Columbus College of Art & Design is launching a new major dedicated to the study of contemporary crafts.

Starting in fall 2017, students in the new Contemporary Crafts program will learn how to make, market, and sell highly crafted pieces of ceramics, glass, and jewelry.

“The crafts major will produce graduates who are very skilled in design and have the practical skills to get their work out in the world,” said Kelly Malec-Kosak, Chair of the Contemporary Crafts and Fine Arts programs at CCAD.

Fine artists have been working with crafts materials for years at CCAD, but the new crafts program will add additional emphasis on production and business skills.

“The program will help students grow as makers as well as people who can create businesses, exhibit work, and be active in their communities,” Malec-Kosak said.

Students in the new crafts major will learn to make thoughtful objects that people will wear or use. They’ll also learn technical and conceptual skills and gain business experience so they graduate ready to enter the field of contemporary crafts as thoughtful, skilled, and engaged makers.

The new crafts major fits into the growing artisan movement, as people increasingly want objects that are made by experts in their fields.

“People want the objects in their lives to be meaningful,” Malec-Kosak said.

That’s especially true in Columbus, which has a thriving creative economy and a large population of people who value handmade contemporary crafts.

“There’s an appreciation in Columbus for the handmade and the well-designed,” Malec-Kosak said.

And the city has plenty of businesses and creative spaces that support makers, including Glass Axis, 400 West Rich and The Smithery, where CCAD grads Anne Holman and Jen Townsend create and sell artist-made goods. Plus, with nearby institutions such as the Ohio Craft Museum, the Cultural Arts Center, and the Ohio Art League, the major makes sense in central Ohio.

“When our students graduate, they can make their art and make a living, among a thriving community of makers,” Malec-Kosak said.


Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private art and design colleges in the United States, offering 12 undergraduate majors and two graduate programs in art and design that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level.


Jeannie Nuss
Senior Media Relations Specialist