Symposium on arts, crafts to host international artists

By Thomas Owens

NIU students interested in learning more about the world of arts and crafts will have an opportunity to attend a discussion about it today.

NIU will be hosting a symposium on “The Status of Contemporary Crafts.” The symposium will be at 8:30 p.m. in the Art Building, Jack Arends Hall, room 100.

Speaking at the symposium are three internationally known artists, Syd Carpenter, Lia Cook and Johannes Kuhnen.

They will be discussing the current state of their art within the context of late 20th century art.

Syd Carpenter is a clay artist from Philadelphia and a faculty member at Swarthmore College.

Lia Cook is a fiber artist from the San Francisco area and a faculty member at the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Johannes Kuhnen is an Australian hollow ware artist.

Jerry Meyer, assistant chair of the art department, said, “This symposium is in conjunction with the ‘Fifty Years of American Craft‘ and ‘Tradition+Transition: Fiber Symposium‘ taking place in Chicago, Oct. 8-10.”

These conferences tie in the status of contemporary crafts such as metal working, clay and fiber. The discussions are an international event which will examine the history of arts and crafts and what the future trends are within the media.

“This syposium is dealing with the trend of the blurring lines between traditional arts and crafts and fine arts and crafts,” Meyer said.

The artists have exhibited their work extensively. NIU is currently sponsoring Kuhnen’s art exhibit in downtown Chicago.

The exhibit started Sept. 10 and is running until the end of this week. The show deals with the status of contemporary Australian hollow ware.

The symposium is free. It has been organized by the NIU School of Art Visiting Artists/Scholars Program.

Meyer said the discussion is open to the public and interested students are welcome to attend.

For more information on the symposium call 753-7854.