Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The History of Craft Alliance & The Buildings We Call Home

Craft Alliance started as an Artist Co-op in 1964 promoting the production, enjoyment, and understanding of the craftsman artist. A gallery space in the Central West End held monthly exhibits, showing work from regional artists in glass, metal, jewelry, sculpture, wood, and textiles. In 1968 classes were offered to kids aged 12-16 and were held at the Second Presbyterian Church.
Image copyright University City Public Library Circa 1960
In 1970 Craft Alliance moved into the Bond Building on Delmar Boulevard, the oldest surviving building in the Delmar Loop. It was build in 1910 by Max Bond for his tailoring shop. A pharmacy, salon and Italian restaurant were among a variety of businesses that called this building home before Craft Alliance settled in.

Image copyright University City Public Library Circa 1970
In 1976 Craft Alliance renovated space next to its Delmar location creating room for the ceramics studio we have today.

A vintage photograph, from a marketing publication of builder H.B. Deal from
In 2008 Craft Alliance opened its second location in the old Woolworths Building. A new Exhibition Gallery, expanded Outreach Programming, and Education Programming with Artist Residencies provide the St. Louis community with greater access to contemporary studio craft art.

Located in the new Big Brothers Big Sisters building right next to the Fox Theatre, Craft Alliance is part of the Kranzberg Arts Center. Classes are offered in Clay, Metal, Fibers, Graphics and more. Craft Alliance and the buildings it occupies have a rich history and a promising future.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Local Designer on Project Runway!

The patrons of our gala were blown away by the fashion show put on by local designer Michael Drummond during our ArtRageous Gala on June 4, 2010. It turns out we weren't the only ones amazed by his work!

Michael Drummond will be on the upcoming season of Project Runway on Lifetime! The premier airs this Thursday, July 29th at 9pm or 8pm for those of us in St. Louis. So tune in and cheer on our fabulous local fashion designer!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Craft Alliance Video by the Vital Voice!

Check out the new Craft Alliance video on the Delmar Loop You Tube Channel. Thanks for yet another great production Andrew Baumgartner and the Vital Voice!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Artist in Residence Rachel Akin

Our Clay Artist-in-Residence, Rachel Akin will be with us at Craft Alliance for a whole year!
Rachel received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1999 and MFA from Ohio University in 2006. Recently, she was a resident artist at Red Star Studios Ceramic Center in Kansas City where she was also a gallery assistant.

How many years have you been a ceramic artist?
I have been working in clay for 16 years. I am drawn to the seductive qualities of the smooth, creamy texture of the clay. I create soft, curvaceous forms on the potter’s wheel or by hand. The silhouettes of these forms are accentuated through surface decoration and soothing colored glazes.

Describe the work you are making or hope to make during your time at Craft Alliance:
During my residency, I hope to continue working on my functional porcelain vessels. I see this as a opportunity to fine tune my work as well as having the time to develop new forms that I haven't attempted before.

What inspires your work?
My work is inspired from a variety of sources. I enjoy investigating historical ceramics, especially Chinese Sung dynasty vessels. I am also drawn to Venetian and Depression glass forms and surfaces. Fashion and the female form also inspire me. My work has a distinct feminine silhouette and I embellish my forms with beads of porcelain and ruffled edges to emulate a strand of pearls or decorative fabric.

Be sure to stop by our Grand Center location and check out the Artist-in-Residence studios!