Wence and Sandra Martinez Win National Award at Smithsonian

Two Wisconsin artists, Wence and Sandra Martinez of Jacksonport, won the Silver Award for overall excellence this weekend at the prestigious 2016 Smithsonian Craft Show. Widely regarded as the most esteemed juried show and sale of American fine craft, the Smithsonian Craft Show is in its 34th year. This year’s show featured the work of 121 artists, chosen from a pool of 1,100 applicants.

Collaborators for nearly 30 years, the husband-wife Martinez team won the award for show-stopping hand-spun tapestries and painted weaving studies. They also stood out for being among 18 artists at the show whose art demonstrated sustainable design as well as artistic excellence. Wence, a master tribal weaver, uses drop spindles, looms and bobbin winders that require no electricity. His tapestries often highlight the beauty and color variations in un-dyed wool. Sandra, a painter, creates weaving studies that evoke ancestral designs and environmental stewardship; she exhibits her designs on repurposed pages from an 1877 book.

“These are pioneering artists whose stunningly beautiful creations invite us to rethink consumer choices,” said Fran Dubrowski, Director of Honoring the Future®, the nonprofit climate education project which partnered with the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, producers of the show, to showcase sustainability.

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