Tanya Crane-Artist Statement
New England, and my new home of Pawtucket in particular, has a significance to my work that was previously not a conscious consideration but has recently posited itself as a grand signifier in my existence as a jewelry artist. It is learning about New England’s seminal history as the seat of the American Industrial Revolution; the undeniable gravity to the founding of this nation; its growth and ultimate dissolution; and the remnants and detritus that are informing my current work. My formative years were spent in southern California where cultural imprints positioned me in a liminal existence between prejudice and privilege. I am half Black and half White. Living in a middle-class suburb of Los Angeles and visiting my father in socio-economically and racially divided South Central Los Angeles impacted my identity as a young person searching for which culture to occupy and how; ultimately I realized the choice itself provided me with a tool of social leverage.
In California, most resource is seemingly ready-made; product is everywhere, and there is no mechanical industry present. The landscape is salmon colored stucco, asphalt, and sage colored foothills. The aesthetic is defiantly calculated and provincially western. The industry is agriculture animated by Labor that is visibly tied to the land. Conversely, in New England one finds metal and brick are the dominant theme and everywhere metallic stimuli beckons the query of historical curiosity. The remnants of creation, work and industry present themselves on every street. This inspires ideas of regeneration and of hybridizations; a neo-archaic series of trajectories that propel ideas forward whilst being integrally linked to the realities of whence they came. This industrialized environment connects a revelatory passage to the progenitors of craft and its root. Techniques of creating metal alloys that are manipulated using a torch to reveal a surface that resembles asphalt is a recent project directly descended from the mechanism of industry and its inherent imagery. By pairing this metal with enamel pieces that are intentional and refined, I am a unifier of disparities and a creator of a unity of diversity.
The mechanisms created during the industrial revolution were thrust upon society. Identities not yet formed or informed were funneled into a never before seen or experienced life that by its very nature created a fundamental bifurcation of self and labor capital. These spheres were non-negotiable for most, so the choice to pursue another life was only a fleeting dream in the minds of the newly established work forces. Creative endeavors were, and still are, the triumphs of the living.
Tanya Crane is a Professor of the Practice in Metals at the School Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and is a Critic in Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design. Crane received her MFA in Metalsmithing + Jewelry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015, and her BFA in Metal from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Most recently, Tanya was awarded the Society of Arts and Crafts Artist Award, the Haystack Mountain School Artist Residency 2017, and the Smitten Forum Metalsmithing Residency at the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. She was also featured in Art New England's Jan/Feb 2018 Issue, Craft Chisel, Collect: Three Artists and Their Residencies as well as the feature story for Where Guide to Boston, Make, Meet Boston's Rockin' Crafters in September of 2017.
Where to Buy
Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.