Smithsonian Craft Show at National Building Museum
The Smithsonian Craft Show is back in person and looking to the future—literally. This year’s show, FUTURE FOCUS, is dedicated to highlighting artisans shaping the future of fine American craft. The event, which will be the first in-person craft show since 2019 (and the 40th anniversary of the show), will take place at the National Building Museum. Following in the footsteps of last year’s theme of Craft Optimism, the thread of sustainability runs through the works on display in 2022. Whether it’s through furniture crafted from repurposed steel or jewelry from found items, the featured artists explore new directions in design, production, and materials, and embrace sustainable practices while doing so. The show will feature over 120 artists who work in all kinds of media: basketry, ceramics, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, paper, and wood, among others. “When I see these things, I think of them as beautiful things and something that gives me an opportunity to learn and begin to appreciate,” Craft Show co-chair Wynne Teel told City Paper. Although the products—which are for sale at the show—are often aesthetically pleasing, Teel emphasized that many of the handmade items are fully functional. “I want people to understand that they shouldn’t just think of it as decorative,” Teel said. “It’s also… like things you use: plates, spoons, lamps, glass plates. Things that people actually use on a day-to-day basis. It’s not just like going to a museum.” The Smithsonian Craft Show runs from April 21–24 with a preview night on April 20 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. smithsoniancraftshow.org. $20–$500.