2015 Piccolo Spoleto Crafts Show Emerging Artist Grant Recipients Announced in Charleston, SC

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Fine Craft Shows Charleston is pleased to announce the two exhibiting artists awarded Emerging Artist Grants for the 2015 shows. This is the first year in the 36-year history of the events that such grants have been awarded. These events have always been superior venues for talented, skilled craft artists to enter the professional show arena. The feedback from show patrons and other artists is always helpful in making artistic career choices.

These grants are awarded to artists new to the show/exhibit arena in a professional capacity within the past two years. Each grant is equivalent to the artists’ booth fees for their featured weekend. In addition, each artist will be featured in press releases and show promotional materials. The Applicants are juried by a professional group of slide jurors. Awardees are selected based on eligibility, juror panel scores, and outstanding artistic ability.  These events are a part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival held annually in Charleston, South Carolina.

This year, the recipients are

May 22-24 show:  Melina LaVecchia, Clay Artist from Boone, North Carolina

and

May 29 – 31 show: Jan Barco, Leather Artist, from Virginia Beach, Virginia

Melina LaVecchia earned a BFA in Art Education from Appalachian State University in 2014, with a concentration in ceramics and drawing. Growing up in an Italian family, Melina gained inspiration from her mother’s table settings and her father’s attention to culinary detail. After studying the American Craft movement from the 1950’s, LaVecchia knew she wanted to reclaim the ”American Dream” by designing and producing her own tableware. From hand-throwing each piece, to carefully designing and illustrating, to setting the table, LaVecchia wants her work to curate a relationship between the food, the tableware and the people breaking bread.

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Photo courtesy of Melina LaVecchia

Jan Barco says, “Leather is one of the greatest materials known to man. Its uses are unlimited. An ancient canvas, its feel, smell, touch excites me. I lose myself. First I cut 10 to 12 ounce saddle skirting into the shape I want. Then carve piece with a swivel knife and tool when flat. I apply dies and burnish. Soak piece in water and mold it. As it dries fabric is shaped. Final product is burnished. Each process adds a new dimension. I dream leather.”

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Photo courtesy of Jan Barco

For additional information, please contact Fine Craft Shows Charleston by e-mail at (piccolo@finecraftshowscharleston.com).

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