What does it mean to make on campus? Through the transformative power of design and craft, Berea College Student Craft teaches undergraduates to learn to love something across disciplines. By making and remaking thoughtful objects, Berea College believes that students become creative problem solvers in service of a happier, healthier, and truly flourishing world.
Kentucky’s Berea College serves low-income students of high promise through a liberal arts education for which no student pays tuition. As a federally recognized Work College, students work together in the Labor Program to support their education and, in turn, the operations of the College. Berea College was established in 1855 as the South’s first interracial and coeducational institution. From 1908-1950 the founding mission of racial equality was explicitly targeted by the Day Law which mandated educational segregation in Kentucky. In the decades since, Berea College has reaffirmed its commitment to racial diversity and inclusion. As of 2023, 46 percent of students identify as people of color, 27 percent of students identify as Black or African American.
Founded in 1893, Berea College Student Craft has become a well-established center for student-led design and production in weaving, woodcraft, ceramics, broomcraft, and craft education outreach programs. Students who work in these areas engage not only with experiential learning but also with the cultural myths and values that the objects they create embody. Heart, Head, and Hand explores 130 years of Student Craft in three sections– Production, History, and Speculative Craft–demonstrating the changing meaning of making on campus.
This exhibition is a collaboration between Berea College Student Craft and the Center for Design and Material Culture. Support for this project comes from the Anonymous Fund and the Chipstone Foundation.
Heart, Head, and Hand was collaboratively curated by Aaron Beale, Associate Vice President of Student Craft, Hunter Elliott, Director of Apprenticeships, and Erin Miller, Director of Weaving at Berea College and Danielle Burke, a Ph.D. student in Design Studies and the Jane Graff Fellow in the Center for Design and Material Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The project was made possible through the efforts of a large and creative team of students, faculty, and staff at both institutions. The Berea team includes Colleen Ambrose, Family Historian; Chad Berry, Vice President for Alumni, Communications, and Philanthropy; Emerson Croft, Weaving Manager and Class of 2021; Sean Hall, Student Videographer; Walter Hyleck, Professor of Ceramics from 1967-2008; Dwayne Mack, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Professor of History; Chris Miller, Curator of Appalachian Artifacts and Associate Director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center; Lori Myers-Steele, Collections Archivist, Berea College Special Collections Caitlyn Rachschulte, Research Service Specialist, Berea College Special Collections; and Justin Skeens, Videographer.
The CDMC team at the UW-Madison team includes Sarah Anne Carter, Executive Director of the Center for Design and Material Culture; Emma deVries, Engagement Manager; Carolyn Jenkinson, Collections Manager; Laura Sims Peck, Operations Manager; Roberto Torres Mata, Preparator; and Sophie Pitman, Pleasant Rowland Textile Specialist and Research Director. The CDMC exhibition installation team includes dedicated student workers Heidi Bechler, Sarah Czech, Kate Davidson, Claire Lamoureux, Clara Landucci, Christine Koch, Estella Roddy, Danitza Rodriguez Jimenez, and Ava Schueller. Graphics and production by Creative Vixen Design, Alpha Graphics, and Digital Publishing & Printing Services.