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Exemplary Art, Exemplary Effort – Artisna

Artistic Progress in Progress

Craft artists who excel at their skills and knowledge are doing all they can to progress in this discipline and they deserve to be appreciated for their hard work. Numerous handicrafts can be found today and the rising awareness about such produce is causing a surge in international markets. People are inclined to possess such beautiful, intricately detailed and high quality handmade goods that have an innate uniqueness in every stitch and loop. We see appreciation and adulation flowing not only from the artistic communities but the regular shopper as well. The consumer is getting more and more conscious about what they invest in and handmade goods present a great alternative to mass produced items that are identical to one another in every aspect.

Recognizing Their Art

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Many states, nations and tribal governments are working towards promoting this industry and establishing artisans as a working and productive workforce of the economy. Artists can be active in forwarding national growth and make a living by doing what they love doing the most; by creating articles of great beauty. If we go by a similar effort to uplift the artisan community, then in Michigan, the state art’s program designated MSU Museum’s Michigan Traditional Arts Program is designed to coordinate the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program. The program, in existence since 1988, has awarded grants totaling $320,000 to 160 master/apprenticeship teams of which approximately 50 percent have been to support craft—jewelers, lace-makers, rug weavers and braiders, boat builders, instrument makers, quilt-makers, decoy carvers, and more.

The Ongoing Attempt

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Many museums, historical societies, community centers, and other local organizations offer workshops and classes in traditional crafts, either as ongoing programs or associated with special exhibitions. Some school programs actively bring traditional craftspeople into the classroom for demonstrations and sometimes sustained residencies. It is time that we all came together and contributed to making the lives of the artistically inclined easier. We are here to ensure that handicraft makers around the world get proper guidance, support and platform that enable them to make the most of their talent. So be it a quilt-maker, rag and rug maker, basket knitter, wood-ware maker, potter, ceramic artist or even a wrought iron molder; all can benefit from the programs that Artisna facilitates.

Lily Evans

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