Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is a not-for-profit membership based organisation that supports artists, craft practitioners, designers and makers. As well as a retail space, they also manage exhibitions, events and a membership program and collaborate with arts organisations, educational institutions and national cultural institutions, and industry. Other than the Artist-in-Residence programme and international speakers at the annual DESIGN Canberra festival, Craft ACT tends to focus on supporting local artists as they are a regionally focussed membership organisation.
Since 2006 Craft ACT and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service have offered a residency for artists that explores nature and the contemporary world through a craft practice. Based at Namadgi Gudgenby, the residency culminates in an exhibition at Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre in Canberra. The national and international residents have access to national cultural, tertiary and research institutions, collections, curators and researchers. The art forms have ranged from textiles, wood and weaving to engraving and sculpture. Part of the aim of the Artist-in-Residence programme is to reconnect with nature.
Craft ACT is a pivotal player in Canberra's visual and contemporary craft and art landscape, collaborating regularly with other arts and cultural organisations including Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra Glassworks, Australian National University School of Art, Canberra Potters Society, Tuggeranong Arts Centre, ACT guilds, the National Gallery of Australia, and the National Portrait Gallery and many others. Craft ACT is part of the network of Australian Craft Design Centres (ACDC), a national strategic and advocacy body, and is positioned to promote the activities of its members and local artists to national and international audiences. Through these links and beyond to other organisations and institutions across Australia, Craft ACT provides opportunities that allow artists and designers to establish and maintain successful professional practices in the Canberra region.
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is a long serving community organisation that has provided great support for, and development of, contemporary craft and design in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). It is part of Canberra's social framework that has flourished in tandem with its capital responsibilities, but which is here to support the living city of Canberra - the people who grow, work and live their lives in Canberra.
Canberra's federal duty has created a dynamic group of purpose-built national cultural collections. Canberra as a capital has matured; it stands to reason that the city of Canberra would also reach a point of self reflection and autonomy. Pulsating beneath Australia's historic cultural and political cathedrals is a bedrock of local arts and broad community participation and enjoyment with the arts. Craft ACT plays an important part in this unique context, and today Craft ACT is respected local venue that works hard to promote, present, and provide the arts to the people of Canberra, and importantly, for the artists themselves.