Middlebury artist to show in national craft competition

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Danielle Gori-Montanelli of Middlebury has been chosen to represent Vermont in American Craft Week’s first virtual gallery featuring 51 works of art representing one celebrated craft artist from each state and Washington, D.C. The exhibition, “Masterpiece E-xhibit & Sale,” is online exclusively and will run through Oct. 11 to coincide with American Craft Week (Friday, Oct. 2-Sunday, Oct. 11). The gallery can be found at www.acwgalleryshop.com.
“When I start a piece, I have only a basic vision in my mind, more about what the work feels like than what it looks like,” Gori-Montanelli says. “I just throw myself into the rich warm textures and colors of the felt, cutting it by hand or with custom-made dies, and watch the pieces evolve almost by themselves as I start building up the layers. I enjoy the improvisational nature of the process, toying with the colors and forms and letting the work just happen.”
Originally a successful metalsmith, Gori-Montanelli, after having two children, began making jewelry with felt as an alternative to the hazardous materials and methods involved in metalwork. Born in Washington, D.C., Gori-Montanelli graduated from Sarah Lawrence College before spending a decade in New York City and another decade in Florence, Italy. She has exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design’s “Loot: Mad About Jewelry” show in New York City, the Smithsonian Craft Show, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, American Craft Council shows, SOFA in New York and Chicago, and the Chelsea/Origins show in London. Her work is in galleries throughout the U.S., such as The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., and Mobilia in Cambridge, Mass., as well as in galleries in Europe, including the Lesley Craze Gallery in London.
Diane Sulg, founder of American Craft Week says, “The idea is to bring master works of craft from all over the country right to your personal computer, phone or other device. We invited one exceptional artisan from each state to submit a piece especially for this exhibit. Made from a variety of materials — glass, sculpture, jewelry, clay, wood, metal, fiber — the work represents both traditional and innovations in technology, the changes in the craft movement and the individual artists’ experience.”
Visiting the site is akin to browsing in a distinguished gallery, but at the same time more private, and personal. Viewers to the gallery will see several images of the work, the title and price and an artist’s statement and biography. Once purchased, items are gone forever — these are all one-of-a-kind pieces.
American Craft Week and the Masterpiece E-xhibit are designed to highlight the value, innovations and traditions of American made craft by showcasing the wonderful artisans and craft made in America. This fall during American Craft Week, Americans in all 50 states will be celebrating the art of handmade craft through hundreds of diverse events in galleries and artist studios, museums and schools, as well as at fairs and festivals.
A portion of the funds raised will be used by ACW to promote craft artisans in America.

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