James honored as 'Master of the Medium'

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James honored as ‘Master of the Medium’

Michael James (left) works with his studio assistant Leah Sorensen-Hayes in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design's digital textiles lab. James has been named one of the top craft artists in the nation.
Greg Nathan | University Communications
Michael James (left) works with his studio assistant Leah Sorensen-Hayes in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design's digital textiles lab. James has been named one of the top craft artists in the nation.

A founding leader of the “art quilt” movement, UNL’s Michael James has been named one of the top five craft artists in the nation.

James, department chair and Ardis James Professor of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, will receive the “Masters of the Medium” award during the James Renwick Alliance’s “Spring Craft Weekend,” March 26-29, in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a much appreciated honor to have been selected for this recognition by one of the leading studio craft support groups in the country,” James said. “The Renwick is widely known for its comprehensive collection of significant American craft, and the Renwick Alliance has worked aggressively to expand audiences for this area of the visual arts. To receive their endorsement at this stage in my career is extremely gratifying.”

JRA has been presenting the awards since 1997 to recognize American craft artists in the areas of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood who have changed how people perceive studio crafts. Award criteria include demonstration of consummate craftsmanship in the field, influence in the medium and contributions to the craft field.

James has served in his present role in the College of Education and Human Sciences at UNL since 2005. From 1975 to 2000, James was an independent studio artist, writer, lecturer and workshop leader.

He works in the medium of quilted fabric constructions, and his textiles have been recognized and exhibited internationally. They are included in the collections of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, the Racine Art Museum, the Newark Museum, the Mint Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Shelburne Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian.

James’ work will be featured in a solo exhibition, “Ambiguity and Enigma: Recent Quilts by Michael James,” opening June 5 at UNL’s International Quilt Study Center and Museum. The exhibit will include more than a dozen new works not previously shown.

For more information on James’ work, click here.

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