Handcrafting Virginia’s Cultural Economy
The Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV) develops and implements systems and strategies to improve economic outcomes for Virginia artisans and their communities while assisting them in promoting their local artisan culture.
Virginia Artisan Culture
The culture of the Virginia Artisan inspires appreciative audiences for its unique products while expressing a distinctive way of life. Virginia Artisan culture invokes a natural order, firmly woven into the everyday fabric of an artisan’s life, embracing the familiar relationship between the acts of creating and living. Once immersed in this culture, whether producing “handmade” or enjoying the use and aesthetic of artisan produced items, an intimate lifelong relationship of value and appreciation emerges strong and true. Artisan culture links the past, present and future, reconciling “meaning” with “making”, as it embodies traditional practices and explores creative inovations and new trends that touch all facets of society.
What is a Creative Artisan?
A Creative Artisan of “craft” creates objects of three dimensional craft, often to be used functionally, and always with a high degree of artistry and fine craftsmanship. For the craft artisan, form follows function, and the work of the artisan speaks to the simple honesty of that paradigm. Whether a craft artisan or one who creates two dimensional works of art, ACV recognizes that both types of Creative Artisans are “artists” who create without the use of kits, commercial models, where the primary components of the final works are hand-touched, not manufactured or copied. The Creative Artisan instills their works with personal feeling and experience, creativity and innovation while making quality objects and compositions with pride, honesty, and integrity. Whether using hand tools or machines, the Creative Artisan takes no shortcuts that might compromise the quality of the work. The Creative Artisan does not attempt to compete with the large-scale manufacturer, and the amount of time taken to make a work of fine art is secondary to the result. That the goal of the Creative Artisan is to achieve heirloom quality is an unspoken assumption.
What is an Agri-Artisan? (a.k.a Agro-Artisan, Aqua-Artisan)
Agricultural-based, an Agri-Artisan relies on the natural resources of the land while reconciling a preservation of America’s past as they operate businesses such as family farms, vineyards, wineries, breweries, orchards, organic farming, waterman culture, roadside stands, etc. Many embrace traditional farm practices, capturing a way of life unique to the rural and agricultural communities where they reside and retaining the culture and character passed on to them by previous generations. Such enterprises produce food and beverages, fiber, unique crops or livestock, add value to traditional agricultural products, or offer recreational, education, nature or other farm-based activities, such as markets and roadside stands.
ACV is a 501(c)(3) organization officially registered with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
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"Brenda uses natural materials mostly found locally in the Shenandoah Valley to create her one-of-a-kind baskets"