International Studio Programme : September - October 2017

Namita Gupta Wiggers

Curator, writer and educator

Namita Gupta Wiggers. Photo: Scott Wiggers

Namita Gupta Wiggers is a curator, writer and educator based in Portland, OR. She is the Director and Co-Founder of Critical Craft Forum, an online and onsite platform for community driven dialogue and discourse about craft. Wiggers served as the Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft (in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art), Portland, OR, from 2004–14, where she explored craft as a noun and a verb, and curated more than 65 exhibitions focused on contemporary and historical craft. Selected exhibitions include: 'Touching Warms the Art'; 'Object Focus: The Bowl'; and 'The Academy is Full of Craft'. Recent projects include 'Everything Has Been Material for Scissors to Shape' (2016–17), and 'Across the Table, Across the Land' (2016, with Michael Strand). Selected publications include essays and chapters in: Craft on Demand: The New Politics of the Handmade, Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture; Shows and Tales: On Jewelry Exhibition-Making; On + Off: Jewelry in the Wider Cultural Field; Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective; and Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft. Wiggers is the author of Generations: Betty Feves; Ken Shores: Clay Has the Last Word, Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and editor of Garth Clark's How Envy Killed the Crafts Movement: An Autopsy in Two Parts. She is the editor of the forthcoming Companion on Contemporary Craft, (Wiley Blackwell), and What is Contemporary About Craft?, Critical Craft Forum’s first print publication. She is an adjunct professor and graduate student mentor in the MFA in Applied Craft + Design, Oregon College of Art + Craft/Pacific Northwest College of Art and at Portland State University. In 2017, Wiggers received an award for Regional Excellence from NCECA with Nicole Nathan for their work on ceramics field at MoCC. Wiggers serves on the Board of Directors of The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She is the Exhibition Review Editor for The Journal of Modern Craft.

During her residence at Ekely as part of OCA's International Syudio Programme, Wiggers worked with Norwegian Crafts as a curator in residence, acting as consultant to both Norwegian Crafts and Galleri Format Oslo on forthcoming programmes and strategies.
Wiggers spent acquainted herself with the Norwegian contemporary craft scene by conducting studio visits to Norwegian crafts artists in Oslo, Tromsø and Trondheim, hosting professional workshops with curators and critics, and by moderating and hosting the international seminar 'Crafting Utopia and Dystopia: Future of Crafts in Museums' in Trondheim.