2010 Jury Announced.

The applications have all rolled in and are already being collated into nice, neat jury-ready formats. As the 2010 jury will be convening in the next week, this seems as good a time as any to demystify the jury process used by City of Craft.

Every year, the three City of Craft founders (Becky Johnson, Leah Buckareff & Jen Anisef) are joined by two invited guests from the greater Toronto craft community. These guests are selected for both their kinships to City of Craft and its mandates and for their aesthetic and/or professional differences from us. They are usually picked from slightly distant corners of the local art/craft world. Past jurors have included people involved in craft-based installation, retail, curation and creation.

This year, we are very excited to introduce you to our 2010 guests, Janna Hiemstra and Arounna Khounnoraj. Read on to find out more about them and your trusty City of Craft founders.

(Arounna & Janna, in that order)

Arounna Khounnoraj received her art education from The Ontario College of Art, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from University of Waterloo. She has received numerous awards from The Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and The Ontario Craft Council. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows across North America and Europe. Her work is in public and private collections. She currently resides in Toronto and runs her design business bookhou with her husband John and their children Lliam and Piper.

Janna Hiemstra is working on her third year with the Ontario Crafts Council, and is currently serving as Programs Manager where, among other things, she works on keeping the Gallery, CraftTalks lectures, and grant writing on track. With a background in philosophy and a passion for actually doing things with her hands, Janna enjoys making stuff...and then thinking about it.

And some background on the oldies but goodies:

Becky Johnson is currently at the helm of the City of Craft ship. She also runs her own multi-faceted craft business, the sweetie pie press, out of her Parkdale studio/office/home - which focuses on illustration, crochet and 1" pinback buttons. Her work has appeared in hundreds of independent boutiques worldwide as well as swelling into large-scale button and crochet art and installations. For the 2010 show, she is doing piles of administration, drinking tea and curating the interactive midway.

Leah Buckareff was a lonesome Bookbinder in Toronto until she saw how one handcraft could easily turn into crafted life. Seeing the growing need for community - while also craving it herself, she decided to found a Toronto chapter of the Church of Craft in 2003. It was in this community that she met two awesome ladies and together with them founded City of Craft. Recently transplanted to Berlin, Germany for the music she creates and performs with her partner, she is now a Citizen-at-Large with big plans for trans-Atlantic craft collaborations. In September, Leah will be opening a rotating exhibition in Berlin called The Wunderkabinet.

Jen Anisef co-founded the Montreal Chapter of Church of Craft and wrote a Master's thesis exploring themes of community-building and political activism in contemporary craft culture. Upon moving back to Toronto, she founded Toronto Craft Alert, an online resource and community hub championing Toronto area craft activity, and later co-founded City of Craft. Through TCA she has collaborated with multiple organizations to present craft related programming such as "DIwhy?" at the Ontario Crafts Council in 2009. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Outdoor Arts Show and is curating an exhibition on mending for City of Craft 2010.

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