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January 2009

Greetings 2009! Last year's first newsletter started with this quote from AJF member Jane Shannon: "It's the time of year for resolutions, so let's all resolve to take action in support of contemporary art jewelry in 2008. You can read a book, attend a lecture, take a course, or visit a gallery; each activity will contribute to your education. You can increase your AJF membership level so you're contributing more to the emerging artist fund, helping fund a curatorial membership, or supporting a lecture at SOFA. You can participate in one of our trips or related activities, demonstrating your advocacy of contemporary art jewelry." It serves us very well again this year and with perhaps more urgency.

Even at the end of last year we were still adding to our ranks. We would like to welcome these new members: Rob Koudjis (a gallery owner from Amsterdam); Hal Nelson (the new curator at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design as well as the organizer of the Enamel Arts Foundation); Alexandra Moses (innovator/artist); and Jennifer Shaifer (grad student at Bard). A good group!

Lola Brooks BroochNEW~ In this newsletter we feature an article by curator Lena Vigna. It is the first in a four-part series. This year AJF has asked four curators/makers to write about jewelers who form small cultural movements or trends by working with similar ideas. Hopefully this kind of insight will be useful to the membership when looking at the broad world of jewelry making. Keep an eye out for these articles every few months and we would love feedback on them.
You will notice that we have changed the format our newsletter. This is the first step in our efforts to improve linkage between the newsletter and website. All announcements, reviews and articles featured in the newsletter are linked to the AJF website, where complete information and full length reviews and articles are found.

Looking forward to a wonderful year,
Susan, Pat, Susan and Sally
AJF Board
 Marjorie Schick Chagalls Circles MEMBERSHIP
It's Time to Renew
For those of you who joined early last year - It is time to renew your membership! We had a really great 2008 and increased our membership from 65 to 108. We hope to continue to grow this year with your help. The economic downturn makes memberships like this one a little harder to consider but we are hoping you will be inspired to renew. Remember that it will take a particular toll on artists and art organizations so it is important we hold up our end by keeping our granting programs strong. Also we need to continue representing a large number of interested patrons, to give the field a sense of support which it will need this year. Please click here to renew.
Image: Marjorie Schick, "Chagall's Circles"
Trip to PhilidelphiaTRIP UPDATE
It's Philadelphia in May
Exciting news!! AJF has joined with SNAG to coordinate their conference with our next trip to Philadelphia from May 20- 23, 2009. The conference is centered at the lovely Loews Philadelphia Hotel, which is where we will be staying.  The SNAG organizers have arranged for a fantastic lineup of speakers including: Stanley Lechtzin, Paul Greenhalgh, Leo Caballero (of Klimt02 fame), Camille Paglia, Myra Mimlitsch Gray, and of course the grand dame of Philadelphia art jewelry Helen Drutt English. AJF members who join this trip will hear all these speakers as well as visit collections, studios and have unique opportunities to talk with artists and curators. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is putting on a walking display of their permanent jewelry collection and numerous galleries have prepared special exhibitions. It will be an incredibly stimulating trip and not to be missed. More details will be forthcoming as we have them. To aid in our planning, please add your name to the trip list now if you are interested in joining us.  As always, space will be limited. By clicking here you can send a quick email to let us know you want to be added to the Philadelphia trip list.
Navigating the Personal in Contemporary Jewelry

by Lena Vigna

Heirlooms, by definition, are objects, property or cultivars that are passed from one generation to the next. This gives us a perfunctory understanding of what an heirloom is-it does not, however, convey the emotional potential of certain objects, places, or ideas (stories, techniques, or perhaps even, traditions) that could all be heirlooms in one sense or another. One of the difficulties in talking about heirlooms is that they are often associated with emotion and memory-qualities that change with time and as the "property" is passed along and that are often derided as sentimental or nostalgic. Continued on our website...
Image: Brigiitte Adolph, Volute, 18k yellow gold and rubies
book review imageBOOK REVIEW
From Hand to Hand:
passing on skill and knowledge in European contemporary jewellery
by Mike Holmes
What was the sound of the front door slamming?  What kind of imprint would your living-room carpet leave on your naked knees?  What was the smell of your mother like when she left Saturday night for a party? These are some of the assignments Iris Eichenberg gives her students so that through childhood memories they might gain insight into their obsessions and develop them into an artistic language.  "From Hand to Hand: passing on skill and knowledge in European contemporary jewellry" is an intriguing book that seeks to show that influence of teachers on their students. Continued on our website...