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American Hands

American Hands  is Sally Wiener Grotta’s ongoing narrative visual celebration of those individuals –  blacksmiths, weavers, spinners, glassblowers, bookbinders, rug makers, etc.  – who are keeping alive the traditional trades that built our country’s diverse culture.

Sally’s natural down-to-earth shooting style helps artisans warm to her camera, developing personal relationships that allow her to share in intensely private and often poignant creative moments, as well as spontaneous expressions of joy and discovery.

Her narrative series of portraits capture both the fascinating creative processes and the individual personalities of the craftspersons. This project has hit a resonant chord with the public and the art world, and continues to generate quite a “buzz.”

Please help spread the word about American Hands.

  • Please tell your friends, family and associates.
  • Sign up for the free American Hands Newsletter at, and forward it to those you feel might be interested.
  • Blog, tweet and link to American Hands website, as well as like American Hands on Facebook. (On Twitter, our ID is @SallyWGrotta, and the hashtag is #AmericanHands.)
  • Suggest possible venues for American Hands artist-in-residencies, lectures, exhibits, etc. on When possible, please provide contact information for the venues.
  • Suggest possible photo subjects for American Hands on Please remember that the focus is on those artisans who are creating concrete objects that were needed by our developing society, rather than those items that were primarily aesthetic or temporary in nature.
  • Give a tax-deductible donation to help document, preserve and share these great stories, and remind our nation to continue to respect and support the people keeping such skills alive. (American Hands is a 501(c)(3) non-profit under the New York Foundation for the Arts’ fiscal sponsorship.) For more info and to make a donation, please go to American Hands on NYFA’s Artspire website.

Your support will make it possible for Sally to travel the United States, photographing traditional tradespeople at work, and sharing her pictures and stories through free-to-the-public exhibits, lectures and slideshow presentations.

Learn more at and find Sally on Facebook at



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