January 13 – February 12, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 6-8 pm
I have always rather liked Mr. Potato Head… a set of simple features grant life and humor to a lumpen ovoid and vegetable becomes man; evolution in speedy form.
Sweet potatoes have a rather avian form (if you care to think about it) and so a set of generic bird parts; beaks, eyes, feathers, legs, etc. render complex carbs into birds which are, I hope (and please excuse the pun), Yamtastic fun.
Pictured above: Pumpkin Owl, 2016, Wood, steel, brass, copper, paint, 9.5 x 9 x 7.5 in.
Shared Concerns: Melissa Cameron, Aran Galligan, Dan DiCaprio, Kaori Juzu, Jill Hermans, Caitie Sellers, Lynn Batchelder, and Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro
July 1-31, 2016
Artists’ Reception: Friday, July 1, 6-8pm
An exhibition documenting the meeting of eight international artists, brought together to work in the Penland studios in the mountains of North Carolina. As a group, the artists were asked to share a word that encapsulated the main concern of their practice. Words were then swapped at random so that each person received a different word, and used it as a part of the inspiration for their new work, by interpreting the ‘concern’ of another group member.
The pieces begun during their Winter Residency at Penland and were finished in studios across the United States as well as in Australia and Denmark, where this diverse group of jewelry artists call home. Shared Concerns is curated by Melissa Cameron and Aran Galligan.
Holidays at Velvet da Vinci
The 26th Annual Holiday Celebration December 1-31
Holiday Reception Sunday December 4, 11-5
Special Holiday gifts by gallery artists.
Holiday Hours: Monday-Saturday 11-6, Sunday 11-5
Two Days Only!
Saturday November 19, 11-6 and Sunday November 20, 11-4
Opening Reception Saturday November 19, 6-8pm
Gateway Drugs Pop-Up Jewelry Event highlights jewelry from 25 international artists and creates a multi-faceted opportunity to introduce a new selection of artist-made, contemporary jewelry. Organized by Mariah Tuttle.
Participating artists: Farrah Al-Dujaili (United Kingdom), Lynn Batchelder (USA), LizClark (USA), Nikki Couppee (USA), Anna Davern (Australia), Linnea Erikson (Sweden), Kiko Gianocca (Switzerland), Adam Grinovich (Sweden/USA), Nils Hint (Estonia), Christine Jalio (Finland), Sooyeon Kim (Korea), Yong Joo Kim (Korea), Panjapol Kulpapangkorn (Thailand), Zachery Lechtenberg (USA), Heng Lee (Taiwan), Helmi Lindblom (Finland), Helena Johansson Lindell (Sweden), Tara Locklear (USA), Seth Papac (USA), Carina Shoshtary (Germany), Demitra Thomloudis (USA), Lauren Tickle (USA), Nelly Van Oost (France/Belgium), Sarah West (USA), and Mallory Weston (USA).
November 4 – November 20, 2016
Artist’s Reception Friday, November 4, 2016, 6-8pm
Material foraged out of the Hudson River and Rondout Creek are shifted in form and used to explore the post-industrial landscape, regional histories, visibility and camouflage, the human impulse to adorn, and cultural substitutions/additions/deletions.
The brickworks that once occupied the shores of the Hudson River and its tributaries used the banks to discard failed fired bricks. These failures are the containers of the hope, pride, greed, labor, sweat, and process of a rich industrial culture. The now exhausted clay deposit, dug from these same banks, returns; a prodigal son, formed, hardened, humbled, repentant. Transformed from their natural state by fire but unusable as building materials, they exist as erratics, each possessing a characteristic naming it as aberration, odd, unsuitable. Slowly they transform again, this time by the tidewaters, breaking down not into what they were, but into something new. Added to the river ecosystem as discards they become a decorative surface–both coarse and fine. As remains of an exhausted resource and defunct process they become a finite material. As a material found in but not belonging to the landscape they become a way to examine place, history, and the ways we carry both with us. The fruits of the river–oysters, shad, sturgeon–replaced by brickworks, cement, mineral mines, and stone quarries. As European immigrants settled the land and displaced the native Algonquin speaking tribes, culture and its produce also shifted from hunter to farmer to industry. From shell, bone, and skin to pearl, metal, and silk.
The hand-cut and carved bricks are combined with pearls, shell, silk, silver and gold. Using stringing and pearl knotting techniques, the work plays between the adornment ideals of the Dutch Golden Age and the ceremonial adornment of the native Lenape Tribes of the Hudson River Valley. The resulting objects are hybrid artifacts that articulate a proposed series of cultural substitutions/additions/deletions.
The work consists of both practical and theoretical jewelry objects, made from discarded bricks from the brickworks of the Hudson River Valley. All the bricks were hand cut and carved. Some were tumbled to appear as they would if they were washed for years in the waves of the river. Some were strung using traditional pearl knotting techniques on silk, while others required that the stringing material be steel cable in order to support the weight of the brick material. Aluminum crimps were used to connect the steel cable or in place of ‘knots’ to suspend the brick segments along the cable. Polyolefin shrink tube was used as a coating to protect the bricks from wear and the wearer from the rough surface of the steel cable.
About the Artist:
Kerianne Quick is Assistant Professor of Jewelry and Metalwork at San Diego State University. Her scholarly research mixes traditional and digitally driven making processes with material focused historical and ethnographic inquiries to consider how objects can be embedded with meaning.
Kerianne has produced several bodies of material specific work considering subject matters that range from communal sheep farming practices in the Orkney Isles to the derelict brickyards of New York’s Hudson Valley. She is currently researching contemporary forms of portable wealth among migrants seeking asylum/refugee status. With her creative practice, Kerianne aims to tell hidden stories through object making – by considering source, geography, and material specificity. Her research is rooted in exploring craft and materiality as cultural phenomena with an emphasis on jewelry and personal adornment.
September 8-October 9, 2016
Artists’ Reception: Friday, September 9, 6-8pm
CrossPass is a project featuring collaborative and solo works by artists Demitra Thomloudis and Motoko Furuhashi that examines place through expanded media and the intimate lens of jewelry and small objects. The project targets a distinctive stretch of the Interstate 10 corridor connecting the unique borderplex region of El Paso, Texas to Las Cruces, New Mexico. The objective of CrossPass is to allow site-specific locations and the artists’ shared personal inquiries along this route to initiate the collection of images, video and sound which directly influences the creation of jewelry and objects. The viewer is asked to join them in their investigation of this land awash with dramatic terrain, vernacular structures and a multitude of boundaries; and, to uniquely discover these sites through the body.
About the Artists:
Motoko Furuhashi was born in 1982 in Tokyo, Japan. While growing up in Tokyo, she received her introduction to art from her grandfather. Her recent works are inspired by her experiences traveling around the world and the road that takes her from one place to another. Motoko received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Oakland Museum of California, and Nobana Art Works in Ginza in Tokyo. Publications include 500 Plastic Jewelry design by Lark Books, New Rings: 500+ Designs from Around the World by Nicolas Estrada, and Humor in Craft by Brigitte Martin.
Furuhashi Artist Statement:
“I am deeply fascinated with imperfection and the complexity of the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death as the processes that govern life. The overall intent with my work has been to slow the viewer down and make what goes unnoticed important. By highlighting what is viewed as imperfect my work can bring relevance to the object. My belief is that objects only gain importance when the artist draws attention to them. My work is a shift in the meaning of perfection, transforming our perception of reality to new perspectives.”
Demitra Thomloudis is a studio jeweler, visual artist, and an Assistant Professor in the Jewelry and Metalwork at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. Originally from the Philadelphia area, she received her MFA from San Diego State University and her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Her work is recognized nationally and internationally and she has exhibited, lectured, and taught at institutions, fairs, and events such as SOFA Chicago, Athens (Greece) Jewellery Week, and the Penland School of Crafts. Artist residencies include a yearlong appointment at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Smitten Forum. Demitra is included in publications such as 500 Plastic and Resin Jewelry, 500 Enameled Objects, and The Art of Jewelry: Plastic & Resin: Techniques, Projects and Inspiration. Demitra’s work is represented by Charon Kransen Arts-USA, Alliages Organization-France, and Penland Gallery at the Penland School of Crafts-USA.
Thomloudis Artist Statement:
“My jewelry is influenced by the vernacular architecture and landscapes of site-specific locations. This interest has led me to identify particular aesthetic characteristics and construction techniques that I employ to create works to be worn on the body. As an artist using jewelry and objects as an artistic format for self-expression, my work intends to challenge the construct of the medium as a means to examine value, material sign systems, and extensions of personal and place identity. By relating to the aesthetics of architecture, landscape, and place in this way, I see jewelry having the potential to connect us closer to the world we are surrounded by.”
September 8 – October 9, 2016
Artist’s Reception: Friday, September 9, 6-8pm
San Francisco’s Velvet da Vinci is proud to present Junko Iijima: Migration, a special installation by the Portland based artist. The show will run from September 8 through October 9, 2016. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Friday, September 9 from 6-8pm.
Iijima’s “Migration” installation represents an exploration of the melding and divergence of cultural signifiers from Japan with global popular culture. Created during her second Arts/Industry iron-casting residency at the Kohler Company in Wisconsin, this series of small iron and brass sculptures draws formal inspiration from the traditional Japanese Nanbu tea kettle, as well as American pop aesthetics. On her most recent body of work, the artist states:
“I am attracted to objects that retain their cultural identities, obvious stereotypes. I observe and investigate the mixing of cultures through their commodities; how objects from different cultures influence and impact one another, in particular, the intertwining of the contemporary culture of Japan, where I’m from, and America, where I live.
Through my work, I explore the cultural and social underpinnings of both decorative and functional objects. Recently I have been exploring traditional cast-iron patterning from Japanese Nanbu Ironware (best known as black iron tea kettle) while considering pop culture forms. Small bronze sculptures and the drawings demonstrate the melding of cultural signifiers through commodities, and are part of an on-going study and examination of visual languages; creating hybrids of the past and present, from the East and the West.”
Iijima came to the United States as a high school exchange student from Tokyo, Japan. Fascinated by the diversity of American culture and the US educational system, Iijima remained in the states and received her Masters in Metalsmithing from the University of Oregon. She currently teaches Metalsmithing and 3D Foundation courses at several colleges in the Portland, Oregon area.
August 4-31, 2016
Artist’s Reception: Saturday, August 6, 6-8pm
Velvet da Vinci is proud to present Baskets: Increase/Decrease, Brooke Marks-Swanson’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The show will run from August 4-31, 2016. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Saturday, August 6 from 6-8pm.
On her most recent body of work, Marks-Swanson states:
“Born from the human need to protect ourselves from the elements, knitting quickly became a common thread throughout Europe and the Middle East early in the common era. To me, it represents the human need, artistry in its variations, and a universal language.
I discovered knitting looking for a personal connection, which quickly led to an obsession with the discovery of variation in a simple stitch. Through knitting fine leather, I have discovered a familiar vocabulary of the rigid construction common in metal fabrication. Sensitivity and quietness stems from purposeful parameters.
I draw inspiration from antiquing, which provides a visual reservoir of objects loaded with content and hints of remembrance. I was attracted to a massive strand of colorful, miniature, woven grass baskets that evoked a distant memory of traveling to Mexico as a child.
Baskets are powerful objects. They have existed since the beginning of man and throughout history—and still today in many cultures—are essential for transporting and storing the necessities of life. Like us, baskets contain memories, secrets, and human experience.
Through the purposeful combination of knit leather and basket form, I have found meaningful connections sustaining my need to challenge and respond.”
– Brooke Marks-Swanson, 2016
Marks-Swanson earned an MFA from the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois and a BFA from the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University. Her jewelry has been featured in numerous publications including three Lark Books: 500 Plates and Chargers; The Craft of Silversmithing: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration; and The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration. Works by Marks-Swanson have exhibited internationally and can be found in the collection of the Muzeum w Walbrzychu, Walbrzych in Poland.