved.  The day often provides demonstrations and an opportunity for participants to experiment with the artist’s techniques. The morning begins with a brief meet-and-greet with the artist over coffee and pastries. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to attend a potluck dinner with the artist on Saturday evening.  Space may be limited. Registration coming soon.

On the Sunday of DAS the JRA provides a free public lecture from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. This year’s lectures will take place at the American University at the Katzen Arts Center. Each artist has the opportunity to discuss their education, artistic influences, and careers. Frequently the audience has an opportunity to see a video of works while they listen to commentary from the artist.      

About the Artists:

Alex Bernstein:
Alex's work combines intoxicating colors, engaging textures and enticing shapes. Through a series of hot and cold processes, he hews each piece into a form which is solid yet ethereal at the same time, such as bright plumes rising from a craggy base, or elegant spires counterbalanced against dark daggers of glass. Alex will demonstrate some of his cold techniques at the workshop.
For more information:

Sonia King:
Sonia makes mosaics, a medium which celebrates both micro and macro.  She highlights the beauty and uniqueness of each tiny piece of stone or glass while placing purposefully a multitude of these "tesserae" together to build larger artworks with rhythm, texture and emotion.  Mining the relationship of each small piece to the one next to it and the space in between affords endless opportunities to create her flowing organic forms which appear "simultaneously at rest and moving."
For more information:

Chris Antemann:
Chris's figurative pieces offer a fascinating telescoping narrative -- stories within stories, contemporary commentary layered onto 18th century pieces in traditional forms. Her collaboration with Meissen, the German porcelain factory, has produced a body of work with rich insight into our own culture, a vehicle for the artist's "twisted tales" about domestic rites, social etiquette and taboos.
For more information:

Sharon Church:
Sharon aims to "gird" the wearer with her jewelry, to empower them with both the beauty of the piece and its "mysterious underpinnings."  Inspired by nature, and using natural materials in their construction, Sharon's jewelry has a presence and potency beyond mere ornamentation.
For more information:


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Clay, Fiber, Glass, Metal & Wood