Lifetime Achievement Award

UAAC-AAUC Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is presented to a past or present member of UAAC who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession over the whole of a career either through leadership, creation, education, curatorial projects, service or publications.

UAAC is pleased to announce that the 1st recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Sandra Alfoldy.

Sandra Alfoldy was a preeminent Historian of Canadian Craft who passed away in February 2019 after a hard battle with Cancer. Sandra did her undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria and broke the field open when in 2001 she received her PhD from Concordia in the field of Craft History, becoming Canada’s first Craft Historian.

She is the author of numerous scholarly texts on craft including Crafting Identity: The Development of Professional Fine Craft in Canada (McGill Queen’s University Press, 2005), and The Allied Arts: Architecture and Craft in Postwar Canada (McGill Queen’s University Press, 2012.  In 2007, Sandra edited Neocraft: Modernity and the Crafts (NSCAD Press, 2007) – a publication that captured the innovative discussion of the 2004 conference NeoCraft hosted by NSCAD University. Sandra, with Janice Helland, co-edited Craft, Space and Interior Design: 1855-2005 in 2008.

In her work, Sandra foregrounded a mandate of communicating not only to craft scholars, but also to practitioners and students especially. One of the key ways Sandra did this was through amazing, creative, playful and brilliant curatorial projects. Some of her curatorial triumphs include Off the Table (2007) co-curated at the Gardiner museum with Rachel Gottlieb, surveying 100 years of functional craft, Unity and Diversity (2009) at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea in 2009 and at the Vancouver Museum during the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Naked Craft (2016) co-curated and co-organized with Denis Lonchamps and Emma Quinn in Canada and Juliette MaDonald and Arno Verhoeven in Edinburgh. An upcoming project co-curated by Sandra with Shannon Parker and Julie Hollenbach celebrates the prolific life and work of prominent Canadian ceramicist, Walter Ostrom (The Passionate Pots of Walter Ostrom). It will open at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2020 going on to tour across Canada and the United States before travelling to venues in China in 2022.

Since 2002 — for almost 20 years — Sandra has taught craft at NSCAD. Championing a new wave of craft practitioners, craft curators, and craft scholars. Many were inspired to pursue craft because of Sandra’s passionate pedagogy. Her dedication to and care for her students and their learning experience was exceptional and unparalleled.

And through all her tremendous work. Sandra remained a loving and devoted mother to two boys, Viktor and Nicholas. Her family was always her priority.

Recently, Sandra cofounded (with Gary Markle and Rory McDonald) NSCAD’s Craft Institute, which has been renamed The Dr. Sandra Alfoldy Craft Institute in Sandra’s Honour.