Next Saturday is the Craft Alliance Annual Makers Ball, which celebrates the artistry of makers and crafts at the annual fundraising gala. The fundraiser supports the exhibitions and community education programs at Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design. I had the pleasure of attending last year and it was a wonderful chance to connect with the organization’s artists in residence. I was inspired by how these artists work with local youth to foster interest in a lifelong passion for the arts. It is truly moving to see how students find purpose through mentorship from these dedicated artists.
To get you thinking about what to wear to the ball, I’m putting a colorful foot forward in this vibrant floral dress, perfect for the spring gala season.
I’ve paired the dress with a sparkling pair of handmade pyrite earrings by Missouri designer Lily Dawson. I have worn these earrings time and time again and they never fail to attract compliments. If you’re planning to attend the Makers Ball this year, be sure to showcase your favorite pieces by local artisans. It’s a great way to honor the Craft Alliance and its mission.
Last week I had the opportunity to get an in depth look at how Craft Alliance benefits the community and why the Makers Ball is so important. Jillian (blogger at Stilettos on Sunday Morning) and I spoke with Megan Singleton, Artist-in-residence and Michael Powell, Marketing Manager of Craft Alliance to get the 411.
Megan is an expert in making paper by hand from locally sourced plants. She is inspired by the natural world, especially aquatic ecologies, and explores how plants and bodies of water interact with landscape.
Megan collects nearby plants and through an age-old process, transforms the plants into paper. One such plant she uses is the yucca plant, found in rural areas and city blocks in Missouri. Through the medium of paper, she reinterprets plant forms into whimsical sculptures, wall installations and even wearable art. She also makes paper for writing and drawing.
The theme that runs through her work is transformation. By making paper with her students, they get a chance to see this transformation at work and how it may parallel their own lives. For Megan, teaching is rewarding because she gets to see the excitement of the students. Young adults really appreciate the experience. According to her colleague Michael Powell, Craft Alliance allows students to be competitive for college. The Center assists with planning in terms of more than just choosing an art school, but also with the real life logistics of considering a school. The program can help those students who never considered a future in the arts with planning those crucial college years.
“Paper is beautiful and seductive and draws you in. I’m trying to create a conversation outside of its beauty,” says Megan. Craft Alliance has given Megan the opportunity to build bridges with art enthusiasts, students, local galleries and the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis.
If you would like to attend the Makers Ball this year, purchase tickets here. Also, enjoy great benefits by becoming a member of Craft Alliance! From classes and camps to exhibition and community programs, your support will play in a vital role in the organization. For more information, please visit this page. And to support this organization, make a donation here.