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An Artist Who Listens

Martha Mae Jones, a New York fabric artist, has built a rich (and financially successful) life by traveling to various countries, bouncing between art and political activism along the way. Throughout it all, she says, her creations, as well as her life choices, have come from heeding inner voices.

By MELANIE EVERSLEY

For Lifelong Artist Kimberly Camp, Art is Life

“There’s no retirement for an artist; it’s your way of living, so there’s no end to it.” ― Henry Moore Following a long, influential career as an arts administrator, Kimberly Camp, 64, seems to be working harder than ever. And enjoying every minute. A profusion of dolls, sculpture, jewelry, clocks, antiques, paintings, and artifacts from…

A Black Artist’s Haven on a (mostly) White Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard has long been seen as primarily a summer getaway paradise for the East Coast elite. Its reality, however, is far more complex. Dotted throughout the posh homes in this gorgeous island are substantial communities of minorities. One of the biggest and most popular, the town of Oak Bluffs, has welcomed and inspired generations of Black Americans, including an artist and doll maker named Janice Frame.

By SKIP FINLEY

Young Champions of Craftsmanship

As we inch closer to another summer, a tinkerer’s mind is likely to go looking for the chance (and the time) to build that rare, handmade item that he or she has always fantasized about. To inspire such glorious flights of fancy, last spring we created a guide—the first of its kind—to the most respected…

By NATALIE JONES

The New Sign Painters

One would think that the invention of digital lettering for our commercial signs—on everything from shops to billboards—was nothing but an industrial step forward. As it’s turned out, yesteryear’s signs, which were all painted by hand, offered a beauty and personality that today’s automated version has been unable to duplicate; more important, a hand-made sign lasts much longer. Our correspondent explores what’s left of the old tradition, and stumbles on small but lively seeds of revival.

By LAURA FRASER
Photography by ANDREW SULLIVAN

From Art To Signs And Back Again

I first became interested in sign painting as a craft when I went to an exhibit of Ed Ruscha’s work at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco. He painted landscapes with signs as shifting emblems of American culture, as well as word paintings that are signs selling an idea, not a product. While perusing the…

A Visit to La Esquina, Mexico’s Folk Art Toy Museum

“La Esquina” Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano, a terracotta-colored colonial house on a corner of San Miguel de Allende, is the only museum in Mexico dedicated to the country’s folk art toys. Angélica Tijerina started the collection 50 years ago, when her parents began bringing home dolls and toys from their travels all over Mexico.…

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