An exhibition featuring the work of the 2017 Artist-In-Residence at Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design.

The 2016-2017 Artists-in-Residence come from many different walks of life, but there are lines of thought that tie them together. Both Anna Youngyeun (Fibers Artist-In-Residence) and Ryan Bredlau (Clay Artist-In-Residence) are interested in the body and how identity affects emotional experience. Reed Fagan (Metals Artist-In-Residence) and Leah de Matta (Metals Artist-In-Residence) are both interested in the natural world, but whereas Fagan gravitates towards abstraction and mathematics, de Matta stays on the surface, looking at the structures and vessels which make up the natural world. If one thing binds this entire cohort together, it’s an abiding interest in turning abstract realities into physical, often sensual experiences.

Anna Youngyeun grew up in a Thai-Chinese household in Missouri, a product of an American society that both exoticized and mocked her racial identity and a Thai-Chinese heritage that she felt estranged from. Her work has been a means of navigating these intersections of identity, and a search for levity and optimism within them. Her recent body of work, Heavy Petting, invites viewers to touch and pet soft-sculpture creatures embodying her personal explorations of intimacy.

For ceramicist Ryan Bredlau, the human figure has always been a powerful for connecting with the frustration, amusement, disgust, happiness, and that we all feel. He also incorporates dolls, tools, furniture and toys as a way to address topics such as innocence and mortality. Influenced by the California Funk art movement Bredlau’s interest in visual absurdity has carried over into his more functional ceramics as well.

In a world immersed in analytics and abstractions, it can be difficult to understand the meaning of new discoveries in mathematics and science. Although these discoveries are monumental, they can appear increasingly abstract and distant. As a visual artist and metalsmith, Reed Fagan crafts objects that visualize and interpret these abstract equations, revealing the humanity behind these concepts. By using craft as a translator, he hopes to bring these lofty abstract realities down to earth.

Leah de Matta’s highlights the intricacies of nature, fostering an understanding and appreciation for the unseen details and overarching systems that maintain the balance of the natural world. Her current body of work explores natural vessels such as insect casings and plant organs. By exploring these forms, she hopes to highlight the parallels between contemporary human vessels and their organic counterparts.

The exhibition runs from May 26 – July 2, 2017. Opening reception is Friday, May 26 from 6pm – 8pm at the Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design — Delmar Loop Gallery at 6640 Delmar Blvd. For more information, click here. V

Via Press Release


Our Artist-in-Residence Program, located in the Kranzberg Education Center in our Grand Center location, supports emerging and mid-career artists who want to develop their artistic investigations in a collaborative, community based arts center. We encourage artists to explore and expand on ideas and materials within their studio practice, igniting our studios with infectious energy. They teach classes, work in our community programs and offer the public a window into the creative and professional lives of artists. In this way, these artists grow with the community and their artworks reflect a significant emphasis on the relationship between person, place and object.

We view craft as a source of skill and inspiration integral to human expression. For 50 years, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design has been engaging and educating the community with studio classes and ground-breaking exhibitions of contemporary craft. We hope you will visit the studios and galleries in the Delmar Loop and Grand Center to experience the craft of our time.


Friday Night FREE-FOR-ALL
Friday, May 26, 6 – 8pm
The studios are open! While visiting the exhibition opening reception, join us for a fun-filled evening of art, artists demonstrations, hands-on projects and more in each of the Delmar Loop studios.
Gallery Talk: Speed Craft
June 21, 2017 | 6pmLocal artists, fast talk, one night. Based on the popular Pecha Kucha, this event will feature local artists, including past and present Artists-In-Residence, who will speak about their current work and studio practice


Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is a non-profit art center dedicated to empowering and enriching communities through craft. Located in the Delmar Loop and the Grand Center districts of St. Louis, Missouri, Craft Alliance offers exhibitions, education classes for all skill levels, free community programs, artist residencies and a gallery shop. Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is funded in part by the Arts and Education Council; the Regional Arts Commission; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; and the generous support of its members. For more information, please call 314.725.1177 or visit