Society of Arts + Crafts (SA+C) Board President Jennifer Rayburn announced today that Brigitte Martin, a long-time leader in the craft industry, has been chosen to lead the venerable Boston-based organization following a national search led by Arts Consulting Group. Martin assumes the role of Executive Director March 1 at the 122-year-old organization's home in Boston's thriving Seaport neighborhood.
Martin was most recently Executive Director of the Furniture Society, an Illinois-based, non-profit educational organization working to advance the art of furniture making. She also has served as Board President for the Society of North American Goldsmiths. Martin is well-known to international crafting communities for founding and managing the Crafthaus website, an online community that supports and provides services to craft artists in all disciplines, as well as for organizing national Craft Think Tank events, and serving as Editor-at-Large for American Craft magazine.
Rayburn says the SA+C board was familiar with Martin because of her long career in the craft industry. "When we interviewed Brigitte, we were impressed by her analytical and thoughtful knowledge of craft, its place in society, and its potential. She's visionary in outlining opportunities to expand the reach of craft, which dovetails perfectly with the Society of Arts + Crafts' mission of education. With our new home in the Seaport, we're no longer a little walk-in gallery, we are a serious organization with intentions to grow."
"I've long known the Society of Arts + Crafts," Martin says, "everyone in the field does. It is a prominent, and well-respected organization with a significant history, and it has made an indelible impact on our field for well over a century. Taking the reins here is an extraordinary opportunity to shape SA+C's future, create exciting and ambitious programming, and retain its leadership in the craft industry."
In her long tenure as a craft field insider, Martin has gathered a deep list of contacts with whom she hopes to collaborate to amplify the work of SA+C. "I've seen our field from all sides—as an executive director, a board member, a community organizer, a curator, a writer and editor, a strategic planner, and a customer. I've met a lot of interesting artists doing exciting work, which keeps craft relevant
Martin was born and educated in Germany where she received a Fulbright Scholarship. She worked in Cologne as an administrator at Sotheby's and at Gallery Michael Werner. After apprenticing with Master Goldsmith Ulrike Brunsmann in Bonn, Martin moved to the U.S. and opened a retail gallery for fine craft. Her book, Humor in Craft (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2012), was the Gold Medal Winner of the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Award, and a finalist for the 2012 USA Best Book Awards.