Enriching lives through art and craft

Arrowmont Craft Conversation: Phoebe Kuo

Phoebe Kuo pays attention to quiet or overlooked spaces and activates them with site-specific, coopered wood sculptures. She led a woodworking workshop at Arrowmont in the summer of 2021, when she sat down for a Craft Conversation interview. In this new Arrowmont Craft Conversation video, Phoebe shares insights into her work and asks tough and important questions about ways to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the woodworking community.

Phoebe Kuo was an exhibiting artist at Arrowmont for the juried show Bridging the Gap: Contemporary Craft Practices. Phoebe is a studio woodworker in Evanston, IL, who makes site-specific sculpture using traditional furniture making techniques. Her practice draws on her training in design, fine woodworking, and boatbuilding, and is deeply informed by her experience as a queer second generation Taiwanese-American navigating structures of power and privilege.

Born in Lompoc, CA, Phoebe earned her BS in product design from Stanford University and her MFA in design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She consulted for a decade as a design ethnographer for Fortune 500 companies, and has conducted research in China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and the United States. She has taught graduate research techniques at Stanford University, and woodworking courses in San Francisco and Detroit. Currently she is a Masters Candidate in critical craft studies at Warren Wilson College, where she is studying how objects inform a transnational Taiwanese-American identity.

Past residencies include Haystack Mountain School of Craft’s Open Studio Residency and Chicago Artist Coalition’s FIELD/WORK. As a craft researcher, she jointly received an Exhibition Research Grant from the Center for Craft in Asheville, NC, for a collaborative book project on women in woodworking.


ARROWMONT CRAFT CONVERSATIONS is a video series that highlights artists in the Arrowmont community. Our partnership with Arrowmont faculty and community members has contributed to Arrowmont’s longevity, growth as a school of arts and crafts, and our reputation as an institution that welcomes everyone. The artists who appear in this series exemplify the characteristics that represent the School — they span generations and are among the most experienced, capable, and innovative in the arts and crafts world.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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