Portland as Design Incubator

Our very own Director Namita Gupta Wiggers joins the ranks of Portland Kate Bingaman Burt (Portland State University), Aaron James Draplin (Draplin Design Company), Eric Hillerns (Designspeaks/Straight Six), Duane King (Huge/KingCoyle), and Tsilli Pines (Creative Mornings/Portland) in the Design Week Portland video. She characterizes Portland as “a city that’s rethinking who we are which gives the opportunity anybody who is thinking through design to be able to act in a really really positive way.”

Design Week Portland from Design Week Portland on Vimeo.

See what else Namita has to say about Portland’s role in design and making.

Posted on 10/01 at 06:22 PM

Gronborg Symposium

Join us at the Museum of Contemporary Craft to welcome ceramic artist Erik Gronborg for a day-long symposium in conjunction with his retrospective, Reflecting on Erik Gronborg, on view through February 16, 2013. In addition to the artist himself, the Museum will host the exhibition’s co-curator, Seattle-based artist Jeffry Mitchell; ceramicist, scholar, creator of the blog Extreme Craft, and guest curator at MoCC (Era Messages), Garth Johnson; and a public walk-through of the exhibition with Portland collector and ceramics enthusiast, Ron Werner. This event is an opportunity to participate in a full-day of dialogue with one of America’s preeminent ceramic artists whose provocative “crafty” approach pioneered and continues to challenge notions of “sloppy craft” as they exist today.

Schedule of events
Saturday, October 20:
9:30 am: Arrival and check-in
9:45 am: Namita Wiggers, Welcome
10 am: Garth Johnson, Introductory Presentation: “Erik Gronborg: Materiality goes POP,” followed by Q/A
11 am: Erik Gronborg, Keynote, followed by Q/A
12 noon: Lunch, (suggested eating places will be provided)
1:30 pm: Jeffry Mitchell and Erik Gronborg in dialogue
2:30 pm: Ron Werner leads a walk-through of the exhibition, Reflecting on Erik Gronborg

All events are ticketed with the exception of the 2:30 walk-through, which is free and open to the public.

$25 for the day-long symposium; $15 for Members and Students with ID

Register for the symposium here. Seating is limited.

For additional information, direct queries to Sarah Margolis-Pineo, associate curator: smargolis-pineo@museumofcontemporarycraft.org

Posted on 09/28 at 05:59 PM

CraftPerspectives Lecture

Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, lectures on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:30 pm in the Lab. This lecture coincides with the exhibition Design with the Other 90%: CITIES which Smith curated for the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

Design with the Other 90%: CITIES is currently on view at both Museum of Contemporary Craft and Mercy Corps Action Center through January 5, 2013. The exhibition explores design solutions to the challenges created by rapid urban growth in informal settlements, commonly referred to as slums.

Smith provides a global overview of the design, thinking, approach, and frontiers of invention aimed at serving the urban poor in connection with the exhibition. After curating the first exhibition of the Cooper-Hewitt’s series on humanitarian design in 2007, Smith spent a year of field research in 15 different cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, focusing on successful design solutions to rapidly expanding, informal urban settlements. For her CraftPerspectives lecture, Smith will take the audience behind-the-scenes on this groundbreaking exhibition series.

To learn more about CITIES visit designother90.org/cities

Posted on 09/18 at 06:27 PM

Namita in Asian Reporter

In a piece called “The Constancy of Change: Namita Gupta Wiggers appointed director and chief curator at MoCC,” the Asian Reporter profiles Wiggers new role in the development and growth of the Museum.

It chronicles Wiggers rise from curator to director and traces her roots of involvement with museums back to a trip to Cincinnati Art Museum when she was six years old.

Read the full article on the Asian Reporter website.

In looking to the future of MoCC, Wiggers comments that “right now, we have an opportunity to redefine the role of the museum in the next century.”

Posted on 09/17 at 11:13 AM

Honoring Bill Moggridge

The Museum of Contemporary Craft honors Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, who passed away at the age of 69, following a battle with cancer.

Moggridge lived a life dedicated to the practice of design. His impact ripples into the lives of the every person, from the personal to the national. He designed the first laptop computer and leading the Cooper-Hewitt as director into the finish of its largest capital improvement. His legacy is felt here in Portland, where Design With the Other 90%: CITIES, currently on view from the Cooper-Hewitt, examines humanitarian design.

Moogridge served as the Cooper-Hewitt’s fourth director (2010-2012) establishing the Museum as the preeminent design resource for the nation. He is known for heralding design into the everyday pockets of everyday living. Of design, he says, “few people think about it or are aware of it. But there is nothing made by human beings that does not involve a design decision somewhere.”

Moggridge is known for heralding design into the pockets of everyday living. Of design, he says, “[f]ew people think about it or are aware of it. But there is nothing made by human beings that does not involve a design decision somewhere. One of his colleagues Tim Brown said that Bill Moggridge “approached every technology with a lovely naivete… He was never interested in technology for technology’s sake but only in what ti could do to help people have more interesting lives.”

Posted on 09/10 at 05:02 PM

Oregonian Review

John Motley of The Oregonian picked Design With the Other 90%: CITIES as a notable show in September, as well as wrote a glowing review of Reflecting on Erik Gronborg: Selections by Jeffry Mitchell, in which he says the show is “a compelling argument for the artist’s pioneering role in the movement that would become “sloppy craft,” while continuing the Museum’s dedication to re-examining under-recognized and overdue artists in the region, from Feves to Gronborg.” Motley goes on to say Gronborg’s “ceramic creations forcefully seize the viewer with their intense, radiant colors and busy patterns.”

Read the full review here.

Posted on 09/07 at 06:00 PM

Gronborg Multimedia

In Reflecting on Erik Gronborg: Selections by Jeffry Mitchell, Namita Gupta Wiggers worked with Seattle-based artist Jeffry Mitchell to draw selections of Gronborg’s work from local public and private collections. Listen to an audio walkthrough of the Gronborg exhibition in which they provide commentary behind the exploration of ceramics as a contemporary medium.

Visit the Museum’s multimedia library to hear this in-depth conversation.

Posted on 09/04 at 05:52 PM

September Gallery Feature


SEPTEMBER 5 – 30, 2012

Wednesday September 5, 2012 6pm – 8pm

Wednesday September 5, 2012 6:30pm

Join us in the next of our series of First Wednesdays, special events for the Museum of Contemporary Craft community and patrons of The Gallery. These intimate receptions give you the chance to meet our monthly featured artists and get the very first look at their latest work. We’ll have complimentary wine and refreshments on hand, so be sure to stop in and say hello.


Artist Ellen Wishnetzky is September’s featured artist in The Gallery. 
Ellen Wishnetzky transforms an arsenal of organic materials through dynamic processes, resulting in sculptures which recall objects that haunt the periphery of a memory: a long-forgotten book, unfolded rugs, or half-constructed vessels.  Her materials are hard and soft, strong and vulnerable – from oxidized metal, steel, and aluminum to cocoons, tulle, silk yarn, Japanese paper and recycled felt. The resulting works are constructed with materials altered by the passage of time, mixed with diaphanous, pliant and inherently fragile elements – all of which Wishnetzky deliberately cuts, tears, bends, and reconfigures. Despite the range of materials, her forms summon a neutral palette that call attention to the subtlety of hue unified with attention to edges, layers, and repetition. Here, repetitive processes transform organic materials into evocative sculptures, reminding us of the physical labor involved in making new objects that speak of the paradoxes of opposition and unification in a single sculpture.

Please visit Ellen Wishnetzky‘s website to learn more.

Posted on 08/29 at 04:31 PM

Photos: Members’ Preview

If you missed the Members’ Preview, check out the photos on the Museum’s Flickr page. See the bustling, supportive Museum community at its best.

View the slideshow here.

Design with the Other 90%: CITIES
August 17, 2012 – January 05, 2013

Design with the Other 90%: CITIES is the second in a series of exhibitions organized by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum that demonstrate how design can be a dynamic force in transforming and, in many cases, saving lives.

Organized by Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt and co-hosted with Mercy Corps

Reflecting on Erik Gronborg: Selections by Jeffry Mitchell
August 17, 2012 – January 05, 2013
Erik Gronborg employs archetypes of functional ceramic traditions as conceptual vehicles to explore contemporary culture.

Posted on 08/23 at 10:20 AM

New Board Members

Museum of Contemporary Craft is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors, Randy Higgins and Dr. Joseph Bloom. Higgins is Creative Director of 3D design at Vizwerks and the new head of Entrepreneurial Studies for the MFA in Applied Craft and Design, a graduate degree offered jointly by Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and Oregon College of Art and Craft. Bloom is Dean and Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Sciences University. He brings to the Museum decades of board and non-profit experience as well as academic experience.

Posted on 08/15 at 11:20 AM

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