Monday February 26, 2018 | by Valerie Hughes

The American Craft Council announces new executive director Sarah Schultz, inducts artist Beth Lipman as fellow

On April 2, the American Craft Council will officially welcome Sarah Schultz as its new executive director. A further addition to the ACC community is Beth Lipman, who was just inducted to the ACC’s College of Fellows. The American Craft Council (ACC) was founded by Aileen Osborn Webb in 1939 as a nonprofit. For the past 79 years, the organization has emphasized the impact crafts have on individuals and their communities. Every year, there are American Craft shows in Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul, and San Francisco that attract up to 45,000 people. ACC also has a research library that contains more than 6,500 documents on the history of studio craft. Additionally, ACC publishes a magazine six times a year that reiterates the benefits of creative living.

With 25 years’ of experience in arts leadership, fundraising, and education, Schultz will provide a fresh outlook on the workings of the ACC and build upon its legacy, which was previously contributed to by Chris Amundsen, who left the organization in September. Schultz earned a BA in art history from Bucknell University, an MBA in art administration from SUNY-Binghamton and an MA from the University of Minnesota in art history and American studies. In her 20 years of experience at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, including 14 years as director of education and curator of public practice, Schultz worked with many artists and launched projects such as Open Field, a book published in 2012 that examines an experiment on participation and public space. The three-year project invited artists and visitors to use the museum’s campus as a shared space to exchange ideas.

Chuck Duddingston, chair of the ACC’s board of trustees, said in a prepared statement that Scultz is a “thoughtful, inclusive leader who knows how to bring people together to make big things happen.”

Most recently, Schultz was interim vice president of public programs and education for the Friends of the High Line in New York City and a visiting curator for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Beth Lipman pictured in a 2017 photograph.

The ACC College of Fellows award honors artists who have dedicated themselves to the crafts in America. To be considered for this honor, the artist must demonstrate leadership in the field, exceptional artistic and/or teaching skills, and 25 years or more of achievement as an American craftsperson. Beth Lipman is known for her sculptural installations in clear glass. Her works often highlight her love for food, as seen in Ephemera. Lipman studied at the Massachusetts College of Art and Pilchuck Glass School and received her BFA in glass and fiber from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. With a strong education guiding her, Lipman became a part of UrbanGlass as a teaching assistant and eventually assumed the position of director of education. At the same time, she was invited to take part in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Today, she works as a full-time artist in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. She is deeply honored to be a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2018. 

GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for 35 years.