Considered the country’s premier juried exhibition and sale of contemporary American craft, the Smithsonian Craft Show attracts the very best of the craft artists in each medium. From over 1,000 applications each year, only 120 artists are selected. Judges are instructed to select “the most accomplished craft artists whose work reflects excellence, is well conceived and expertly executed without technical faults and reflects the unique design, skill and vision of the American craftsperson.” One of the judges for the 2000 show described his task this way:
Artists are chosen in twelve disciplines: basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art, and wood. Judges are to choose the best representations of each medium for innovation, creativity, workmanship and consistency of quality in the work shown.
Three times—1999, 2000, and 2007—Alex Mandli has been selected to participate as a ceramic artist in the Smithsonian Craft Show.
The photos on this page depict Alex's 2007 entry, from loading up pots at his studio to his booth at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.