Shine Award 2023: JoAnn Edwards

June 3, 2023 • Posted by Design Bay Area

For outstanding generosity, commitment and contributions to the design community in the Bay Area, California.

The Shine Awards began in 2021 to honor and give visibility to individuals who work and live in the Bay Area and consistently use their skills, resources, and talents as a positive force to benefit others and give back to the Bay Area Community. These individuals have also supported the efforts of San Francisco Design Week, Design Bay Area, and other community-focused nonprofits. Honorees were selfless and giving of their time.

Providing a platform for artists, makers, and designers.

As a visionary leader, JoAnn Edwards created San Francisco’s only museum devoted to craft and design. Founded in 2004, Museum of Craft and Design showcases designers, makers, and artists through an exciting and distinctive series of craft and design-focused exhibitions and public programs. In 2013, Ms. Edwards secured the museum’s permanent home in the historic Dogpatch community, making MCD a pioneering cultural hub for this now, vital area. Throughout these twenty years, she has guided the creative direction of the organization as it has grown in stature and importance in the national and international art world as well as in acceptance and relevance locally.

JoAnn Edwards has led MCD from its founding in downtown San Francisco in 2003, to its relocation and acclaimed 2013 grand reopening in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district. The Museum has been recognized as “the Best Boutique Museum in San Francisco” and its museum store as “the best Boutique Museum Store in San Francisco.” MCD has grown into an internationally recognized cultural institution that extends its institutional mission beyond its brick-and-mortar space. Just last year, MCD was named a finalist for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities.

Edwards is a staunch advocate for artists, as well as an expert in the fields of contemporary craft and design. She has served as one of the jurors for the Dutch Design Awards at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Netherlands and was an international visitors program invitee at the Het Nieuwe Institut DDW in 2022. Edwards was lead speaker for MUSCON 2016 in Miami Beach, co-organized by The Wolfsonian — FIU, Design Miami/ and the Vitra Design Museum. She is a frequent panelist at national conferences, as well as a juror/critic for such institutions as the American Craft Council, California College of the Arts, International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Bellevue Arts Museum, Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, Arts Council Santa Cruz, Patterson-Appleton Art Center, 2019 CODAawards, ENGAGE Art Fair.

Edwards is a former member of the Board of Directors and Chair of Exhibitions for the Furniture Society.