From innovative biophilic designs to authentic native beadwork to stunning sustainable fashion, this year’s Artisan Market grant recipients embody the true essence of artistry and craftsmanship.

Mike and Alysha Borio | MB Woodworking

How did you begin your work, and what is the message behind it? 

We began building custom furniture for friends and family and quickly realized it was something we wanted to try to do full-time. We also have a love for nature and thought it would be interesting to combine two natural elements—wood and plants—together to create one-of-a-kind artwork. We started creating beautiful, handmade propagation hangers, shelves, and plant stands with wooden chevron designs. We soon discovered natural, preserved moss, which changed the game for us. We started to create handmade frames from local lumber and filled them with an intricate arrangement of lush, preserved mosses and ferns! These “jungle walls” soon became our favorite thing to create. Now we create custom moss/jungle walls for homes and businesses, as well as teach DIY Moss Frame workshops! Moss absorbs sound, so it also helps with the acoustics in restaurants, venues, conference rooms, etc. Since this moss is preserved, it requires zero maintenance! It is the perfect option for people who would love to own house plants, but can’t seem to keep them alive, travel often, or don’t have enough light in their homes. We understand the importance that plants have in our lives. Research has shown that being around plants lowers stress levels and creates feelings of peace, tranquility, lessened anxiety, and improved focus. We know not everyone has the ability to get outside each day, so with these preserved jungle/moss walls, we hope to bring the peacefulness of plants indoors (without the mess or maintenance) for everyone to enjoy!

What does receiving this grant mean to you? 

Receiving this grant means so much! We feel that we fit right into the beauty that Winterthur brings. We know this is going to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people who also understand the beauty of nature and the importance of being creative. Going out on your own and starting your own business, especially these days, can be a real challenge. So, we truly can’t thank you enough for this opportunity!

How does your work connect to Winterthur?

Our work connects to Winterthur’s mission by exemplifying everything the mission stands for! We know that creativity, openness, integrity, and finding beauty in life are as important to Winterthur as they are to us. We use nature to create artwork, which we feel encompasses Winterthur in full. Taking the beauty and wildness of nature and turning it into something that can be brought inside to enjoy for years is something we feel very honored to be able to do.

Learn more about MB Woodworking.

Renita Coursey | The Nanticoke Native

How did you begin your work, and what is the message behind it? 

I returned home to Nanticoke land nearly twenty years after I had left it. An enlistment in the Navy, two college degrees, and one divorce later, I returned with a longing to connect with my ancestry. 

There was no glamorous beginning to this journey. I taught myself two-needle flat stitch in the kitchen of my one-bedroom apartment while my baby was asleep. With a new career and a new child to care for, I quickly learned the value of making small efforts consistently. I learned whatever stitch I could with whatever time I had. Often, I honed those skills while much of the world slept. I’ve been studying and practicing this art form for two years now, and I apply this mindset to every aspect of my life. Small efforts every day bring about great results. 

One of my goals is to deliver authentic, elevated, native-beaded items that stand apart from the mass-produced and mundane. To bring visibility to indigenous art and fashion, and ultimately to bring honor and recognition to the Nanticoke Nation of Old Indian River Hundred. 

What does receiving this grant mean to you? 

Receiving this grant means opportunity to me! It means the chance to represent myself and my tribe and bring attention to the beauty of real native beadwork! 

Through my artwork, I have a chance to show Artisan Market attendees who I am and who the Nanticokes are. To have that chance, and to do it with the help of this grant, is such a blessing. 

How does your work connect to Winterthur? 

My work connects with Winterthur’s aim to preserve and study American history by celebrating what remains. I am a descendant of the Nanticokes who inhabited this land before European colonization. No greater piece of American history deserves to be listened to. 

Learn more about The Nanticoke Native.

Eva Dillon | Salvage_19144

How did you begin your work, and what is the message behind it?

Being an artist has truly been a lifelong journey for me. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Sewing was a passion I picked up later on while creating Halloween costumes from scratch with my mom. As I’ve grown older, I’ve picked up many other creative passions—from linocut printing to jewelry making—there isn’t an art form I haven’t connected with! The message behind my work is centrally focused on finding the most ethical and sustainable ways to create and design for a better future. I strive to be the change I want to see in the world by using secondhand materials whenever I can, thinking intentionally about the lifespan and circularity of my creations, and sourcing locally for at least 90 percent of my materials and outsourced labor. Additionally, as a queer artist, I work to create garments and art that exist outside of the binary. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to the community to create art that helps us feel seen, valued, and loved. 

What does receiving this grant mean to you? 

This grant is truly a gift. Had I not received it, I would have missed out on this incredible opportunity to share my work with the world. This grant will not only aid the exposure of my vision and craft, but it will also inevitably provide me with the funds to continue making and selling art at an affordable price point, giving back to the community, and expanding my knowledge as a creative. I am infinitely grateful to Winterthur for seeing something special in my work, and offering me a spot at Artisan Market! 

How does your work connect to Winterthur? 

My work ties in strongly with Winterthur’s mission to inspire and educate through art, design, nature, and history. I strive to inspire others to see the value in sustainable, slow, and intentional practices through the viewing and wearing of my art. In my own small way, I hope to shift consumers’ perspectives on the worth of their garments and possessions. To preserve our beautiful natural world and continue to appreciate what it offers, we must learn to value the processes that extend the life cycle of our possessions. I clearly see these values of preservation and education alive at Winterthur, and I feel honored to be a part of it.

Learn more about Salvage_19144

Artisan Market

Meet our talented grant recipients in-person and shop their stunning wares at this year’s Artisan Market, July 19-21!