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No. 2 January 2007


January is the month to make resolutions and mark our calendars with the many things that lie ahead in the new year. In 2007 AJF has two wonderful trips planned (yes two!) and within days you'll receive another newsletter with all the details,but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

In our first newsletter on 2007 we begin by looking back. Last fall AJF members headed to Southern California. In this newsletter we are able to share the highlights of their trip thanks to contributions of AJF members Jo Lauria, Rika Mouw, Nancy Worden and Susan David.

Read on and watch your email for news of the trips we are planning for 2007. We wish all our members a very happy and creative new year.

in this issue
  • California Trip Photo Album
  • Fall 2006 AJF Travels to Southern California
  • It's Time to Renew Your Membership
  • Upcoming News

  • Fall 2006 AJF Travels to Southern California
    David Clemmons

    (contributed by Jo Lauria) An enthusiastic group of AJF members participated in our trip to Southern California this past October. Like all of our tours, these four days were filled with visits to artists’ studios, museums, galleries and even a private collection. And, as past trips have set the bar high for offering excellent cuisine and ambiance, San Diego and Los Angeles restaurants rose to the challenge and provided our members with a delightful and delectable array of fine dining experiences.

    In San Diego, Helen Shirk and Sondra Sherman, both metalsmiths and professors at San Diego State University, invited us to hear several of their students speak about the work they had on display in the art gallery. We were all delighted by the freshness, daring, and significance of these pieces, and felt that these young artists would assure a bright future for the field of art jewelry. Graduate student David Clemons walked us through his thesis show, explaining the compelling concepts at the core of his complex, beautifully crafted metal objects and jewelry.

    It seemed we went from one high point to the next: a private reception at Taboo Studio wetted our appetites for a visit to the home and studio of Arline Fisch. We were all in awe and left speechless by Arline’s presentation. Her “show and tell” included works spanning four decades, and it was a great learning experience to hear Arline’s overview of her career as a jeweler and educator, and to be presented with the opportunity not only to see, but also to handle her intricately fabricated jewelry pieces.

    The San Diego tour ended with a flourish as we enjoyed a private tour of the exhibit “Jewelry of Five Continents” at the Mingei Museum, led by the museum’s director Rob Sidner. It was obvious from the magnificently scaled neck torques, belts, anklets, bracelets and headdresses from China, Afghanistan and Morocco that Americans are far less adorned than people of Asian and African cultures.

    Further north, Long Beach and Los Angeles, another fabulous museum experience awaited us at the Long Beach Museum of Art. After a private lunch in the museum’s “ocean gallery” overlooking the Pacific, museum director Hal Nelson showed us several important modernist jewelry pieces by sculptor Claire Falkenstein. And to commemorate the event, each participant received a museum catalog of Falkenstein’s jewelry. Moving from the historical to the contemporary, we visited the studios of Kristin Beeler (Associate Professor of Jewelry & Metalwork, Long Beach City College) and Marianne Hunter, a self-taught enamellist and metalsmith extraordinaire. Each artist had a rich collection of work to show us, and it was very enlightening to hear the artists’ inspirations and motivations for creating the pieces, and to learn some of their fabrication techniques.

    Ditto for the artists who presented the following day: After we enjoyed a lovely brunch hosted by FreeHand Gallery owner Carol Sauvion, four of the jewelers FreeHand represents--Christina Smith, Karen McCreary, Sue Anne Dorman, and Rachel Gehlhar-- discussed their work on view at the gallery. Pulling out all the stops, we ogled and fondled more jewelry later that afternoon at the downtown studio of metalsmith Valerie Mitchell, at the home of a private collector who passed around pieces from her collection of tribal African, Native American, and contemporary jewelry, and at the “hands on” visit to Lisa Berman’s Sculpture to Wear Gallery which capped off the day.

    And, befitting for a group awash in jewelry, our guest speaker and trip participant Nancy Worden gave a rousing and informative presentation on the “cleaning and maintenance of art jewelry” and provided starter cleaning kits for each member. We all promised Nancy that we would rid ourselves of tarnish when we returned home.

    As the Bard would say, “All’s well that ends well”, an apt statement for our group who ended their SoCal trip with a tour of the newly reopened Getty Villa in Malibu. The Getty’s antiquities and the ocean villa setting offered an unparalleled experience and a glorious finale for our AJF trip participants.

    It's Time to Renew Your Membership

    The holiday season is hectic and it is easy for things to be set aside and overlooked. It was during this busy time of year that we sent our 2007 renewal email.

    Please take the time find our email and renew your membership. Share your passion! Give a gift AJF membership to a friend.

    Upcoming News

    • A preview of two wonderful 2007 AJF trips
    • More from the Board Planning Session
    • News of a recent AJF acquisition donation

    California Trip Photo Album

    Collector Lynn Altman with AJF members Rika Mouw and Don Newman.

    Artist Kristen Beeler discusses one of her necklaces at her Long Beach Studio

    Artist Marianne Hunter explains the drawing process she uses for her jewelry pieces during a studio visit.

    Professor Sondra Sherman and several of her students at San Diego State University chatting with artist Nancy Worden during the fall show of student and alumni work at the university's art gallery.

    Hall Nelson, former director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, hosts a private lunch for members

    Arlene Fisch discusses one of her early necklaces at her Sand Diego studio.

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