La Frontera: Encounters Along the Border

Julia Turner, Three Days Walking (Mourning Brooch), Brooch, 2013 Steel pins, enamel, steel, wood, 5 x 5 x 0.7 cm

About the Exhibition

La Frontera:
Encounters Along the Border
March 1, 2018 to September 23, 2018
Museum of Art and Design New York

“Borders separate but also unite.” – Octavio Paz, Mexican poet and diplomat

Nearly two thousand miles long, the US-Mexico border (the border) is the most frequently crossed international border in the world. Although predominantly depicted in the American media as a hub of drug trafficking and violence, the border-porous in nature-is also a place that allows for the exchange of ideas, wealth, and culture.

Recently at the forefront of political and cultural conversation following the current US President’s anti-immigration discourse and executive orders, the border has been characterized by contradictions since the nineteenth century, when the US annexed an important portion of Mexican territory. For Mexicans, Central Americans, and the United States citizens living alongside it, the border presents daily challenges that carry within them both hope and devastation. It is a complex physical, economic, cultural, social, and emotional landscape of human interaction.

The exhibition La Frontera: Encounters Along the Border seeks to explore this space and what it represents. Jewelry artists from Mexico, the United States, Latin America, and Europe expose the underlying currents of the border environment within geographic, political, economic, social, cultural, and ideological contexts. The artists transform metal, fiber, wood, and other materials into representations of their experiences, their influences, their dreams, and their nightmares.

La Frontera was originally organized and curated by Lorena Lazard and Velvet da Vinci Gallery. It premiered at the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City in 2013. It then traveled to Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, California; the Art Gallery at Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo, Indiana; and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, Texas.

La Frontera: Encounters Along the Border is co-curated by Mike Holmes and Lorena Lazard with the assistance of MAD’s Assistant Curator, Barbara Paris Gifford, and Assistant Manager of Curatorial Affairs, Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.

Major funding for La Frontera: Encounters Along the Border is provided by Barbara Waldman. Additional support is generously provided by the Rotasa Fund.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Sobre La Exposición

“Las fronteras separan, pero también unen.” —Octavio Paz, poeta y diplomático mexicano

Con casi 2,000 millas de extensión, la frontera es el cruce internacional más transitado en el mundo. Aunque con una reputación infame en los medios debido al tráfico de drogas y la violencia, esta frontera –porosa por naturaleza– es también un espacio que permite el intercambio de ideas, riqueza y cultura.

En la actualidad el tema de la frontera ha aparecido en medios políticos y culturales debido al discurso anti-inmigratorio y ordenes ejecutivas del actual Presidente estadounidense, sin embargo, desde el siglo XIX cuando Estados Unidos anexó una importante porción del territorio mexicano este ha sido un espacio lleno de contradicciones. Para los ciudadanos mexicanos, centro-americanos y estadounidenses que viven a lo largo de la frontera esta es una parte significativa de la vida. Ella presenta retos diarios que a su vez son esperanzadores y devastadores. Es un complejo panorama de interacción humana, desde el punto de vista físico, cultural, económico, social y emocional.

La exposición La Frontera: Encuentros a lo largo de ésta, busca explorar este espacio y lo que representa. Artistas de joyería contemporánea de México, Estados Unidos, América Latina y Europa exponen las corrientes subyacentes del entorno fronterizo desde los contextos geográfico, político, social, cultural e ideológico. Cada artista transforma el metal, la fibra, la madera y otros materiales representando sus propias experiencias, influencias, sueños y pesadillas.

La Frontera fue organizada y curada originalmente por Lorena Lazard y la Galería Velvet da Vinci. Comenzó en el Museo Franz Mayer en la Ciudad de México en 2013. Viajó después a la Galeria Velvet da Vinci de San Francisco, California; la Galería de Arte en la Universidad Kokomo, Kokomo Indiana; y al Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Houston Texas.

La Frontera: Encuentros a lo largo de ésta, es co-curada por Mike Holmes y Lorena Lazard con la asistencia de la Curadora Asistente del MAD, Barbara Paris Gifford, y la Gerente Asistente de Asuntos Curatoriales del MAD, Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.

Los fondos principales para La Frontera: Encuentros a lo largo de éstason proporcionados por Barbara Waldman. Apoyo adicional fue proporcionadó generosamente por Rotasa Fund.

Esta exposición es apoyada, en parte, por fondos públicos del Departamento de Asuntos Culturales de la Ciudad de Nueva York en asociación con el Consejo Municipal.

Martha Vargas, Mexico, Dream and Reality, Choker, 2012, Sterling silver, 24 x 15 x 1.5 cm, Photo: tempusdesign.com.mx

Martha Vargas, Mexico, Dream and Reality, Choker, 2012, Sterling silver, 24 x 15 x 1.5 cm, Photo: tempusdesign.com.mx

Demitra Thomloudis, United States, Reconstructed: Framed, Brooch, 2012, Cement, sterling silver, resin, steel, pigment, thread, duct tape, 8.9 x 6.4 x 4.4 cm, Photo: Seth Papac

Demitra Thomloudis, United States, Reconstructed: Framed, Brooch, 2012, Cement, sterling silver, resin, steel, pigment, thread, duct tape, 8.9 x 6.4 x 4.4 cm, Photo: Seth Papac

Judy McCaig, Scotland / Spain, No-Man's Land, Brooch, 2013, Steel, silver, tombac, perspex, paint, Herkimer diamond, tare, 8.8 x 12.6 x 1.5 cm, Photo: Eduard Bonnin

Judy McCaig, Scotland/Spain, No-Man’s Land, Brooch, 2013, Steel, silver, tombac, perspex, paint, Herkimer diamond, tare, 8.8 x 12.6 x 1.5 cm, Photo: Eduard Bonnin

Installation View, Museum of Arts and Design, New York City

Installation View, Museum of Arts and Design, New York City

Cristina Celis, Mexico, Fingerprint, Neckpieces, 2013, Modeled porcelain, 24k gold leaf, silver, 3.2 x 5.1 cm with different length chains, Photo: Francisco Velázquez

Cristina Celis, Mexico, Dactilar, Neckpieces, 2013, Modeled porcelain, 24k gold leaf, silver, 3.2 x 5.1 cm with different length chains, Photo: Francisco Velázquez

"U.S.-Mexico border at Nogales" Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde.

“U.S.-Mexico border at Nogales” Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde.

Kevin Hughes, United States, Necklace, 2013, Plastic from water jug, duct tape, silver, 10.1 x 15.2 x 4.4 cm, Photo: the artist

Kevin Hughes, United States, Untitled necklace, 2013, Plastic from water jug, duct tape, silver, 10.1 x 15.2 x 4.4 cm

Aline Berdichevsky, Mexico l Spain, Lightvessels 2, Hand jewel, 2013, Slip cast porcelain, Limoges porcelain, sterling silver, silk, 4.8 x 4.5 x 7 cm, Photo: the artist

Aline Berdichevsky, Mexico/Spain, Lightvessels 2, Hand jewel, 2013, Slip cast porcelain, Limoges porcelain, sterling silver, silk, 4.8 x 4.5 x 7 cm

Iacov Azubel, ¿Hacia Abajo es Peor?, 2013, Aluminium, digital image, 8 x 8 x 4. Photo by the artist.

Iacov Azubel, ¿Hacia Abajo es Peor?, Bracelet, 2013, Aluminium, digital image, 8 x 8 x 4 cm

Boline Strand, We Are All Immigrants, (brooch/necklace), 2018 Sterling silver, 22-karat gold, rubies

Boline Strand, We Are All Immigrants, Brooch/Necklace, 2018, Sterling silver, 22-karat gold, rubies, 6 cm diameter x 3 cm

Jesse Bert, United States/Mexico

Jesse Bert, United States/Mexico, Tom & Jerry, Brooch, 2017, Mesquite, yucca, ceramic, copper, silver, enamel, bronze, amber, paint, orange wood, bamboo, found materials, 35 x 18 x 2 1/2 cm

Installation view

Installation view

Lorena Lazard, Mexico, Tierra I and II, (pendants), 2013, Iron, polymer mud, string, earth from Tijuana, Mexcio, earth from San Ysidro, USA

Lorena Lazard, Mexico, Tierra I and II, Pendants, 2013, Iron, polymer clay, plastic wrap, thread, enamel, soil from Mexico, soil from the USA, 6 x 4 x 3 1/2 cm

Fernanda Barba Soto, Mexico, Migrante No Identificado, (body jewelry), 2012, Stainless steel, acrylic

Fernanda Barba Soto, Mexico, Migrante No Identificado, Body Jewelry, 2012, Stainless steel, acrylic, measurements variable

Alejandra Solar, Mexico/Luxemborg, Murmullos 2, (brooch), 2102, Onyx, quartz, gold leaf, photo transfer, silver

Alejandra Solar, Mexico/Luxemborg, Murmullos 2, Brooch, 2102, Onyx, quartz, gold leaf, photo transfer, silver, 6 x 8 x 1 cm

Kerianne Quick, United States, Greetings from Mexico or Souvenirs from the Border, (key fobs), 2017, Steel, leather

Kerianne Quick, United States, Greetings from Mexico or Souvenirs from the Border, Key Fobs, 2017, Steel, leather, 30 x 30 x 30 cm

Thomas Hill, United Kingdom/United States, Milagros: Mohave Rattlesnake, (pendant), 2013, Copper, enamel

Thomas Hill, United Kingdom/United States, Milagro: Mohave Rattlesnake, Pendant, 2013, Copper, enamel, 7 x 12 cm

Kristin Beeler, United States, Descanso 2, Highway 86, (rosary and digital print on aluminum), 2013 Iron wire, nylon cord

Kristin Beeler, United States, descanso 2, highway 86, Rosary, 2017, Iron fence wire, nylon cord, digital print on aluminum, 28 x 41 cm

Braceros cross the Mexico-U.S. border while walking over the bridge from Reynosa, Mexico to Hidalgo, Texas. Photo: Leonard Nadel

Braceros cross the Mexico-U.S. border while walking over the bridge from Reynosa, Mexico to Hidalgo, Texas. Photo: Leonard Nadel

Eduardo Graue, Mexico, La Frontera, (brooch), 2013, Silver

Eduardo Graue, Mexico, La Frontera, Brooch, 2013, Silver, 9 x 10.5 cm

Rachelle Thiewes, United States, Heat, (bracelet), 2013, Steel, Auto paint

Rachelle Thiewes, United States, Heat, Bracelet, 2013, Steel, Auto paint

Raquel Bessudo, Mexico, La Bestia, Necklace), 2013, Canvas, polyester thread, 1.8 x 24 x .1 cm

Kathleen Browne, United States

Kathleen Browne, United States, Lonely Bones, Objects, 2017, Copper, enamel, 10 x 38 x 30 cm

Ramón Puig Cuyàs, Spain, Silent Conversations beside the Wall II, Brooch, 2012, Nickel Silver

Ramón Puig Cuyàs, Spain, Silent Conversations Beside the Wall II, Brooch, 2012,
Nickel Silver, 5.5 x 11 x 2.5 cm

Kate Connell & Oscar Melara, United States, Arete-libro: La frontera, Earring, Book of the Border, 2013, Steel, silver & brass wire, gum & walnut woods, recycled leather drum heads, Mexican milagros, acrylic & enamel paint, colored pencil

Kate Connell & Oscar Melara, United States, Arete-libro: La frontera, Earring Book of the Border, Earrings, 2013, Steel, silver & brass wire, gum & walnut woods, recycled leather drum heads, Mexican milagros, acrylic & enamel paint, colored pencil, 6.5 x 16.5 x 1.5 cm

Installation view

Installation view

Thea Clark, United States, Torn, Necklace, 2013, Steel, cotton bandanas, epoxy resin, tinted plastic, 50 centavos coin, one cent coin

Thea Clark, United States, Entangled, Necklace, 2013, Cotton bandanas, water bottle caps, silver, copper, nickel, acrylic paint, steel

Jorge Castañón, Argentina, ¿Hacia dónde va tu sangre?, Neckpiece, 2013 Eucalyptus, linen thread, sewing thread, acrylic from Coca Cola sign

Jorge Castañón, Argentina, ¿Hacia Dónde Va tu Sangre?, Neckpiece, 2013, Eucalyptus, linen thread, sewing thread, acrylic from Coca Cola sign, 450 x 20 x 2 cm

Jacqueline Roffe, Mexico, El luchador 1 (pendant), 2013, Sterling silver, steel, precious metal clay, enamel, microesferas

Jacqueline Roffe, Mexico, El Luchador 1, Pendant, 2013, Sterling silver, steel, pure silver, decal, enamel, reflective beads, 2.5 x 4 x 4 cm

The metal border fence along the U.S.-Mexico border near the National Park Service's Coronado National Memorial, Arizona. Photo by Matt Clark.

The metal border fence along the U.S.-Mexico border near the National Park Service’s Coronado National Memorial, Arizona. Photo by Matt Clark.

Gabriela Campo, Mexico, Desvanecidos pero no olvidados, Ring, 2013, Sterling silver, wood, digital transfer on fabric

Gabriela Campo, Mexico, Desvanecidos pero no olvidados, Ring, 2013, Sterling silver, wood, image transfer on textile, 3 x 4.5 x 3.2 cm

Alberto Dávila , Mexico, Área Fronteriza, (necklace), 2013, Sterling silver, cultured pearls, tourmaline

Alberto Dávila , Mexico, Área Fronteriza, Necklace, 2013, Sterling silver, cultured pearls, tourmaline,3.4 x 8.7 x 2.9 cm

Nicolas Estrada, Colombia/Spain, Sell Your Soul, Pendant, 2013, Sterling silver, hand-painted enamel, pearls, crystal

Nicolas Estrada, Colombia/Spain, Sell Your Soul, Rosary, 2013, Silver, enamel, pearls, crystal rhinestones, 58 x 4 x .5 cm

"Entre la gloria y la pena." Playas de Tijuana Secc Monumental, Tijuana, BC, MX. Photo by Alex Torres.

“Entre la gloria y la pena.” Playas de Tijuana Secc Monumental, Tijuana, BC, MX. Photo by Alex Torres.

Pierce Healy, Ireland, El Zorro,, Neckpiece, 2013, Engraved sterling silver, leather, wood, rubber

Pierce Healy, Ireland, El Zorro, Neckpiece, 2013, Sterling silver, wood, cork, leather, 15 x 13 x 10 cm each

Sol Flores, Argentina, Borron y Cuenta Nueva 2, Brooch, 2013, Nickel silver, pencil, eraser

Sol Flores, Argentina, Borron y Cuenta Nueva 2, Brooch, 2013, Nickel silver, pencil, eraser, 16 x .5 x .5 cm

Mary Frisbee Johnson, United States, Run for the Border, Brooch, 2013, Patinated copper, lithographed tin, sterling silver

Mary Frisbee Johnson, United States, Run for the Border, Brooch, 2013,
Copper, lithographed tin, sterling silver, 8.3 x 10.5 x 1 cm

Installation view, "End of the TJ Border." Photo by Michael Beige.

Installation view, “End of the TJ Border.” Photo by Michael Beige.

Holland Houdek, United States, Removal of the Larynx, Brooch, 2012, Laryngectomy Tube, Copper, nickel silver, nickel-plated silver chain

Holland Houdek, United States, Removal of the Larynx, Brooch, 2012, Laryngectomy Tube, Copper, nickel silver, nickel-plated silver chain, 10 x 8 x 3 cm

Alejandra Koreck, Argentina, Paz/Thoreau II, Necklace, 2013, Hand-made paper, synthetic raffia

Alejandra Koreck, Argentina, Paz/Thoreau II, Necklace, 2013, Hand-made paper, synthetic raffia, 52 x 33 x 8 cm

Nancy Moyer with Mark Clark, United States, Border Fence Series: Border Scenarios, Neckpiece, 2013, Sterling silver, digital prints, glaze, steel pins, rubber cord

Nancy Moyer with Mark Clark, United States, Border Fence Series: Border Scenarios, Neckpiece, 2013, Sterling silver, digital prints, glaze, steel pins, rubber cord, 7 x 24 x 1 cm

Chiara Pignotti, Italy/Spain, Paisajes Fronterizos. México, Brooch, 2012, Bronze, bottle glass

Chiara Pignotti, Italy/Spain, Paisajes Fronterizos. México, Brooch, 2012, Bronze, bottle glass; Paisajes Fronterizos. Estados Unidos, Brooch, 2012, Sterling silver, bottle glass, 7 x 7 x 4 cm and 7 x 7 x 3.5 cm

Andrés Fonseca, Mexico, Somos Frontera, Neckpiece, 2013, grey felt, thread

Andrés Fonseca, Mexico, Somos Frontera, Neckpiece, 2013, Felt, thread, 104 x 23 x 1 cm

Martacarmela Sotelo, Mexico, Visiones de la frontera, Necklace, 2013, Sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel, oil paint, aluminum, wood, linoleum, plastic, paper, foam board, elastic

Martacarmela Sotelo, Mexico, Visiones de la Frontera, Necklace, 2013, Sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel, oil paint, aluminum, wood, linoleum, plastic, paper, foamboard, elastic, Box: 75 x 30 x 5 cm, Necklace: 7.1 x 6 x 3 cm

Poleta Rodete, Mexico, Un gozne entre dos, Ring, 2013, Forest green marble, oxidized steel

Poleta Rodete, Mexico, Un Gozne entre Dos, Ring, 2013, Marble, iron, 3.5 x 6.9 x 14 cm

Maria Solórzano, Mexico/Argentina, 3185cm., Necklace, 2013, Silk thread, ceramic

Maria Solórzano, Mexico/Argentina, 3185cm., Necklace, 2013, Silk thread, ceramic, .1 x 31.85 cm

Olga Starostina, Russia/USA, The End of a Desperate Journey…, Brooch, 2013, Recycled aluminum, copper, leather

Olga Starostina, Russia/USA, The End of a Desperate Journey…, Brooch, 2013, Aluminum, copper, leather, 10.2 x 25.4 x 1.2 cm

Jette Zirpins, Mexico, La Bestia, Neckpiece, 2013, Plastic, nickel, sterling silver, magnets

Jette Zirpins, Mexico, La Bestia, Neckpiece, 2013, Plastic, nickel silver, sterling silver, magnets, 34 x 20 x 1.8 cm

Elizabeth Rustrian, Mexico, Jacksus, Necklace, 2013, 14k gold plated brass, chain: 14k gold plated sterling silver

Elizabeth Rustrian, Mexico, Jacksus, Necklace, 2013, 14k gold plated brass, chain: 14k gold plated sterling silver, 54 x 7 x 4 cm

Mabel Pena, Argentina, El Cruce II, Brooch, 2013, Bronze, plastic, paper, sterling silver

Mabel Pena, Argentina, El Cruce II, Brooch, 2013, Bronze, plastic, paper, silver, 5.9 x 9 x 1 cm

"US Mexico Border" Photo by His Noodly Appendage.

“US Mexico Border” Photo by His Noodly Appendage.

Jorge Manilla, Mexico/Belgium, Muriendo en el intento, Pendants, 2013, 2017, Polymer gypsum, steel, fabrics, leather

Jorge Manilla, Mexico/Belgium, Muriendo en el intento, Pendants, 2013, 2017, Gypsum polymer,, steel, fabrics, leather, 19 x 9 x 6 cm

Bostock Sandra 2.a

Sandra Bostock, Mexico, Pulseras de Seguridad, Bracelets, 2012, Sterling silver, concrete, steel, 3.6 x 3.6 x 1.2 cm

Elvira Bessudo, Mexico, Seguro 3, Brooch, 2012, Stainless steel, polymer clay, thread, tea bags

Elvira Bessudo, Mexico, Seguro 3, Brooch, 2012, Stainless steel, polymer clay, thread, tea bags, 12.5 x 6.5 x .4 cm

Mayte Amezcua, Mexico, Green Card, Necklace, 2013, Sterling silver, engraved copper, pieces of Green Card, stone

Mayte Amezcua, Mexico, Green Card, Necklace, 2013, Sterling silver, engraved copper, pieces of Green Card, stone, 23.5 x 16 x .7 cm

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2017 was an important and challenging year. There were exhibitions by Tom Hill, Pierce Healy, Suzanne Pugh, Myung Urso and Amy Tavern. And Velvet da Vinci closed the gallery on Polk Street. It has been a wonderful journey and one that continues but the needs of my dear parents meant the gallery had to close. We (Diane Komater, Nikki Couppee, Amy Tavern and I) miss our pals on Polk Street and look forward to seeing you somewhere along the way. Happy New Year!

– Mike

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Rock: an installation by Amy Tavern

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Rock: an installation by Amy Tavern

As part of the Closing Party celebration, Velvet da Vinci is pleased to introduce a new site-specific installation by Amy Tavern inside the gallery’s two-story elevator and garage. Rock presents ideas of permanence and stability and includes a 20′ sculpture alongside a series of drawings of rocks, cliffs, mountains, and faults.

June 3-June 11

Rock, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20' x 6' x 2'

Rock, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20′ x 6′ x 2′

Rock, detail, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20' x 6' x 2'

Rock, detail, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20′ x 6′ x 2′

Rock, detail, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20' x 6' x 2'

Rock, detail, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20′ x 6′ x 2′

Installation View

Installation View of drawings

Sounds Like, 2016, Tyvek, 45" x 55"

Sounds Like, 2016, Tyvek, 45″ x 55″

Rocks, Mountains, Cliffs, Faults, 2017, ink and powdered graphite on graph paper, 8" x 11" each

Rocks, Cliffs, Mountains, Faults, 2017, ink and powdered graphite on graph paper, 8″ x 11″ each

A rock drawing from the series, Rocks Mountains, Cliffs, Faults, 2017, ink and powdered graphite on graph paper, 8" x 11"

A rock drawing from the series, Rocks, Cliffs, Mountains, Faults, 2017, ink and powdered graphite on graph paper, 8″ x 11″

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Rock, 2017, Tyvek, silk suture thread, cotton darning thread, approximately 20′ x 6′ x 2′

 

Velvet da Vinci is Closing

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Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco is closing. After 26 years it has been a good long run! It has been a privilege to work with so many inspiring artists, first in Hayes Valley and for the last 13 years in the wonderful space on Polk Street. Heartfelt thanks to the many loyal customers, colleagues and friends who have supported the gallery for so long. To the hard working VdV team, Diane Komater, Nikki Couppee, Amy Tavern (and Sienna Freeman!) I will miss you more than I can say. The gallery will be winding down during May and June and will close by July 1. If there is a special piece that you have been thinking about… now is the time to get it!

Although the gallery will be closing, Velvet da Vinci can still be found online. You can visit the gallery archive on the website and I plan to develop the online business here at velvetdavinci.com in the future. Follow the gallery on Instagram and Facebook. There are a few projects still in the works that I would love to see through so there is a good chance that Velvet da Vinci will “pop-up” from time to time… I’m not sure what the next chapter will bring but I look forward to see what happens. Thanks for being part of the adventure.

A Velvet da Vinci Closing Party will take place on Saturday June 3, 2017 from 5-9 pm. Details to come. Hope to see you there!

xx Mike Holmes

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Myung Urso Flora Brooches

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Brooke Marks-Swanson

Brooke Marks-Swanson Necklace

Tom Hill installing Bird Sequence

Tom Hill installing Bird Sequence

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Rodger Stevens Quasiapatheia Necklace

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Diane Komater Tall Man wire wall sculpture

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Our wonderful neighbor, Stephanie, wearing a Rachel Darbourne Lovingly Murdered brooch

 

 

 

Myung Urso: Trans – Form

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Myung Urso: Trans-Form

April 5 – May 7, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, April 7, 6-8pm 

Thread, ink, wood, paper. Humble raw materials are venerated for their textural, structural, and visual qualities. Stitched, sculpted, stretched to join seemingly incongruous elements into inseparable jewelry forms. Myung Urso has an uncanny ability not only to interpret everyday materials in entirely fresh ways, but to elevate them in her work to stature typically reserved for precious stones and metals. Even when Urso uses sterling silver, freshwater pearls, or other more traditional jewelry matter, she gives cotton, wood, and, most recently, paper pulp, centerstage. And, in their leading roles, under Urso’s direction, these objects are radiant and mesmerizing. At the heart of Urso’s work are the exploration and transformation of commonplace materials into art objects that are ambiguous, enigmatic, and beguiling.

Myung Urso is a sculptor working in jewelry, a textile artist by training, and a keen observer of the natural world’s permutations. Seasons of the year, growth cycles, the elements of water, fire, and earth, are recurrent themes in her bodies of work. Urso revels in soft, expressive organic shapes yet her approach is quite exacting and laconic. Consequently, her necklaces, brooches, and earrings can exhibit both, a minimalist architectural austerity, and an exuberance of form and surface.

Myung Urso has used jewelry as a medium of artistic expression for the past ten years. A decade is also how long she has lived in the United States. Her work reflects the abundant cultural and artistic influences of her former life in South Korea, as well as the challenges and rewards of navigating the American cultural landscape.

For years, Hanji paper was a material Urso utilized frequently in her work. More recently, she has turned to another paper product — recycled paper egg cartons and recycled paper fruit/vegetable baskets. First spotted by Urso in farmer’s market stalls in her current hometown of Rochester, NY, these humble objects, weathered by sunlight, use, and reuse, have come to symbolize, for her, the cycle of consumption and the grower-consumer relationship, Urso says. The recycled paper pulp containers carry the product of the farmers’ labor as well as nourishment for those who consume the fruit. In Urso’s hands, pieces of these containers are transformed again, their surfaces treated with marble dust or other substances, set in sterling silver, and recreated as jewelry pieces, to be worn and translated yet again.

Whether using calligraphy in novel ways, as Urso did in her early collections, or stitching through found wood debris, as she did later, or treating common paper pulp as precious commodity, Urso’s approach makes her metamorphic jewelry exhilarating.

– Elena Rosenberg, Independent Curator 

Site, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic paint, Sterling silver, 2017

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Sterling Silver, 2017

Window, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Sterling silver, 2016

Window, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Sterling Silver, 2016

Oneness, Necklace, Wood, Cotton thread, Acrylic paint, 2015

Oneness, Necklace, Wood, Cotton Thread, Acrylic Paint, 2015

Poem, Neckpiece, Cotton, Asian ink, Thread, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2007

Poem, Neckpiece, Cotton, Asian Ink, Thread, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2007

Oak Tree, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Wood Dust, Acrylic Paint, Sterling silver, 2017

Oak Tree, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Wood Dust, Acrylic Paint, Sterling Silver, 2017

Aquarius, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Marble Dust, Asian Ink, Sterling silver, 2017

Aquarius, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Marble Dust, Asian Ink, Sterling Silver, 2017

Torso, Brooch, Sterling silver, Fabric, Thread, Asian ink, 2009

Torso, Brooch, Sterling Silver, Fabric, Thread, Asian Ink, Loofah, 2009

Aquarius, Necklace, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Marble Dust, Acrylic Paint, Sterling silver, 2017

Aquarius, Necklace, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Pigment, Sterling Silver, 2017

Sign of Life, Necklace, Silk, Thread, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2012

Sign of Life, Necklace, Silk, Thread, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2012

Brood, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Egg Carton, Sand, Pigment, Sterling silver, 2017

Brood, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Egg Carton, Sand, Pigment, Acrylic Paint, Sterling Silver, 2017

Golden Silk, Neckpiece, Cotton, Thread, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2010

Golden Crest, Neckpiece, Cotton, Silk, Thread, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2010

Ancient, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Egg Carton, Marble Dust, Hair, Sterling silver, 2017

Ancient, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Egg Carton, Marble Dust, Hair, Sterling Silver, 2017

Modesty, Neckpiece, Silk, Thread, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2008

Modesty, Neckpiece, Silk, Thread, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2008

Infinity, Neckpiece, Antique Korean Book, Hanji, 23K Gold Leaf, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2011

Infinity, Neckpiece, Antique Korean Book, Hanji, 23K Gold Leaf, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2011

Presence, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Marble Dust, Asian Ink, Sterling silver, 2017

Presence, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Marble Dust, Asian Ink, Sterling Silver, 2017

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Sterling silver, 2016

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Sterling Silver, 2016

Scene, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Asian Ink, Sterling silver, 2017

Scene, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Asian ink, Sterling Silver, 2017

Flora, 2016,

Flora, Brooch, Sterling Silver, Sand, Acrylic Paint, 2016

Shrine, Necklace, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Pigment, Acrylic Paint, Silk Cord, 2017

Shrine, Necklace, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Pigment, Acrylic Paint, Silk Cord, 2017

Blue Combination, Necklace, Silk, Silicone bands, Hanji, Asian ink, Thread, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2014

Blue Combination, Necklace, Silk, Silicone Bands, Hanji, Asian Ink, Thread, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2014

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Marble Dust, Asian ink, Hair, Sterling silver, 2017

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Egg Carton, Sand, Marble Dust, Asian Ink, Hair, Sterling Silver, 2017

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Pigment, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2016

Site, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Pigment, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2016

In the Cloud, Brooch, Silk Organza, Thread, Found object, Sterling silver, Lacquer, 2013

In the Cloud, Brooch, Silk Organza, Thread, Found Object, Sterling Silver, Lacquer, 2013

Aquarius, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Asian Ink, Acrylic Paint, Sterling silver, 2017

Aquarius, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Asian Ink, Acrylic Paint, Sterling Silver, 2017

Rampart, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Asian ink, Sterling silver, 2017

Rampart, Brooch, Recycled Paper Pulp Basket, Sand, Acrylic Paint, Asian Ink, Sterling Silver, 2017

 

Suzanne Pugh: Post Pastoralia

Suzanne Pugh: Post Pastoralia 

February 24-March 12, 2017

Artist’s Reception: Friday, February 24, 6-8 pm

Artist Statement:

What do we lose when we lose language? If we lose our ability to communicate – in speaking, in writing, with language – how would we share our knowledge? What does the word ‘language’ encompass?

On a recent trip to Iceland, I found that almost everyone spoke impeccable English. There was no expectation that I would attempt to speak Icelandic and have to struggle with words, limiting my ability to ask even a simple question. In central cities all over the world, English is becoming a common language, for natives and visitors alike. What happens to a culture and a history when language dissolves?

Now, can we extend the word ‘language’ to encompass skill? The knowledge of our hands is similar to a language, passed down through necessity, experience, and exchange. I want you to see, as I do, the lateral relationship between language and skill, the parallel consequences of losing language and losing skill.

My pieces are form and material, but they are silent. The work is about forgotten language. It is about knowledge lost and found again, too late.

For more reading about the relationship between language and culture, this is a good place to start:

“Language and Culture” by Dr. Tengku Sepora Tengku Mahadi, and Sepideh Moghaddas Jafari, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 2 No. 17, September 2012

About the Artist:

Suzanne Pugh uses traditional metalsmithing techniques to explore personal and social narratives. She maintains an active studio practice in Oakland, California, and is associate professor and head of the metal arts program at City College of San Francisco. She exhibits nationally and internationally, and her work is included in many publications. Suzanne received her BFA from The University of Georgia, and an MFA from Kansas State University.

Deadly Forearms, detail, 2016, copper

Deadly Forearms, detail, 2016, copper

Installation view

Installation view

Bounty, 2016, copper, rope

Bounty, 2016, copper, rope

Bounty, detail, 2016, copper, rope

Bounty, detail, 2016, copper, rope

Bushel, 2016, steel

Bushel, 2016, steel

Bushel, 2016, steel

Bushel, 2016, steel

It’s Too Far to Tell, 2016, copper

It’s Too Far to Tell, 2016, copper

That’s Just an Estimate, 2016, rope, wood

That’s Just an Estimate, 2016, rope, wood

Deadly Forearms, detail, 2016, copper

Deadly Forearms, detail, 2016, copper

pastoralia group 2-750

It’s Too Far to Tell, 2016, copper

 

Pierce Healy: Contemporary Jewellery Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? The Musical!

Pierce Healy: Contemporary Jewellery Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? The Musical!

February 24-March 26, 2017

Artist’s Reception: Friday, February 24, 6-8 pm

Score

Artist Statement

Adornment and jewellery hail from pre-civilisation, as does humour. Hence the pairing of humour with the most intimate applied art form of jewellery is an obvious match. These days Pierce Healy can be found solving his world’s problems creating subversive objects and jewellery often layered with intricate engravings. He refers to himself as a human Swiss army knife; not in an Edward Scissorshands way but in the way he toils in an array of materials and disciplines in addition to the numerous skills he has acquired throughout his life so far.

Within his practice there is no “master plan” each piece is an experiment a study that informs the next piece. He is fascinated by the capacity of jewellery to develop into our most personal of vessels for our story’s and storytelling in addition he is interested in the idea that jewellery is our second skin and when worn becomes something bigger, something other worldly as it takes on the scratches, dings and stories of the wearers adventures. Healy combines his craze for the everyday, drawing, storytelling, mark making and hand engraving to create truly hand-made raw jewellery.

Healy is particularly interested in and the space between the artist and the non-artist and the role of humour in jewellery and how the harnessing of humour in his work can be use as stealth communication device in particular to invite everybody into the conversation.

rings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

rings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

do you realize how beautiful you are?, pendant, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, 2017

do you realize how beautiful you are?, pendant, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, 2017

rings and bracelet, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

rings and bracelet, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

the Stone Age contemporary jeweller asks his father and mother; are you dying for me to wear you?, pendant, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, 2017

the Stone Age contemporary jeweller asks his father and mother;
are you dying for me to wear you?, pendant, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, 2017

when a contemporary jeweller falls in a forest, who cares!, pendant, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather

when a contemporary jeweller falls in a forest, who cares!, pendant, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather

talismamulets (#1-5), pendants, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, 2017

talismamulets (#1-5), pendants, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, 2017

stable meal, hand engraved pewter and modified found metal and wood objects, 2017

stable meal, hand engraved pewter and modified found metal and wood objects, 2017

volcanic love #1-2, spinning rings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

volcanic love #1-2, spinning rings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

crustacean’s #4, earrings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

crustacean’s #4, earrings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, 2017

collection of earrings, pendants, and rings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, found objects, 2017

collection of earrings, pendants, and rings, hand engraved oxidized sterling silver, leather, found objects, 2017