Hello! I'm back!
Although I live in Brooklyn now, my hometown is Racine, Wisconsin. I grew up there and made the decision to be a metalsmith while still in high school. It was very many years later that I realized that my town has had an enormous impact on the crafts movement of the United States. There is a very lovely article in the latest issue of American Craft that mentions the collector Karen Johnson Boyd, of the Johnson Wax family (in print only). This family was responsible for the influential Crafts USA exhibition of 1969, introducing handmade objects to thousands of Americans.
Personally, I was able to benefit from the fact that Racine high schools actually offered metal art classes. I grew up two blocks from some famous Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, and I took in the offerings at the Wustum Art Museum, now expanded into the Racine Art Museum. It is hard to know, but there was clearly a spark of connection there somewhere in my young mind.