HughE Dillon: PMA Craft Show Kickoff

The event features the work—from jewelry to clothing—from almost 200 craft artists.

The 36th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, presented by the Museum’s Women’s Committee, kicked off the annual premier exhibition and sale of contemporary American craft this week with a preview party at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where the show is being held through Sunday. Here, craft show officers Laura Rothrock, vice chair, Lisa Woolbert, 2012 event chair, and Nancy O’Meara, Craft Show manager. Woolbert notes: “In addition to the best craft artists from across the U.S., 26 artists from Great Britain will be participating.”

Below: Committee members Celeste Gleeson Manley and Cynthia B. Holdstad. Funds raised are used to purchase works of art and craft for the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to fund conservation and publication projects, and to support exhibitions and education programs.

Below: Barbara Sterrett, Jennifer Saari and Emily Sarri enjoyed their family night out, looking at all the beautiful crafts from around the country and world. This year, the craft show features British and Irish artists.

Below: Gary P. Steuer, the city’s chief cultural officer, Sophie V. Steuer, Women’s Way, Gail Harrity, president and COO of PMA, and Olivia and Tim Rabe.

Below: An animated Timothy Rub, director and chief executive at PMA, chats with a guest. Earlier in the evening, during his opening remarks, Rub talked about the great contribution the Women’s Committee has made to the Art Museum in many areas of development, especially raising more than $10 million since the show’s inception.

Below: John McDevitt reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060, and Melony Roy, reporter and producer for KYW Newsradio 1060. The duo loved the mashed-potato bar. Later in the evening, Melony fell in love with a beautiful and very colorful wrap from New York City-based Starr Hagen.

Below: Geoffrey Young and Cathryn Campbell are toasting their upcoming wedding. The couple met through friends and have been dating for about two years. Last year, they came to the Craft Show and bought matching bracelets from artist Pat Flynn (you can see it on Cathryn’s arm). This year, Geoffrey had planned to pop the question while they were both shopping at Flynn’s booth again. But he couldn’t wait and proposed on Friday.He planned to have the perfect ring on Cathryn’s finger before they left.

Below: Mark Orr, a crafter from Ann Arbor, Michigan, shows his sculpted birds on a branch to Janis Goodman (left) and Joan Tropp. Mark tells me he used to create tables and cabinets, and one time he created a bird to put on top of the cabinet. After so many people asked how they could just buy the bird, he started creating art around the birds. He’s in booth 604, in case you want to check out his unique craft.

Below: Gary and Kathleen Gounaris attend every year. They love the quality and diversity of the craft artists. Kathleen tells me she loves the colorful clothing for sale, but really enjoys the beautiful jewelery on display. Gary tells me he enjoys spending the night with his wife, but his main function is “trying to keep her spending in check.” Sounds like my dad.

Below: Milliner Beth Beverly stops by Erin Boyd and Maria Eife’s display. Maria Eife has the most unique jewelery; you can find her at booth 122.

Below: Steve Butler is the director of KYW news and programming, and Lauren Lipton is news editor and reporter at KYW. Lauren emceed the evening and announced the 2012 Craft Show Awards; $1,000 was given to eight craft artists recognizing their excellent work.

Below: British jeweler Eimear Conyard won the Best Guest Artist award. Here she is showing a lovely necklace to Jane Korman.

Below: Patrice Soares and Eric Kauffman. Patrice told me her favorite piece of the night was a one-of-a-kind pinball table with pin-up girls that would just complete her house. If you want to see that, or browse the beautiful items from 195 of the finest craft artists in the United States, the PMA Craft Show is open daily at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through Sunday.