Crafting Connections: Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith and Sehar Peerzada on Art, Community, and Creativity

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith is the Senior Director of Programs and Partnerships for the American Craft Council. With over 27 years of experience in the craft world, Gwynne has a deep understanding of the industry and a passion for supporting craft artists. She is dedicated to creating programs that provide meaningful value to artists and foster connections within the craft community.

Patricia Sehar Peerzada is a fiber artist, clothing designer, and general creative. Influenced by traditional sources in Africa, Asia, Native American culture, and Europe, Sehar creates clothing that is unique and reflects her own personal style. She has been participating in the American Craft Council's Emerging Artist program and is excited to showcase her work at the upcoming craft marketplace.

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, the Senior Director of Programs and Partnerships for the American Craft Council, and Sehar Peerzada, a local artist participating in the Emerging Artist program, join host Rob Lee to discuss their experiences with art and craft. Gwynne shares her first memory of creating art in kindergarten and how it led to her career in the craft world. Sehar talks about growing up in a family of artists and how her love for creating clothing developed from a young age.

They also discuss the American Craft Council's Emerging Artist program, which provides a platform for early-career artists to showcase their work at craft marketplaces. The program offers subsidized booth costs and professional development training to support emerging artists in their craft careers. Gwynne and Sehar both express their excitement for the upcoming craft marketplace and the opportunity to connect with other artists and art enthusiasts.

American Craft Made Marketplace Returns to Baltimore
American Craft Council to bring 350 contemporary craft artists together March 3-5, 2023
The American Craft Council (ACC), a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting craft and its artists, is bringing its in-person flagship event to the Baltimore Convention Center March 3-5, 2023. The three-day American Craft Made marketplace is a celebration of all things handmade featuring a juried selection of artists from across the country working in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, glass, jewelry, clothing, furniture, and basketry. 
With 350 contemporary craft artists selected following an application and jury process, the 2023 event will allow collectors, supporters and enthusiasts of design, craft, and art to discover and shop the best quality craft in the country. This year’s marketplace will once again feature the Emerging Artist Program, an initiative that provides a pathway for early-career artists into ACC’s established craft marketplaces. With lower-cost booths, extensive exhibitor support, and marketplace award opportunities, this program gives emerging artists an unparalleled opportunity to grow their clientele and careers. The event will also include ACC’s School-to-Market program which bridges the gap between higher educational curriculum in craft and the marketplace by providing undergraduate and graduate students a public venue for a curated, collective exhibition of their work.  

In this installment, we:

  • Join us on a captivating podcast episode as we delve into the American Craft Council's impactful Emerging Artist program, unraveling how it serves as a pivotal platform for budding artisans to exhibit their creations at esteemed craft marketplaces.
  • In this enlightening episode, explore the multifaceted support provided by the program, where we dissect the subsidized booth costs and invaluable professional development training aimed at nurturing the growth of emerging artists.
  • Embark on a journey of cultural fusion in this podcast episode, where we explore Sehar Peerzada's clothing designs that intricately interweave influences from Africa, Asia, Native American heritage, and Europe, creating a vibrant tapestry of traditions.
  • Tune in for an inspiring discussion that peers into the dedication of Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, as we uncover her passion for crafting programs that not only offer tangible value to craft artists but also cultivate a tightly-knit community of creatives within the craft world.

Join me in welcoming Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith and Sehar Peerzada from the American Craft Council as we dive into the world of art and craft! Discover their inspiring stories and learn about the upcoming Craft Made Marketplace. Don't miss out on this incredible event! #AmericanCraftCouncil #CraftMadeMarketplace

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This program is supported (in part) by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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Original music by Daniel Alexis Music with additional music from Chipzard.

Episode illustration by Alley Kid Art.

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"The Truth In This Art," hosted by Rob Lee, is a podcast that explores the essence of creativity and its community impact, amplifying artists' voices and their profound stories.

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Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
American Craft Council
American Craft Council
ACC is a national nonprofit working to keep craft artists and the community connected, inspired, and thriving.
Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith
Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith
a widely respected member of the national craft community
Patricia Sehar Peerzada
Patricia Sehar Peerzada
creates clothing influenced by traditional sources in Africa, Asia, Native America, and Europe
Crafting Connections: Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith and Sehar Peerzada on Art, Community, and Creativity
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