Namita Gupta Wiggers to develop low-residency program as Director for MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies

Namita Gupta Wiggers to develop low-residency program as Director for MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies

Warren Wilson College

Namita Gupta Wiggers. Photo: Mario Gallucci Studio.

January 5, 2018
Namita Gupta Wiggers to develop low-residency program as Director for MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies
Warren Wilson College
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Swannanoa, North Carolina 28778
United States

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Warren Wilson College (WWC) announces the appointment of Namita Gupta Wiggers as Director, MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies. Wiggers, a noted expert in the field of contemporary craft, joins the College to launch the first graduate program of its kind—a low-residency master’s program focused on craft studies—scheduled to launch in summer 2018. Wiggers connects the College to an international network of people dedicated to this developing field of study.

Wiggers’ more than 25 years of work experience offers prospective students a multi-faceted approach to questions of craft in contemporary culture in the US and abroad. As Director and Co-Founder of Critical Craft Forum, an online platform for discussion and debate about craft through a Facebook Group, iTunes podcast, and annual sessions at College Art Association (since 2010), Wiggers connects WWC students into communities dedicated to craft in multiple ways. From 2004-14, Wiggers served as Director and Chief Curator at Museum of Contemporary Craft (in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art), Portland, OR, where her curatorial and public programs explored contemporary and historical craft, craft as a noun and a verb, and expanded the context for craft through interactive exhibitions as well as commissioned critical writing in print and online from artists and scholars in the field.

A regular contributor to publications in print and online, Wiggers currently serves as the exhibition reviews editor, Journal of Modern Craft, and on the editorial boards of Garland and Norwegian Crafts. She is editing a forthcoming Companion on Contemporary Craft for Wiley Blackwell Publishers, and working on a project on gender and adornment with Benjamin Lignel. Wiggers serves on the Board of Directors of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and served in the past on the Boards of The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design and the American Craft Council.

Wiggers will direct and teach in this new MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies. Past teaching experiences at Oregon College of Art + Craft, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Portland State University include courses on: theory of objects, contemporary craft and theory, history of graphic design, and curating through craft, as well as workshops, lectures, and crits throughout the US and abroad. Wiggers’ prior experiences as a studio jeweler, video ethnographer/design researcher, and museum educator shape her multidisciplinary thinking and consideration of craft in material, conceptual, and theoretical ways.

“To date, there is no program in the United States dedicated solely to critical and historical craft studies at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. The study of craft is currently conducted through a range of disciplines, including but not limited to art, art history, media specific programs, decorative arts, design history, and material and visual culture. Warren Wilson College offers a unique pedagogical approach to learning that includes work, service, and academics, and has a long-standing commitment to craft embedded in education. The College is strategically situated to serve as a laboratory and conduit for craft studies that connects North Carolina with the home cities of enrolled students in this new low-residency program. With a faculty composed of leaders in the field and other disciplines, the program immediately places students in the midst of this developing discipline,” says Wiggers. “This is an opportunity for all involved to learn, too, from students who will bring a range of questions, interests, perspectives, and experiences.”

The program launches in the summer 2018; applications are due March 1, 2018. For more information, visit our website

Warren Wilson College
This master’s in craft joins our first rate MFA in creative writing as one of only two graduate programs at Warren Wilson. Warren Wilson is an independent, liberal arts college in Asheville, North Carolina, and is the only national liberal arts college with integrated work and service components.

All of Warren Wilson’s degrees are accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Council on Colleges.

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January 5, 2018

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