Craft Punk

New craft is a happening cultural sector these days, and it comes with an aura of DIY activism, hipster vibes, high art and pure politics. And how modern-day women crafters are choosing to express themselves through this challenging set of values is the worthy subject of Craftivism, tonight’s Feminism & Co. segment at MCA Denver. A formidable trio of presenters — Chicago artist/activist Frau Fiber, MCA exhibiting artist Allison Smith and members of Denver’s own Ladies Fancywork Society guerrilla yarn-bombing crew — will speak and lead separate workshops and discussions.

“We were interested in finding someone to represent the useful style that you see in contemporary art in fiber,” says Feminism & Co. co-director Elissa Auther. The LFS women, she adds, “have a sort of street-based, casual, sloppy craft aesthetic that we are looking to embrace with them, and they’re also attempting to intervene in public space in an interesting way, with feminized materials. Frau Fiber works on globalization and sweatshop labor — she does performances that focus on the politics of labor, using craft to reveal the issues of exploitation, outsourcing and so on that we, as Americans, don’t really see or understand as consumers. And Allison represents the art side of it.”

After a brief talk on the feminist craft revival of the 1970s, learn how to create a tag with the LFS, explore the politics of mending with Frau Fiber, or join Smith in an ongoing rug-making project in her MCA installation tonight at 6 p.m. at the museum, 1485 Delgany Street. Admission to Craftivism is $17 ($12 for MCA members); access www.mcadenver.org or call 303-298-7554 for information. Frau Fiber gets crafty in a Q&A at showandtelldenver.com.
Tue., April 19, 6 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd