Make Change Happen in Asheville with "Ex.Change ­– My Time for Your Time"

Can you spare a few hours of your time to help the Asheville community? In Ex.Change you’ll receive a limited edition handmade ceramic cup by artist Michael Strand (Fargo, ND).

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design’s (CCCD) Benchspace Gallery & Workshop’s summer artist-led project/exhibition series, Spaces of Production, features three artists from different making backgrounds to lead projects focusing on community engagement. The selected artists include ceramic artist Michael Strand (Fargo, ND), soft guerrilla textile activist Carole Frances Lung (Long Beach,
CA) and conceptual metalsmith Nick Dong (Oakland, CA).


Spaces of Production brings making out of the studio and into the public realm. CCCD
Assistant Director Marilyn Zapf explains, “Each project draws attention to a different
sites of cultural production – the city, the factory, and the gift – by inviting or exposing
the making process itself.”

Strand’s project, Ex.Change, celebrates the many remarkable ways that we can impact
our community on a daily basis through inviting participants to Ex.Change five hours of
work for one of Strand’s limited edition, handmade cups.

Ex.Change ­– My Time for Your Time is a special exhibition and outreach project where participants can leverage their unique and personal efforts to create a greater impact within their community. Artist Michael Strand is inviting those in and around Asheville, North Carolina to consider completing five hours of volunteer work that can be Ex.Changed for one of his limited edition, handmade cups. A field guide with detailed instructions on how to participate can be found here: Ex.Change call for volunteers and participation guide.

Ex.Change is more than just a five-hour effort, it is a way for Asheville to gather together and celebrate the many remarkable ways that we impact our community on a daily basis. Throughout the exhibition, Strand will be in the gallery creating new cups (his gesture) and Ex.Changing them with participant efforts (your gesture). Over time, the exhibition will evolve from a collection of cups to a display of the stories and artifacts documenting our collective community impact.

About Michael Strand

Michael J. Strand is a Professor and Head of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University. With a background as a functional potter, Strand’s work has moved seamlessly into social and community engagement while remaining dedicated to the traditional object as he investigates the potential of craft as a catalyst for social change. Strand’s work has been published internationally, with articles in American Craft, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception, Studio Potter, Hemslojen, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Public Art Review. Strand lectures and leads workshops extensively with recent engagements at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others.  In 2014, Strand was awarded a two-year Bush Foundation Fellowship to focus on the potential of functional design to facilitate cross-cultural communication and understanding in political and social spheres extending from his home state of North Dakota to international locations such as Brazil, China, South Africa and Europe.

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