In July 2014, the Museum of Arts and Design inaugurates NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, an exhibition that spotlights the creative communities thriving across the five boroughs today. The first exhibition to be organized under the leadership of MAD’s new Director Glenn Adamson, NYC Makersshowcases the work of 100 makers—highly inventive artisans, artists, and designers who create objects or environments through exquisite workmanship and skill. Exemplifying the Museum’s ongoing commitment to craftsmanship across all creative fields, the exhibition serves as a platform not only for makers who typically display their work in a museum setting, but also those who operate behind the scenes.
The 21st-century maker has flattened traditional hierarchies and escaped rigid categories of production through post-disciplinary practices and the innovative application of skill and technique. NYC Makers presents a sweeping cross-section of the cultural production of these inventive individuals, living and working within a single city. Makers were nominated by a pool of over 300 New York City-based cultural leaders and civic figures from a range of trades and disciplines, including museum curators, choreographers, academics, chefs, musicians, and journalists, with final participants selected by a jury led by Adamson and exhibition curator Jake Yuzna. From world-renowned cultural leaders to emergent enfants terribles, every maker selected demonstrates the highest level of skill in their respective field, whether by fabricating furniture or fashion; creating artworks, films, and architecture; inventing new possibilities for food; or reshaping educational and social gatherings.
The exhibition is structured as a series of immersive tableaus that present the diverse creative output of makers alongside one another. These environments will house live programs throughout the exhibition’s run, including fashion shows, performances, social practice projects, and culinary explorations, which will underline the relationship between material and immaterial making found in New York City today. Through this approach, NYC Makers will transform MAD into a production studio that links creative, innovative, and skillful makers into one immense collaborative undertaking: an undertaking that manifests the cultural capital of New York.
Curated by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs, NYC Makers inaugurates a new series of MAD exhibitions that examines the culture of making and highlight the contributions of the makers who shape contemporary life. The accompanying publication is edited by Jake Yuzna and designed by NYC-based studio Other Means.