Happened
Wed, Apr 11th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
American Craft Council
1224 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis MN 55413

Free and open to anyone interested in craft and design

A redux of the unique collaboration between AIGA Minnesota and the American Craft Council, this discussion and exhibition will showcase professional designers who also have side practices in craft and work with materials like clay, glass, wood, fiber, metal, and paint.

The panel discussion will feature creative director and painter Sharon Werner; designer, illustrator, and art assemblagist Lynn Tanaka; and experience designer and furniture maker Teri Kwant, moderated by Brent Stickels. The conversation will center around the value of working in three dimensions, the importance of the tangible as part of the design process, and the creative boost that comes from picking up a tool as a method of creative expression and problem solving — without a mouse or monitor.

Select works from the panelists will be on display and light snacks will be served.

During this special Salon Series event, experience the beautiful ACC space in the historic Grain Belt Brewery building, browse its impressive library collection, and take in the current ACC exhibition of Eye for Design which features select pieces from a recent Museum of Art & Design show in New York.

All attendees to this free event will receive two tickets to the American Craft Council show at St. Paul River Center April 20–22, 2018.


Sharon Werner


Sharon Werner — panelist

Sharon Werner, is the founder of Werner Design Werks, Inc. a three-person design firm in St. Paul, Minnesota, over 26 years strong. WDW, has made remarkable national and international impact with their commitment to simplicity, honesty and smart intuitive practicality in design. They strive to combine strong visual language, artful expressions with sound design solutions to create meaningful brands. Brands that people are passionate about. Brands that impact commerce and culture. This creative and business strategy has attracted and gained praise from both corporations and startup ventures that include: Moët Hennessey, Rockfilter Distillery, dpHUE, SC Johnson, Suntory, Mr. Maks Ginbao, Target, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Cabot Creamery, and Lucini Italia.

In addition to client projects, Sharon is co-creator and co-author of a series of type-centric children’s books; Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types, Bugs by the Numbers, and Alphasaurs and other Prehistoric Types, published by Blue Apple Books and reprinted in France by Piccolo. The books teach kids that letters on a page can look as expressive as they read. They can communicate a feeling, a tone beyond the simple word. “Grrr” can look angry, funny, or fast depending on the typeface.

Sharon’s work has garnered awards and honors from numerous national and international design organizations. In addition to peer recognition, WDW was named Target Corporation’s Vendor of the Year. Their work is included in 100 World’s Best Posters and permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Musée De La Poste, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.


Teri Kwant RSP Dreambox


Teri Kwant, AIGA NAI — panelist

Teri is a holistic designer of experiences and a visual storyteller. Her roots are in museum and exhibition design – graphic and experiential. Her training is across many design disciplines; graphic design, architecture, landscape architecture and psychology, and has a masters degree in furniture design.

Teri has also been an experience consultant, an educator, and a maker and creator of public art. Her artwork and furniture have been shown in local and national galleries. She has had the honor to speak at events ranging from professional design and ethnographic research organizations to a palliative care symposium. Teri has taught at the University of Minnesota School of Design, the College of Visual Arts, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Teri’s purpose in designing experiences is to create objects, interactions and environments that not only engage the senses and the intellect but the heart. She strives to create meaningful dialogue and connections through all of her work.


Lynn Tanaka


Lynn Tanaka — panelist

Lynn Tanaka lives an artistic life.

Professionally, she has worked over 20 years in illustration, hand lettering and graphic design – back in the days of rubylith color seps and mechanicals with two-coat rubber cemented photo-stats and hand-kerning. She has happily served two terms on the board of the AIGA Minnesota, as well as co-chairing two kick-ass Design Camp conferences. She adored and loved her work as Director of Admissions and Student Affairs, and illustration professor at the College of Visual Arts for over 8 years. So much so, that she would have married CVA.

Privately, she is in her happy place designing hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind creations using organic materials, or combining found and natural objects and drawing elements in her fine art assemblages.

Lynn just likes to make things. Constantly.

Busy hands are happy hands.


Jennifer Merchant


Jennifer Merchant — panelist

A studio jewelry artist and sculptor, Jennifer Merchant graduated with a BFA in Metals and Jewelry from the Savannah College of Art and Design. A full-time maker who exhibits her work across the country at galleries and art fairs like Aqua Art Miami, Jennifer’s work has been published in several national magazines such as American Craft and Ornament. She is also a co-founding board member of the Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild.

Jennifer is best known for her innovative layered acrylic process in which she layers images and prints between solid acrylic. Her work is graphic with clean lines and an ultra modern aesthetic. Pieces confound viewers, appearing transparent from one angle of view and showcasing bold patterns and colors from another. She enjoys transforming humble materials into breathtaking works of art.


Brent Stickels of YYES


Brent Stickels — moderator

Brent Stickels is co-founder and partner of YYES, a design and communications studio that provides strategic branding focused on business outcomes.

A writer and designer with a background in advertising and film, he is AIGA Minnesota’s liaison to the Insights Lecture Series at the Walker Art Center. He is also a member of the Long Now Foundation, an organization that fosters long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.


About the American Craft Council
No one understands the world of artful living better than the American Craft Council. The national nonprofit educational organization has been shaping the artisanal craft movement for decades, serving as a craft chronicler, tastemaker, convener, and provocateur through its bimonthly magazine, American Craft, annual juried shows presenting artists and their work, thought leadership conferences, awards for excellence, research library, workshops, and seminars. For additional information visit craftcouncil.org or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

About American Craft
The 75-year-old magazine, based in Minneapolis, has won more than 50 awards in the past five years. Twice in the past three years, Folio has named American Craft the country’s best non-profit magazine, over competitors such as AARP and National Geographic Traveler. Current American Craft issues include collectible posters crafted in partnership with Mohawk Fine Papers and Shapco Printing.