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New York City's Longstanding Tradition of Craftmanship Showcased in Major New Exhibition Featuring Work of 100 Skilled Makers

First Exhibition Organized under MAD Director Glenn Adamson, NYC Makers Open Celebrates Forward-Looking Artists, Designers, and Artisans from throughout the Five Boroughs

New York, NY (December 3, 2013)

In July 2014, the Museum of Arts and Design will transform itself into a nexus for New York City’s leading makers—artists, artisans, and designers—through NYC Makers Open, the first exhibition to be organized under the leadership of MAD’s new director Glenn Adamson. Exemplifying the Museum’s commitment to making across all creative fields, the exhibition will draw together approximately 100 works by a diverse range of highly skilled and inventive individuals from throughout the five boroughs, from established artists and designers, to expert artisans who work behind the scenes to create objects and experiences that we encounter on a daily basis. On view from July 1 through October 12, 2014, and marking the first in a series of exhibitions examining the culture of making in urban communities, the exhibition will highlight the interconnected web of cultural production in New York City today and the importance of craft in contemporary life.

“There is a prevailing perception that New York in the digital age is no longer a city of skilled makers, when, in fact, craftsmanship continues to flourish throughout the five boroughs. NYC Makers Open uncovers the variety of production and creativity in the city, and places a spotlight on the skilled individuals who spend every day crafting our futures,” said Adamson, MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director.  “Since its founding, the Museum of Arts and Design has championed the way that artists and designers transform the world around us, using both traditional and cutting-edge creative processes. This exhibition reflects this core mission across the full range of crafted production, and establishes a new paradigm of 21st-century making as an engine for creative industry.” 

NYC Makers Open will explore the contributions of 21st century makers, whether they are stone masons or set designers, coders or cobblers, performers or fabricators. Makers will be nominated by a committee of 100 experts, including civic figures as well as individuals knowledgeable about making in a range of trades and disciplines. Approximately 100 final participants will be selected in early 2014 by a panel composed of Adamson, Director of Public Programs and exhibition curator Jake Yuzna, Chief Curator Lowery Stokes Sims, and six external jurors.

Rather than a traditional “white-wall” museum gallery experience, the exhibition will present visitors with a series of skillfully made environments and immersive tableaus that showcase the diverse creative output of individuals alongside one another, a reflection of the collaborative creative network within New York.  Building on MAD’s commitment to unveiling and inviting audiences to participate in the creative process, these environments will be activated with education and public programs, from live fashion shows to performances to social practice projects, throughout the exhibition’s run. NYC Makers Open will also extend beyond MAD’s galleries with programming that will take audiences to neighborhood workshops throughout the city, and provide new opportunities for the understanding of creative process.  

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) explores the value of making across all fields of contemporary creative practice. The Museum focuses on the ways in which artists and designers transform the world around us, through processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. MAD’s exhibition program is dedicated to creativity and craftsmanship, and demonstrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. The Museum’s permanent collection is global in scope and includes art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum's mission is education. The Museum houses classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and subjects across the full spectrum of making practices are held in a renovated 144-seat auditorium. 

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