August 1-15, 2015
Artists’ Reception: Saturday, August 1, 6-8 pm
Velvet da Vinci is proud to present 6, an exhibition of jewelry and sculptural objects by six young voices in the field. Featured artists include Nikki Couppee, Hunter Creel, Zachery Lechtenberg, Andrew Kuebeck, Aric Verrastro, and Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro. Working with a range of processes and techniques, each artist brings a fresh perspective to their craft and material lineage. The show will run from August 1-15, 2015. An opening reception with the artists will take place on August 1st, from 6-8 pm.
Nikki Couppee’s recent work investigates the performative social functions of jewelry, utilizing Plexiglass, brass, and found objects in place of precious gems and metals. Working with everyday materials she intuitively creates her own versions of gemstones, hand cast and faceted in luminescent plastics. Couppee received an M.F.A. in Jewelry/ Metals from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (2011) and a B.F.A. from the University of Georgia, Athens Georgia in Jewlery/Metals (2007). Her work has been featured in publications such as American Craft, Metalsmith Magazine, Modern Magazine, Vogue Brazil, Dailycandy, and Lark Book’s 500 Enameled Objects. Couppee has taught enameling and jewelry/metals techniques at Kent State University, The Cleveland Institute of Art, and The Crucible in West Oakland, CA. Originally from Pensacola Beach, FL, the artist currently lives and works in the SF Bay Area.
Hunter Creel creates bold sculptural objects, utilizing a language of simple forms drawn from the realms of the utilitarian and the abstract. Powder-coated in vibrant hues of enamel paint, Creel’s hand forged copper structures appear as autonomous and animated characters- playful, energetic, and personified. The artist received his B.F.A in Metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville in 2012, under Paulette Myers. Since then Creel has been the 2015 Artist in Residence at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and has served as a faculty instructor in Ceramics and Metalsmithing at the Craft Alliance. Originally from Southern Illinois, Creel presently lives and works in Saint Louis.
Zachery Lechtenberg is an artist who “appreciates the shelf ready object,” as an avid collector of toys and other items. His highly stylized enamel works take the form of jewelry and narrative plates, with original packaging covered in hand drawn illustrations. In 6, Lechtenberg will debut a Pop-up store installation at Velvet da Vinci, featuring wearable and decorative objects adorned with the artist’s detailed graphics and figurations. The artist earned a BFA in Metalsmithing from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an MFA from East Carolina University.
Andrew Kuebeck, recipient of the 2012 SNAG Emerging Artist award, works in a variety of formats ranging from functional jewelry to sculptural objects and vessels. Inspired by Beefcake photography of the 1960’s and 70’s, his recent felt pieces explore the incorporation of photographic images into textiles, jewelry, and objects. Kuebeck’s work has been exhibited on a national level; highlights include the 2010 juried art show at the Kinsey Institute of Art, which addressed gender issues and sexual politics. His work has appeared in numerous publications such as 500 Enameled Objects, 21st Century Jewelry, Metalsmith and Niche magazine. With a BFA from Bowling Green State University (2008) and an MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Indiana University (2011), Kuebeck presently serves as Instructor of Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Aric Verrastro creates souvenirs in the form of jewelry, intended to capture the essence of noteworthy places and events from the past and present of the artist’s personal history. Verrastro earned undergraduate degrees in Metals/Jewelry and Studio Art from SUNY Buffalo State College. He recently earned an MFA in Metalsmithing/Jewelry at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), where he currently serves as Associate Instructor in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. A recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, Verrastro’s work has exhibited on national and international levels. Highlighted exhibitions include TALENTE 2015 in Munich, Germany during the world-renowned Schmuck festival.
Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro’s current presents a dialogue emphasizing the primacy of touch in experiencing jewelry, focusing on the tactile and functional properties of the brush. The artist earned an MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University (Bloomington, IL) in 2015 and a BFA in Metal/Jewelry Design from SUNY Buffalo State College in 2012. His work has been shown in various national and international exhibitions, including venues such as Galerie Marzee (Nijmegen NL), World Art Museum China Millennium Monument (Beijing CN), Gallery Ho (Seoul KR), Hun Gallery (NYC, NY), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis MN), and the Cole Art Center (Nacogdoches TX). Recently he has been a First Place recipient of the Society of North American Goldsmiths Educational Endowment Scholarship, and was appointed the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Stout School of Art and Design. His work can be seen in publications such as 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs published by Lark Books.
CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the press release.
*High-res images and further information about each artist is available upon request.