ALLIED CRAFTSMEN TODAY builds on Mingei International’s 2011 exhibition SAN DIEGO’S CRAFT REVOLUTION – From Post War Modern to California Design, which featured works from the seminal period of 1945 to 1980. This current exhibition, honoring the group’s collective achievements and longevity, includes recent work by 37 of the Allied Craftsmen’s 68 active members. Representing cutting-edge craft in various mediums, ALLIED CRAFTSMEN TODAY applauds the group’s quiet, continuous and extraordinarily rich contributions to the visual arts in San Diego.

The Allied Craftsmen of San Diego originated in the 1940s as a specialized group within a larger, more comprehensive organization called the Allied Artists’ Council. Although the parent group dissolved by 1950, the Allied Craftsmen continued, bringing in new members and new media, while championing modern art aesthetics and holding themselves to high technical standards. Today, the group continues its mission to promote local artisans, produce exhibitions and sell artwork, fostering a community of mutual support and inspiration.

Just as early members of the Allied Craftsmen were vital to the development of the artistic and educational community of San Diego, current members represent organizations and institutions throughout the county. Many serve as professors, lecturers, educators and administrators at local colleges, universities and high schools, while others are closely associated with artist collectives and workspaces such as Clay Associates, the former Crafts Center at UCSD and Space 4 Art.

Today, artist-members work within nine craft categories: ceramics, enamel, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, metals, wood and mixed media; the finished work ranges from the functional to the sculptural. For example, some ceramicists experiment with their medium, creating hand-built mixtures with paper and other materials, dipping forms into porcelain or adding metal, found objects or natural materials. In the realm of fiber, artists have amplified traditional quilting methods by adding intricate appliquéd designs, moving their works toward three-dimensional sculpture. Artists working in wood have reinvented furniture, customizing it for contemporary lifestyles and surpassing traditional conventions. Artists working in mixed media use everything from mud to found objects to create complex works using a variety of materials, while artists working in computer-automated design also find expression in the group. Many of the Allied Craftsmen featured here are represented in museum and private collections, and all of them richly contribute to the legacy of this dynamic collective of local artists.

Artists that are featured in the exhibition listed below. Click on the links to learn more:


Jennifer Anderson
Warren Bakley
Charlotte Bird
Richard Burkett
Ron Carlson
Levi Casias
Nan Coffin
David Cuzick
Arline Fisch
David Fobes
Erik Gronborg
Kathy Grudzas
Alexandra Hart
Joanne Hayakawa
Matthew Hebert
Paul Henry
Josh Herman
Jeff Irwin
Ashley Kim
Yoonchung Kim
Dot Kimura
Linda Litteral
Viviana Lombrozo
Lisa Maher
Kathy Miller
Cheryl Nickel
Joe Nyiri
Todd Partridge
Sasha Koozel Reibstein
Susan Ronan
Eric Rempe
Gail Schneider
Sondra Sherman
Helen Shirk
Julie Thompson
Lana Wilson
Minako Yamane-Lee


More Exhibitions



Homage to the Horse and Other Steeds

Featuring objects from around the globe that celebrate the speed, power and serviceability of the horse and other noble beasts of burden.

May 26, 2017 - November 12, 2017Closes soon


Arline Fisch

One of a Kind

Featuring jewelry, body ornaments and a collection of knitted and crocheted wire hanging flowers and sea creatures by internationally-renowned artist, Arline Fisch.

June 17, 2017 - January 7, 2018


Indonesian Shadow Puppets

An intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery featuring a selection of shadow puppets from Indonesia.

July 19, 2017 - March 18, 2018


Art of the Americas

Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei's Collection

Part of the Getty Center-led initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, this exhibition offers the most comprehensive presentation to date of the Museum’s significant holdings of objects used by people from the ancient cultures of Mexico, Central and South America.

September 16, 2017 - February 18, 2018



Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal

Featuring approximately 40 kantha (decorative stitched quilting made from recycled sari) from the Museum's permanent collection.

October 28, 2017 - March 25, 2018Opens soon