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No. 6 April 2007

This edition of AJFconnection marks a milestone. Last fall our members responded to a wide ranging survey. The AJF board of directors Pat Rodimer, Elizabeth Shyprett, Jo Lauria and Rika Mouw invited founding members Susan Cummins, Sharon Campbell, Donna Briskin and me, new member Sally von Bargen, to discuss the AJF survey, goals of the organization and ways to strengthen the AJF community.

AJFconnection resulted from that conversation. The plan was to give the newsletter a try for six months, and then assess its benefit to members. Your consistently kind praise and the overwhelming response to our Boston trip has the board feeling confident that AJFconnection has deepened your personal connection to AJF. The newsletter is now a long-term benefit of AJF membership.

Thank you for taking the time to open, read and explore AJFconnection. The purpose of AJFconnection remains to strengthen the AJF community and to advocate for the art form that fuels our passion, contemporary art jewelry. Remember, when you have an exhibition, artist, event or idea to share with all of us, please send it along and we'll spread the word.

Sally von Bargen

AJFconnection Editor

in this issue...
  • Collectors Take Note
  • Sharon Campbell Enlightens Artists and Students
  • Our Search for 2007 Emerging Artist Begins
  • Arlene Fisch Honored with USA Fellowship

  • Sharon Campbell Enlightens Artists and Students

    Sharon Campbell, one of the founding members of AJF and formerly an interior designer, dealer, and currently a collector of contemporary art jewelry, was asked by the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco to make a presentation last month at the Academy of Art auditorium. Sharon talked about the way she saw jewelry in relationship to architectural spaces, surfaces and materials and presented striking imagery in support of her vision. Since jewelry and interior spaces and the materiality of both are passions of hers, it was a wonderful opportunity for her to think out loud about how she sees.

    For Sharon "jewelry and the interiors are kindred spirits - the originality in the pieces I was seeing and the interiors that I was creating felt similar. The intertwining threads that run between the two fields are the ever-evolving use of materials. The juxtaposition of textures and materials in relationship to each other, and the ability of an artist, architect or designer to create something unique that becomes a personal expression.”

    We all see differently, and her presentation offered fascinating insight into how contemporary makers and collectors of all disciplines reflect the visual language of the time. She visually demonstrated the parallels between the architecture of Frank Gehry and the jewelry of Annamaria Zanella, the architecture of Jim Jennings and the jewelry of Helen Britton, and the Uyemura residence and the work of Florian Weichsberger.

    Sharon’s up beat attitude and caring passion served to encourage jewelry artists to follow their interests into making ambitious new and original jewelry. She was encouraging about the future for contemporary jewelry in the world wide marketplace as well as enthusiastic about the exhibitions of major jewelry collections taking place this year at two major fine arts museums. All of this exposure to new audiences who already have an interest in the arts and who will understand the aesthetics of the unusual materials involved in making art jewelry is good news for the field.

    IMAGES: Slides from Sharon's presentation, courtesy of Sharon Campbell

    Our Search for 2007 Emerging Artist Begins
    Yeonmi Kang

    AJF has launched the 2007 candidate search for our Emerging Artist Award. AJF member Nancy Worden will spearhead our search as AJF seeks to acknowledge promise, innovation and individuality in the work of emerging artists. Harriete Estel Berman, artist and teacher, and Jean Mandeberg, artist and metals professor have accepted Nancy’s invitation to jury the entries.

    The Emerging Artist Award consists of a cash award of $2000 and free registration for the full Visiting Artist Program at the next Buyers Market of American Craft, courtesy of the Rosen Group. The award will be announced at SOFA Chicago in November.

    We thought you would enjoy seeing a recent work by our first Emerging Artist Award winner Yeonmi Kang. Yeonmi continues to evolve as an artist and her work can be found in many notable collections and galleries.

    Image: Yeonmi Kang, The Rumor, brooch, enamel and sterling silver, 2" x 2.5". Courtesy Facere Jewelry Art Gallery

    Arlene Fisch Honored with USA Fellowship
    Arlene Fisch

    In its inaugural year, United States Artists awarded 50 USA Fellowships to a total of 54 artists, and four artists’ collaboratives. Expert panels selected the winners from among 300 applicants representing every artistic discipline in 43 states. As USA Fellows, each artist receives an unrestricted grant of $50,000 to support his or her creative work.

    Arline Fisch, who has practiced her craft for more than 50 years, is one of the most respected jewelry makers in the field and was named a USA Target Fellow. Her work melds jewelry, sculpture, and clothing, and she incorporates the structure of textiles and fiber craft into metal-based pieces that are often inspired by ancient cultures and the natural world. Fisch is the recipient of numerous honors, including an honorary doctorate from Skidmore, a gold medal from the American Craft Council, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Crafts from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and multiple Fulbright fellowships to travel to Uruguay, Austria, and Denmark. She has been a trustee of the American Craft Council, a founding member and president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, and a trustee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She is represented in numerous collections and exhibitions around the world.

    IMAGE: Portrait courtesy of USA Artist, photography: Cary Okazaki

    Collectors Take Note

    Boston Trip Filling Up Fast: We are thrilled that so many AJF members have signed up for our Boston trip. We are fast approaching our maximum capacity of 25 and have even had the hotel increase our room allotment. There is room for only a few more members so it's time to decide if you wish to join us in Boston May 19-21. We urge you to act now by calling the hotel to book a room before the April 18th cutoff date and immediately send us your registration form and check.

    SNAG Offering Collector Program at Memphis Conference: SNAG is introducing the "Friends of SNAG" program for jewelry advocates at their conference in Memphis this year. This program offers access to special programs, conference activities and social events. Among the many interesting events is a private tour of The Metal Museum hosted by James Wallace, the executive director of the museum. Use the quick link below to visit the SNAG website for more information.

    Anya Kivarkis Honored Three Times: The work of Anya Kivarkis, Assistant Professor of Jewelry/Metalsmithing at the University of Oregon in Eugene was selected to be included in the 8th Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Museum of Art. The Biennial is structured to prompt meaningful dialogue about the Northwest’s artistic strengths and accomplishments. The exhibit opened in February and closes on May 6th.

    Anya’s work has been acknowledged on both sides of the pond. She was a recipient of Sienna Gallery's Emerging Artist Award and is one of only two Americans included in Schmuck 2007. Thrid time's a charm.

    IMAGE: Anya Kivarkis, untitled, brooch, silver and enamel paint. Courtesy of the artist.

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