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April 2009

Spring is here! I hope all of you are beginning to see the stirrings of new blossoms and feel the warming of the air. It is such a lovely time of year.

The AJF board has been busy this early spring continuing to work to make AJF a lively participant in the contemporary world of art jewelry. Thank you to all of you who have renewed your memberships- it really helps to have a show of the numbers to demonstrate that there is an interested audience. To keep you up to date this newsletter is filled with our current activities. Visit our website for information regarding our Phildelphia trip plans.

Spring always means that metalsmithing and jewelry programs at colleges and universities are winding down and we got our first senior show announcement from Pratt about their senior show which is up from March 26th to April 8th in the Gallery in the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center, 200 Willoughby Avenue Brooklyn, NY.
In this newsletter we interviewed Elisabeth Agro, curator from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, about her views and her background. She is playing a big role for us both at SOFA NY and on our trip to Philadelphia so it is good to get to know her a little.

Jennifer Cross Gans and Mike Holmes have written two new book reviews for us - one on "Kevin Coates- A Hidden Alchemy" and the other on "Adorn - New Jewelry". If you are looking for books for your library and continuing education we would like to recommend three sources:

Arnoldsche at
Lark Books at
Charon Kransen or [email protected]

Pinchuk EAA INTERVIEW SERIES ~ We also have the second interview in our series with the past AJF emerging artists. Natalya Pinchuk, the winner from 2006, talks about the award.  Thank you Ron Porter for putting this together. Natalya mentions a project she is working on in Amsterdam in the Red Light District called "Ugly Object" - check it out on the  website It is very amusing.

We have sent out our first calls for jewelers to submit to our 2009 Emerging Artists Award and to non-profits for our Grant Award. Please visit the AJF website for details and encourage those you know to apply.

Susan Cummins
AJF Board Chair
Argo headshotINTERVIEW
Elisabeth Agro: Focuses on Philadelphia's Emergent Metalsmiths

Elisabeth Argo, the Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, talks to Susan Cummins, AJF Chair, about her upcoming SOFA presentation.

SC: AJF has asked you to be our featured speaker at SOFA. Can you give us a glimpse of what you going to discuss in your talk there?

EA: The title of my lecture is "Incubation: Philadelphia's Emergent Metalsmiths" which will focus on several artists that have either recently graduated from or are currently enrolled in either graduate or undergraduate programs at Tyler or University of the Arts. As a curator of crafts, I am very committed to perpetuating the field. We can do this by beginning to recognize and support mid-career artists and emerging artists. This lecture takes this idea a little further by looking at those artists who are either on the cusp of getting recognized or will be someone to watch as they come along in their work.
Kevin Coates - A Hiden Alchemy
Goldsmithing, Jewels and Table-Pieces
Elizabeth Goring and Helen Clifford 
Publisher:Arnoldsche, 2008
Reviewed by Jennifer Cross Gans
Kevin Coates calls himself a "ghost whisperer",
and he's right. The jewelry, table ornaments and
drawings of this British artist carry a unique
message of fantasy and enchantment, coupled
with a Cellini-like mastery of goldsmithing
Elizabeth Goring and Helen Clifford contribute thoughtful and detailed analyses of Coates' creative processes and passions, including music, geometry, archeology, poetry, classical art and literature.
Adorn - New Jewelry
Amanda Manzell
Publisher: Laurence King
Reviewed by Mike Holmes
With over 400 images by nearly 200 artists there is a lot to look at in Adorn: New Jewelry by Amanda Mansell. The book's chapters are organized by jewelry type (rings, brooches, etc.) with a short introduction for each section. The jewelers represented are mostly young and European, many of whom attended the Royal College of Art in London. There are only a handful of US artists featured. Although there is a chapter on more conceptual "body pieces", the emphasis here is on wearablilty. The images are crisp and clear on all white backgrounds giving a fresh and clean look to the book. Adorn: New Jewelry is more of a snapshot of current jewelry trends but as the book seems to be aimed at a general audience it could be a good introduction to art jewelry.
2006 Emerging Artist Natalya Pinchuk

Editor's Note: AJF member Ron Porter recently asked Natalya Pinchuk, winner of the 2006 AJF Emerging Artist Award, to give us her thoughts on the award.

RP: Did being named the AJF Emerging Artist help your work/career? If so, in what ways?  

NP: Being named the AJF Emerging Artist was an amazing honor, for sure, and I do hear people say quite often that they recognize my name because of the award.  So, the award definitely increased my name recognition and gave a certain weight/stamp of approval to my resume and work.  Having the financial support was very much appreciated.  On a personal level, I was very invigorated by the award; in a way, it gave me an emotional boost and a metaphorical hug saying, it is worth going forward.