Poster Released for 2019 Arts & Crafts Conference

No, that’s not a typo.

Each year the attendees at the National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, receive a free poster – announcing the next year’s dates. In February they will find in their canvas tote bag, along with their Conference Catalog, a poster designed by artist Jan Schmuckal.


A native of St. Charles, Illinois, Jan Schmuckal graduated from the University of Illinois in 1986 with a degree in Industrial Design, and spent the following years as a designer in the Point-of-Purchase industry. After many years as a designer, she had an overwhelming desire to start painting again, which she had not done since high school.  She started out in a little makeshift studio in the corner of her apartment bedroom.

To further hone her technique, she pursued an ad-hoc education, taking workshops and classes from both nationally accredited and local artists. She entered regional shows, then national shows, placed her work in galleries, gave painting workshops, quit her design job, and taught art classes. Today Jan owns an art gallery in a 122-year-old house in Geneva, Illinois, where her studio is attached to the gallery.

The changing light of day and the moods it evokes are the foundation of all of Jan’s oil paintings. Each piece usually starts with a powerful, simple composition, which then evolves into a theme where strong light and shadow and deep color are within the primary subject. Rather than depicting a particular place or time, Jan’s primary intentions are strength, mood and simplicity.

Jan was selected to design the poster for the 2019 32nd National Arts and Crafts Conference, and she spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what best represented the experience of attending the conference held at the historic Grove Park Inn.

“Many folks comment about spending time in the Great Hall,” she explained, “looking out at the Blue Ridge Mountains during sunset, immersing themselves within and amongst historic and artful architecture, along with beautiful examples of furniture, craft, and art.”

With that thought in mind, Jan designed an art piece that encompasses those feelings one gets from the experience of attending the Arts and Crafts Conference held at that beloved location, among those things that are loved and with those who are loved as well.

Her inspiration came from “looking out of one of the Great Hall casement windows to the distant mountains made so blue by the setting sun, past a copse of pines upon the hillside and an invitation to sit awhile in an oak armchair and enjoy the winding down of the day.” Her painting was done entirely in oil. In keeping with the Arts and Crafts aesthetic was hand-painted, and has been faithfully reproduced for your enjoyment at the Arts and Crafts Conference in February.

In addition, Jan has ongoing association with Dard Hunter Studios, and they represent her work annually at the National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn. The marriage of Dard’s frames and Jan’s work has been enthusiastically embraced by the Arts and Crafts community.

For more information on the February 16-18 National Arts and Crafts Conference, please go to