The American Divide

Codes of Practice, Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Op-Ed

The American Divide: Artisans from both side

McComb, Jessie F.

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From San Francisco to New York, there are thousands of urban and rural American artisans toiling away in both glamour and grime. Their workshops, skills and motivations often differ widely even though their crafts end up in the very same gallery display cases. While artisans from all places manage to survive in a high tech world, there are ups and downs to both sides.

Even though there are many craft galleries throughout America, many artisans still struggle to make ends meet. But through state and regional initiatives and economic development programs, even the most remote artisans are offered assistance to make their livelihoods viable. For example, the construction of the Kentucky Appalachian Artisan Center and the Kentucky School of Craft has encouraged economic development in the craft sector throughout the state. Both these institutes, as well as other around the US, offer artisans training in identifying target markets and strengthening their business skills. These topics, familiar to artisans in developing nations around the globe, often don't seem necessary for American artisans, but some artisans, both rural and urban, find this assistance necessary in order to succeed. Of course there are two sides to the work of American artisans. Some urban artisans exhibit their art-like pieces in galleries in New York where collectors from around the globe can shop for high priced jewelry, glass and other handmade goods. These artisans can take advantage of a wealth of available resourc...
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