After years of engaging with a national nonprofit known as American Craft Council by attending marketplaces and reading articles in American Craft magazine, a queer Minnesotan artist named Kasey Payette recently joined the organization as a marketing specialist. Payette brings over a decade of marketing and communications experience to the organization, which will undoubtedly uplift artists supported by American Craft Council. She is a published author of stories and essays who is looking forward to the upcoming American Craft Made marketplace coming to Saint Paul RiverCentre on October 7th-9th.
In its 35th year, the marketplace is the place to find unique handmade goods and connect with hundreds of nationally renowned artists. These artists specialize primarily in contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor. For those who cannot make it to the show in person, there will be an e-commerce component opening up the show to craft lovers everywhere from Monday, October 3rd until Sunday, October 16th. The event draws thousands of attendees primarily from the Twin Cities, where American Craft Council is headquartered, as well as western Wisconsin.
The esteemed artists include locals such as internationally acclaimed hat designer Karen Morris, woodworker Benjamin Leatham, jeweler Karin Jacobson, wearable textile artist Susan Bradley, furniture maker Craig Johnson, and porcelain ceramic artist Stephanie DeArmond. Hailing from Silver Bay, Leatham locally sources all of the lumber he uses to make his wood-turned bowls and hand sculpted utensils. The jewelry from Minneapolis resident Karin Jacobson includes hand fabricated wedding rings and other unique creative pieces. Bradley’s wearable textile art has been described as luxurious and architectural.
Although Payette is a literary artist, she notes how much writers and craft artists have in common and how vital those ventures are for the queer community. “I think there is a natural resonance between LGBTQ+ folks and