Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Los Angeles, CA – CRAFT IN AMERICA, the Emmy nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary series dedicated to exploring America’s rich craft history will premiere its fourth season with Craft in America: Threads on PBS Friday, May 11, 2012 at 9pm (check local listings).
Craft in America: Threads explores work by Faith Ringgold, Randall Darwall, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, and Terese Agnew – nationally acclaimed fiber artists who through story-quilts, fiber collages and woven textiles go beyond pure technique.
Faith Ringgold’s bold colors and forms express her strongly held, loudly expressed credo “Anyone Can Fly”. From a family of quilters she developed her craft, and even though a painter, author, teacher and feminist organizer, she is best known for her painted story quilts which regale us with rich and determined stories of African-American life. In her New Jersey studio, she discusses her own life and process while working on a quilt of President Obama. Then we take a trip through her beloved New York City to Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School where she inspires a new generation, and to the Guggenheim Museum to see the famous Tar Beach quilt.
The clear light and bold sunsets on the Cape Cod beach inspire premiere colorist/weaver Randall Darwall’s sophisticated fabrics, which affect our intellect and emotions through visual rhythms and sensuous tactility. Darwall and life-partner of 25 years, Brian Murphy create a panoply of colors that fill their studio and dye pots – "Why use five colors when fifty will do nicely?" they ask as they joyously produce their unique and beautifully crafted scarves, shawls, quilts and garments.
For Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, life began in the green fields of California’s Central Valley as a child laborer. Artistic expression was deeply tied to traditional Huichol weaving, a heritage she incorporates into her large mixed media textiles. For her, it is the thread that links the past to the present. Borders and barriers are the vocabulary she uses to describe and celebrate the lives of migrant workers and indigenous people who are marginalized and downtrodden.
All of Terese Agnew ‘s quilts are stories drawn from real life. Fueled by environmental and labor rights concerns, Agnew paints and sews painstakingly detailed quilts in her Wisconsin studio. Agnew’s important Portrait of a Textile Worker, pieced together from more than 30,000 clothing labels mailed to her from all corners of the world, underscores the abusive conditions endured by disenfranchised workers who make our clothing in countries we rarely think about. Her story is one of an artist intent on raising consciousness.
Additional images of all the artists’ work are available at:
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Please contact for art and interviews:
Carol Sauvion, Executive Producer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly Feldman, Press: email@example.com
*check local listings
Throughout history, man has sought ways to craft a domestic environment that is warm, comforting, and redolent of meaning and memories. Through interviews with nationally acclaimed artists working at the forefront of their media, artists devoting their lives and pushing boundaries of technique in the pursuit of their art, Threads looks at ways in which the needle arts have evolved from the functional to the meaningful.
The Craft in America series is the result of years of advocacy, research and filmmaking by Executive Producer Carol Sauvion. “Craft is once again proving its relevance as people return to the handmade,” says Sauvion.
Special advance screenings will be held in venues nationwide. Ancillary projects include museum exhibitions, the Random House book Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects, hours of online videos and interactive learning materials, and a free-to-the-public Craft in America Study Center located in Los Angeles, offering artist talks, exhibitions, workshops and a library of publications on the history and techniques of craft.
For more about Craft in America:
view our past shows: