Apr 02, 2014 Essay Courtesy of the author and the Brooklyn Rail
Namita Gupta Wiggers
Namita Gupta Wiggers is a writer, curator, and educator based in Portland, OR. She is the Director and Co-Founder of Critical Craft Forum, an on-line and on-site platform for exchange (Facebook group, @critcraftforum, www.criticalcraftforum.com). She teaches in M.F.A. Applied Craft + Design, a joint program of Oregon College of Art + Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art. Wiggers served as the Director and Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft from 2004-14, where she curated over 65 exhibitions, doubled the collection holdings, revitalized the Gallery Store, and documented craft history through commissioned writing published in print and online. She contributes regularly to online and in-print journals and books, and serves as the Exhibition Reviews Editor, The Journal of Modern Craft and Editorial Board, Garland, a forthcoming publication from Australia. Her publications include: Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Museum of Contemporary Craft, 2008), Ken Shores: Clay Has the Last Word (Museum of Contemporary Craft, 2010), and Generations: Betty Feves (Museum of Contemporary Craft, 2012); essays in Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective (Lark Books, 2013), Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, 2010), Shows and Tales: On Jewelry Exhibition-Making (Art Jewelry Forum, 2015), and the forthcoming Ceramics in the Expanded Field (2016). Recent publications include editing a special issue, “Dimensions: Expanded Measures of Textiles” for Art Practical (2015). She is currently editing an anthology of writing on contemporary craft since 2000 for Wiley Blackwell Publishers. Wiggers lectures, conducts crits, workshops and seminars at institutions across the country, including: Bard College, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, California College of the Arts, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Indiana University, Oregon College of Art + Craft, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Tennessee Tech University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Western Carolina University, University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, and University of Texas, El Paso. Selected lectures include: Studio Art Quilt Associates National Conference (2015); Surface Design Association Conference (2015); Booker-Lowe Lecture, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2014); Distinguished Lecture, National Council on the Ceramic Arts (2013), and the keynote at zimmerhoff, Germany (2012). Selected jury projects include: the GICBiennale 2015, Icheon, Korea and the European Ceramic Context, Bornholm, Denmark in 2014. Current and recent projects include: State of Oregon Craft with Nicole Nathan, Museum of Contemporary Craft; Across the Table, Across the Land with Michael Strand and in collaboration with NCECA's 50th Anniversary in 2016; a textile-focused exhibition at the Wing Luke Museum of Asian American Experience, Seattle; and a Maker Space project at the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science, Miami, FL. Wiggers serves on the Board of Directors of the American Craft Council and The Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design.
- Born: Ohio, USA
- Based: Portland, OR, USA