Seal of Approval: State Craft Center

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Shelburne Craft School Now a Vermont State Craft Education Center

The State of Vermont has designated the Shelburne Craft School an official Vermont State Craft Education Center.

The designation is the State of Vermont’s stamp of approval and signifies to Vermonters and visitors the “quality, ingenuity and uniqueness” of the Shelburne Craft School and connects the school to the state’s marking and branding activities.

“I’m very pleased to recognize the Shelburne Craft School as our state’s newest state craft education center,” said Heather Pelham of the state’s Chief Marketing Office. “Our network of Vermont State Craft Centers fosters and promotes Vermont’s traditions of quality, authenticity and handmade art, which are an integral part of the Vermont brand.”

“We are honored and excited to be one of the oldest and still-in-operation craft schools in the United States,” said Sage Tucker-Ketcham, executive director of the Shelburne Craft School. “Through good times and bad, we stand strong. It shows that things come and go in popularity, but hand-made, high-quality art is not a fad in Vermont, but part of our core. What better way to celebrate our 70th birthday than to join the Vermont State Craft Centers to strengthen and ensure our quality of craft and life?”

“It was a long process to get the designation,” said Tucker-Ketcham. We were reviewed by a Standards Committee, gave tours, and demonstrated the quality of our teaching and instruction and showed that our facilities were safe and of good quality. We also had to demonstrate our contribution to the state of Vermont’s economy, traditions, and future.”

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“Vermont State Craft Centers represent the best of craft in Vermont. At the same time, each Center is a unique representation of the creative community in its region at that particular moment,” states the Vermont State Craft Center program overview. “No two experiences of Vermont State Craft Centers are exactly the same – much like a handcrafted piece of art.” Shelburne Craft School is one of only seven venues to carry the title Vermont State Craft Center. The state designates four Vermont State Craft Center Galleries: Artisans Hand Craft Gallery, Frog Hollow, Gallery at the Vault, and the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild. Only two other venues in the state are designated Vermont State Craft Education Centers: Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts and the Vermont Woodworking School.

“Being a Vermont State Craft Center is an opportunity for us to cross-market and promote our programs with other education centers. It allows us to participate in a dialogue about what it means to be a craft institution in the modern world,” said Tucker-Ketcham.“The Vermont State Craft Center designation recognizes the years of the hard work of craftspeople, teachers, and our founders, Rev. Lynwood Smith and Eileen Webb. I also hope designation will reassure those who contribute financially to the Shelburne Craft School. I hope it lets them know that they are making a good investment by donating to our community.”

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