How does the label of “craft,” “art,” or “handmade” affect the perceived value of artwork?
How important or detrimental are labels when applied to art and the artist?
Dr. Angela Clarke holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC specializing in Italian women, religion and decorative art. She is the Museum Director and Curator of Il Museo at the Italian Cultural Centre. Her research specialization lies with the material culture of the Italian Renaissance, especially Italian maiolica ceramics and specifically, the female-oriented arts and crafts traditions from the Renaissance to the present day. In particular, she has focused on a number of important traditions in Italian cultural life, such as, needle work, lace making, as well as other domestic decorative arts including ceramics, tapestries and household devotional objects (Liturgical Apparati).
In addition to research on material culture, Dr. Clarke has curated the work of contemporary Canadian and European artists working within these traditions. Since 2012 she has researched, written and designed thirteen exhibitions on book binding, mosaics, tapestries, textiles, as well as modern interpretations of Roman and Greek mythological subjects in painting and sculpture.
Dr. Clarke is currently working on a book pertaining to Italian Renaissance marriage plates, entitled Ideal Brides: Deruta maiolica and marriage c.1500 to 1550. She recently published work in two museum catalogues: a catalogue on contemporary mosaics: Heroine of A Thousand Pieces: The Judith Mosaics of Lilian Broca, and a catalogue on contemporary heraldry: Family Lines: Lesbian Family Heraldry, An Achievement of Arms. Finally, she has been invited to contribute to an exhibition catalogue on contemporary textile art by the Fondazione Conservatorio Santa Marta in Montopoli, Italy. This included both a contribution to the Feminarte 2015 exhibition and a written essay entitled: “The Art of Utility: Six Perspectives on Fibre Arts in Canada” in Fondazione Conservatorio Santa Marta, Montopoli, Italy, 2015.
Dr. Clarke is also a regular contributor to articles in the Renfrew Collingwood Paper, Vancouver, Canada and has written on Deruta Bella donna plates for the New York Epoch Times “Art Speaks” column.
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Philosophers’ Café is a series of informal public discussions in libraries, cafés and restaurants throughout Metro Vancouver. The cafés, which are open to everyone, have brought dialogue and discussion to thousands of people who are interested in exploring issues from the absurd to the sublime. To learn more about the Philosophers’ Café, please visit their website.