Our overall program is focused at the intersection between fine craft, contemporary art, and design and the artists in this exhibition superbly exemplify the dynamic interplay between the concepts of form, function, individuality, context and highly skilled craftsmanship that you find at that intersection.
We partnered with independent curator Gail M. Brown, who has recently moved to Santa Fe, because of her knowledge of and passion for the incredibly rich diversity, intelligence, skill and creativity with which American studio jewelry is being made across America today. Here in Santa Fe, jewelry is an important medium but tends to be thought of in fairly traditional terms. We both wanted to broaden the conversation, here in Santa Fe, about studio jewelry and open eyes to the diversity of materials and significant context that an invited group of well regarded artists who are working in the field are employing today.
Here is an overview of just a few of the artists you’ll find in the show, AN EXUBERANCE OF COLOR In Studio Jewelry.
Harriet Estel Berman’s jewelry is constructed from post consumer recycled materials, including printed tin cans and plastic found objects. She asks, “how much of our own identity is derived from what we consume and why we consume it? The materials may not be as precious as gold or silver, but in many ways reveal more accurately the values of our society”.
Julia Barello uses dyed medical xray film (from unknown patients) to explore the concepts of identity, individuality, and the interplay between our own individual worlds and how we function as groups.
Joyce J. Scott, is known nationally for her intricate glass beadwork through which she explores social issues including hunger, rape, and racial stereotypes.
Mike & Maaike is a progressive industrial design studio led by Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers. They create new opportunities through products, technology, furniture, environments, packaging and transportation. Their jewelryprovides an exploration of tangible vs. virtual in relation to real and perceived value. “Using Google Image Search, we browsed through some of the most expensive and often famous jewelry in the world, the low-res images we found were stolen, doctored, then transferred to malleable leather, creating a tangible new incarnation. With the expense and intricacy of the jewels stripped away, their essence and visual intensity are extracted.”
Viewed purely as objects of adornment, each of the works in the show demonstrates individual ideas and joyous vocabularies in an exuberance of color and media, creative design and masterful execution, but we hope you’ll find that collectively, the exhibition Gail M. Brown has masterfully curated also demonstrates how jewelry can transcend the function of decoration, just as other forms of visual art.
You can read the full online exhibition catalog with artist bios and images online here.