The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design Invites Audience Participation with New, Experimental Artist Series

Tanya Aguiñiga,  Community Felt-In , 2014. Photo by  Jim Newberry , courtesy of the artist.
ASHEVILLE, NC, March 23, 2015 - The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) is pleased to announce  Back to the Drawing Board , a new program series that provides six artists the opportunity to "take-over" CCCD's Benchspace Gallery & Workshop for a 24-hour period. Collaborators invited and juried from across the United States will produce installations, performances, and other experimental activities that invite the audience to participate in the creation of a final work of art.


Back to the Drawing Board seeks to make the invisible creative process visible by providing a venue for experimentation, collaboration, failure, and innovation. "Craft extends beyond what may be placed on a pedestal," program curator and CCCD Assistant Director Marilyn Zapf states, "Back to the Drawing Board is designed to allow the viewer access to the often tumultuous creative process."


Using media such as ceramics, glass, textiles, and book arts, the selected artists push the boundaries of what is or is not considered craft. The focus of these six projects ranges from environmental change and immigration to community empowerment and questioning domestic etiquette.


The first project will be led by Los Angeles based designer and artist Tanya Aguiñiga. Performance Crafting: Hand in Hand will be the fourth craft based performance in an ongoing series where Aguiñiga deconstructs her own making process and ideas and applies them to public based explorations. During Hand in Hand, visitors will learn the wet felting techniques best known in Aguiñiga's furniture and product design, and apply it directly to bodies, experiencing the materiality of wool and creating a communal experience of making.


Visitors will be invited to felt one another's arms by lightly massaging wool continuously around the hand and forearm area in order to build up a thick layer of wool. Once removed from the body, these hollow forms will be displayed in the gallery, marking the collective action of making through care for one another. The project aims to connect community members, teach new skills, engage visitors in the making of exhibited art, satisfy the need for human contact, while exposing individuals to contemporary craft.



Back to the Drawing Board will consist of a series of four events beginning in April and culminating in August with a special event, featuring three artists simultaneously working in the gallery.


Each project will begin with a public reception from 6 - 9 pm Friday evening and continue from 10 am - 6 pm Saturday.


April 3-4, Hand in Hand, Tanya Aguiñiga (Los Angeles, CA)


May 1-2, In Song Sing On: The Songbook Project, David Wilson (Oakland, CA)


May 29-30, Blue Mountain, Mark Reigelman (Brooklyn, New York)


August 28-29,            Material Iterations, Jennifer Bueno (Penland, North Carolina)

Immigrant Citizenship Takeover, Aram Han (Chicago, IL)

Domensterventions: Inventions for Domestic Interventions, Cheyenne Rudolph (Gainesville, FL)


All events will be held at CCCD's Benchspace Gallery & Workshop, 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC and are free and open to the public. For more information, call 828-785-1357 or visit


This program was made possible by the John & Robyn Horn Foundation and receives media sponsorship from Industrious Productions.

Established in 1996, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) is a national nonprofit organization that advances the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research, critical dialogue, and professional development in the United States. CCCD raises funds for programs and outreach to international, national, and regional artists, craft organizations, universities/colleges, and the community. Each year, CCCD administers over a quarter million dollars in grants to those working in the craft field. At the end of January 2014, CCCD relocated to Asheville, NC, and opened
Benchspace, a public gallery and workshop for investigating contemporary practices of making in the shifting creative landscape of the 21st century. 



Tanya Aguiñiga (b. 1978) is a Los Angeles based designer and artist who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design. She created various collaborative installations with the Border Art Workshop, an artists' group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. She founded the group, Artists Helping Artisans, through which she helps spread knowledge of craft by collaborating with traditional artisans. Her work has been exhibited from Mexico City to Milan. She is a United States Artists Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts, a GOOD 100 2013 Recipient and has been the subject of a cover article for American Craft Magazine and included in PBS's Craft in America Series.

PRESS IMAGES  (contact for hi-res images)



Tanya Aguiñiga,  Community Felt-In , 2014. Photo by  Jim Newberry , courtesy of the artist.


Tanya Aguiñiga,  Community Felt-In , 2014. Photo by  Jim Newberry , courtesy of the artist.



David Wilson,  Arrivals , 2013. Photo by Dominic Santos, courtesy of   SFMOMA .




Jennifer Bueno,  Air Pollution Over China , 2014, wood, watercolor, hot sculpted glass with copper inclusion, 8' x 5' x 7". Photo by Steve Mann, courtesy of the artist.


Lauren Pelletier
Marketing and Development Coordinator
(828)785-1357 x103