"Station Identification" is an exhibit that examines the way the medium of craft is viewed within the fine art world.
Craft is often viewed as primarily a hobbyist medium, divorced from critical thinking and even the realm of ideas.
To mitigate their lower status within the fine art world, craft artists are often advised to imitate trends in the fine arts, such as abstraction rather than figural representation; delegating the making of works to artisans; conceptualism, etc.
The Station Identification exhibit at Mesa Arts Center grouped these prejudices into four categories: the black-and-white, either/or mentality that hierarchizes artwork; the relegation of craft to the hobbyist realm; the "I think/direct-they make" separation; and the implication of, for lack of a better term, outright cheesiness.
Our collective downgrading of craft has lingual roots. According to etymologist the Rev. Walter Skeat, the term craft comes from the Teutonic term "crap", as in the sound made when striking a hard surface.
A view of the installation at Mesa Arts Center, 2010.
Installation view, Station Identification, Mesa Arts Center, 2010.