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If asked where I grew up, I say “Upstate, Central New York,” hoping to convey a landscape of farms dotted with yellow marigolds rather than yellow taxis. Growing up in this rural area meant that during the summer months, every other Thursday, a bookmobile would pull into the parking lot of my elementary school. I would climb up 3 steps to enter the bookmobile, eagerly select books, and pile them in a stack by the check-out. I would devour the books during the summer weeks and return them for new ones each Thursday the bookmobile appeared. This love of reading was also encouraged and cultivated by my mom who was a librarian.
I thought I would share a few craft/art recommendations to those of you who also love reading. I enjoy the in-depth stories from The Craftsmanship Quarterly. Two recent favorites include India’s Rug Saint and Japan’s Gorgeous, Precarious Fishing Poles. These articles, meticulously researched and beautifully written, are available online for free.
Since I lean towards autobiographies and biographies, I recently picked up Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live by Melanie Falick. She interviews and profiles 29 different artists from around the world about their passion, their practice, and their path as a maker.
Tell me what have you been reading that would interest other makers? I will share some of your suggestions in the next letter.
Lastly, before signing off, I know that artists (and arts organizations) can be hit especially hard during times of economic uncertainty. I want to share a few resources.
For over 30 years, the nonprofit Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) has served as an emergency safety net for studio artists. Currently, they are asking artists to take a 5-minute survey about direct and indirect impacts so they can plan for advocacy and assistance.
Mary Jo Murphy
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