Guild Honors Craftsmen with Lifetime Achievement Awards
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RIDGELAND, Miss.– The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi will honor craftsmen and longtime Guild members Marcy Petrini and Andrew Young, both of Jackson, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at “Let’s Do Lunch” on Thursday, May 19 at 11:30 am at the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland. Petrini and Young are receiving the Guild’s highest honor in recognition of their personal accomplishments in their mediums, their education and mentorship of others artists, and the leadership roles they both have played to further the Guild’s value. The luncheon will also remember Joseph Barksdale “J.B.” Keith of Clinton, the first recipient of the Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, J.B. Keith, who passed away October 31, 2015.
Marcy Petrini has been active in the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi since 1980, when Guild Founding Director Dan Overly asked her to teach weaving for the Guild, which has been a very successful part of the education program at the Mississippi Craft Center for more than 25 years. This led her to teach nationally and become active in the Handweavers’ Guild of America of which she later served as president, and to write a regular column for their quarterly, Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot.
A native of Italy, Petrini learned knitting, crocheting and other handcrafting skills as a child, but began weaving while in medical school in Rochester, New York. She and her husband, Terry Dwyer, became so fascinated that they spent their wedding money on loom plans, wood and hardware. While Marcy experimented with brilliant colors and patterns, Terry continued making looms and now maintains the Guild looms.
Marcy and Terry have been a part of the Chimneyville Craft Festival and all other Guild functions for many years. She has served on the Board of Directors three separate times. She has been treasurer, chairman of the standards committee, chairman of the education committee and was on the organizing committee for the Chimneyville Craft Festival.
Petrini lists as her most successful achievement the number of outstanding weavers who have gone on to become members of the Guild after taking her classes and the many who have become friends and supporters of the Guild.
Andrew Young became a member of the Guild in the organization’s second year and has now been a member for forty two years. Serving as president of the Board of Directors and on the standards committee, Young helped Guild organizer Dan Overly find creative and talented craftsmen and bring them together. He opened Pearl River Glass Studio in 1975 and has had remarkable success, including being the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2002.
In addition to heading his glass studio, Young has a degree in education for the ministry and many of the churches in Mississippi and in other states contain beautiful stained glass windows by created by him. Through Pearl River Glass Studio and teaching classes for the Craftsmen’s Guild, Andy has been a mentor to many beginning glass artists, several of whom had their work juried and accepted into the guild and are now active members of the organization. For over four decades, Andy’s extraordinary stained glass pieces have been favorites at the Chimneyville Crafts Festival and in the gallery of the Mississippi Crafts Center.
After retirement, J. B. Keith turned his passion for making and playing the mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer into a successful business and made him well-known throughout the Southeast. His regular showings at the Canton Flea Market, the Chimneyville Crafts Festival and at the Mississippi Craft Center in the log cabin on the Natchez Trace Parkway sparked local interest in his instruments, and purchasers included people from all over the US as well as foreign nations. He created over 3000 dulcimers, including some for well-known musicians like R.E.M. and Aerosmith. J.B. was a devoted member and past president of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi who was honored by his peers with the Guild’s first Lifetime Achievement award. Other recipients are Gwen Magee, George Berry, Susan Ford Robertson and Fletcher Cox.
The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1973 to preserve, promote, market, educate and encourage excellence in regional crafts. The Guild is headquartered in the 20,000 square foot Mississippi Craft Center and represents 370 craftsmen who were accepted after demonstrating a mastery of their particular medium.