Smiths: Arts & Skills Service

Saturday, May 29, 2010, 12:00 p.m.

War Memorial Veterans Building, Room 207401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister Street

"Here in San Francisco over fifteen hundred men a month are being sent out from our three military hospitals with a new weapon in their hands: a skill or craft with which to fight discouragement or boredom…" — Sophie Morris Kent on Arts & Skills, 1944

On the occasion of SFMOMA's anniversary exhibition 75 Years of Looking Forward, Allison Smith was commissioned to research and reenact self-selected episodes in the history of the museum's public programs. What began as an artist residency has evolved into a series of interactive installations, public conversations, hands-on workshops and other exchanges in which Smith brings Bay Area makers, veterans, art students, and art therapists together in dialogue through forms of making and doing.

In Arts & Skills Service, Smith enlists a volunteer corps of artists and craftspeople to teach hands-on workshops to military service members and veterans, in order to engage in the healing process through creative skill-shares. At this gathering, we will share the research, resources, ideas, and questions occasioned thus far by Smith's Arts & Skills Service, and we welcome your contributions and participation.

Things to Make and Do…
Blanket making - Allen Meyer, Ian Carter
Ceramic cups and sprig molds - Ehren Tool
Crochet - Erin Comparri, Rachel Myers
Digital video and blogs - Patrick Gillespie
Hand-sewn produce bags - Kate Ruddle
Interviewing and recording for radio - The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson, Nikki Silva)
Kintsugi ceramic repair - Brad Menninga, Zarouhie Abdalian
Knitting - Karin Fetherston
Mending on a treadle sewing machine - Michael Swaine
Millinery - Michelle Lewis-King
Natural dyes and scents - Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Shoko Yamamura
Origami - Lilah Beldner
Patchwork flags and collaborative quilt-making - Roderick Kiracofe, Angie Wilson, Laurel Shackelford
Pinups and poster art - Katy Chmura
Weaving - Robin Johnston
Woodcarving - Erich Richter
Woodworking - Martin Sweet
Wrap dolls - Rae Fleagle, Carrie Sinclair-Katz, Erendira Lopez, Michael Noble
Writing and wreath-making - Karen Van Dine


Allison Smith, artist
Suellen Semekoski, art therapist, National Veterans Art Museum
Plus artists, civilians, crafters, makers, reenactors, soldiers, and veterans
Justin Nash on piano and Chris Skebo on trumpet

Additional Info

Remarks by Allison Smith and Suellen Semekoski at noon and 6:00 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy Allison Smith