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.”
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.
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.
Velvet Da Vinci is proud to present Gene Pijanowski: 30 Years of Jewelry and Objects. The historic exhibition will feature over 40 important works by the world renowned artist from the late 1970‘s through the mid 2000’s, marking the largest gallery exhibition of Pijanowski’s work in over two decades.
The show will run from February 5th through March 9th, 2014. An Opening Reception will take place on Friday February 7th, from 6 to 8 pm.
Eugene (Gene) Pijanowski’s work can be seen as a marriage of eastern and western tradition and style, representing an integration of modernist aesthetics and ancient sensibilities. Drawing from traditional Japanese concepts, techniques, and materials, the artist investigates the relationships between process and craft, content and form, and meaning and function. Works by Pijanowski can be found in private and museum collections worldwide; highlights include the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, NYC, the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Washington D.C., the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, and many more. To view a full PDF of the press release, please click here: VelvetdaVinci_Pijanowski_PressRelease_FIN
Preview of Featured Works:
Velvet Da Vinci is proud to host the US debut of Aeon Profit / Piano Forte, an installation of wearable objects made from reincarnated piano parts by the Swedish jewelry design collective A5.
The show, which has previously exhibited in both Stockholm and Munich, will run from February 5th through March 9th, 2014. An Opening Reception will take place on Friday February 7th, from 6 to 8 pm.
Musical instruments and jewelry share several fundamental similarities: a rich tradition of craftsmanship, function, ornamentation, and inherent value. Both are meant to last generations and to be passed from individual to individual. Thus when an instrument or a piece of jewelry is no longer wanted or needed it falls into a particular space of limbo, the owner wishes to part with the item yet at the same time hopes that it will continue its existence. It is in this way that the group A5, Adam Grinovich, Romina Fuentes, and Annika Pettersson, came into contact with a piano. To view a full PDF of the press release, please click here: VelvetDaVinci_PRESSRELEASE_PianoForte2014
In celebration of the SFO Museum’s exhibition “Turn, Weave, Fire, and Fold: Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection,” Velvet Da Vinci is proud to exhibit an important collection of works by two California masters, fiber artist Kay Sekimachi and enamelist June Schwarcz. The show will run from April 1st through the 30th, 2014. To view a full PDF of the press release, please click the link below:
Anne Bader / Germany, Rike Bartels / Germany, Ela Bauer / Netherlands, Catalina Brenes / Costa Rica, Angela Bubash / US, Liesbet Bussche / Netherlands, Petra Class / US, Andy Cooperman / US, Pilar Cotter / Spain, Nikki Couppee / US, Babette von Dohnanyi / Germany, Lluis Duran / Spain, Nicolas Estrada / Spain, Mirla Fernandes / Brazil, Hella Ganor / Israel, Julia Harrison / US, Liisa Hashimoto / Japan, Joanne Haywood / UK, Peter Hoogeboom / Netherlands, Iris Saar Issacs / Australia, Beate Klockmann / Netherlands, Daphne Krinos / UK, Felieke van der Leest / Norway, Judy McCaig / Spain, Martin Papcùn / Czech Republic, Katja Prins / Netherlands, Vina Rust / US, Biba Schutz / US, Karin Seufert / Germany, Jan Smith / Canada, Antje Stolz / Germany, Rudee Tancharoen / Thailand, Amy Tavern / US, Emily Watson / US, Sayumi Yokouchi / US
Exhibition organized by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montreal, and Velvet da Vinci.
Delirio y Cordura (Delirium and Sanity): Chilean Contemporary Jewelry
An exhibition catalog is available.
Carolina Gimeno, Yessica Bordón, Rocco Napoli, María Eugenia Muñoz, Verónica Pérez Artigas, Claudio Pino, Rafaela Pruzzo, Nano Pulgar, and Paola Raggo will be present at the Opening Reception.
Special Saturday morning lectures by Carolina Gimeno, Nano Pulgar and Paola Raggo speak about Contemporary Jewelry in Chile. July 12, 11am 12 noon. Refreshments will be served. Don’t miss this special event!
In the ten years since Joyas Jóias, Velvet da Vinci’s first exhibition of Latin American jewelry, there has been a growing awareness and appreciation for the achievements of contemporary jewelers in Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Brazil. For our exhibition, Delirio y Cordura (Delirium and Sanity) we concentrate on contemporary Chilean jewelry artists. Each jeweler was inspired by the themes of delirium and sanity, choosing one or both concepts. The idea of harmony and balance versus insanity and irrationality influence the creation of each work through an exploration of shape, color, material, and concept. Chaos, out of order.
Participating Artists:Carolina Gimeno, Carolina Hornaüer, Claudia Correa, Claudio Pino, Francisco Ceppi, Gabriela Fissore, María Eugenia Muñoz, María Ignacia Walker, Nicolás Hernandez, Paola Raggo, Pía Walker, Rafaella Pruzzo, Rocco Napoli, Valentina Rosenthal, Verónica Pérez Artigas, Walka, Yessica Bordon Preview of Highlighted Works: The exhibition is curated by Paola Raggo, Claudia Correa, and María Eugenia Muñoz Curbelo. A special thank you to Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, (National Council for Culture and the Arts), Chile. Additional support from Delirios Contemporaneos and The Canada Council for the Arts.
To download the full press release for the exhibition, please click here: PRESS RELEASE
Joanna Gollberg’s most recent body of work considers the experiences of travel, observation, and enlightenment through the form of jewelry. Inspired by her own personal collection of coral, shells, and other keepsakes gathered while traveling the world, the exhibition will feature an exciting new series created from precious and semi precious materials, as well as found objects. Found in Mexico, Western North Carolina, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, these tokens serve as a physical reminder of the place from which they came, their histories, and the artist’s connection to each experience. The exhibition will also include a selection of documentary photographs, taken by the artist on each trip.
On this pivotal new body of work, Gollberg writes:
“I had never before given myself permission to use (these elements) in my jewelry, because they were physical objects that kept me connected to places that made my whole heart feel crushingly full… I chose to use techniques that I rarely employ in my day to day jewelry making life—mold making, wax carving, casting, enameling which gave me deep pleasure. I freely used gemstones and materials that suited each piece,disregarding any pre-planned price structure… The results are twofold: I am spiritually refreshed and ready to re-enter my work life anew, and I have created a body of work that is personally meaningful, yet still beautiful and true to my aesthetic.”
With a Jewelry Design degree from FIT in New York City, Gollberg has been creating and exhibiting unique wearable objects since 1997. A well-known and respected author, she has written four books on handcrafted jewelry: Making Metal Jewelry, Creative Metal Crafts, The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry, and The Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide. Her work has been included in gallery and museum exhibitions across the US and has been featured in international publications such as Art Jewelry Magazine, Lapidary Journal, Ornament Magazine, 1000 Rings, 500 Wedding Rings, 500 Enameled Objects, and 21st Century Jewelry. Currently based out of Asheville, North Carolina, the artist also teaches at noted craft institutions such as the Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.
CLICK HERE to download a full press release for the exhibition.