Mary Callahan (MC) Baumstark (she/her) is a craft scholar, art-ministrator, and quick-talking-trouble-maker based in Lewistown, MT. Raised in Western Montana, MC received her BFA with an emphasis in Ceramics from the University of Montana in 2013, before completing her Masters in Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories from OCAD University in 2016. Her award-winning thesis, “Craftivist Clay,” was the first scholarly document to define craftivism as a method of making within contemporary ceramic practice.
A seminal voice in craftivism, MC speaks and writes frequently about craftivism’s critical history, its intersections with white feminism, and the future of the method. MC is the editor of Social Objects (2017), the first book dedicated to Socially Engaged Craft, and a contributing author to scholarly anthologies like Makers, Crafters, Educators: Working for Cultural Change (2018) and Critical Digital Making in Art Education (2020). Her writing has been featured in Studio Potter, Fusion Magazine, Studio Magazine, CFile, and more.
MC was the Resident Art Historian for the former Socially Engaged Craft Collective (2014-2020), a Writer in Residence for the Canadian Craft Biennial (2017), the Guest Editor of Ornamentum Magazine (2022), and the Jentel Critic at the Bray (2023). She serves as the Executive Director of the Lewistown Art Center, and is on the board of several local and state-wide organizations. She specializes in working with collaborative pairs, profiling artists with social justice at the heart of their work, and donates application and grant writing to BIPOC artists, women, and marginalized community members.