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AJF NEWSLETTER
JANUARY
2011
A LETTER FROM THE AJF BOARD CHAIR

Greetings!  

AJF has just ended an extraordinary year and is about to embark on what is shaping up to be an even more exciting and action packed year in 2011. We hope you share our excitement and enthusiasm.  

Just to remind you of our 2010 accomplishments:
New International Members
New international members show their support for AJF

  • We made the decision to become an international organization, and commenced a campaign to include anyone interested in contemporary jewelry, no matter where they live.
  • The membership grew from 110 in 2009 to 197 in 2010, a 79% increase.
  • We hired two half-time staff members, one of whom comes from outside the United States.
  • The Art Fair Company (SOFA) awarded AJF its first New Voices Award to encourage critical writing and cross- fertilization between America and the rest of the world.
  • We started a blog. In February we didn't have one, and then in March we did. The first month we had 3,215 views, and by November, only seven months later, we had 16,000 visits.
  • The blog enabled us to significantly increase our coverage of events, both inside and outside the United States.
Agnes Larsson @ SOFA
Agnes Larsson @ SOFA
  • Continuing to develop the content on the website, AJF published substantial articles, book reviews, exhibition reviews and interviews by many leading writers in the field about contemporary jewelry. The website had almost 45,000 unique visitors in 2010 and 62% of those were new.
  • Our newsletter grew in content and was delivered to your email inbox every month with up-to-date news.
  • As we do every year we showered a young jeweler - Agnes Larsson - with money and praise in the form of the Emerging Artist Award, and helped her sell quite a bit of work at SOFA Chicago.
  • We also sprinkled a museum with the AJF Exhibition and Catalog grant money and thus assisted publication of American contemporary jewelry history for the show Atelier Janiy and the Legacy of Miy Matsukata.
    Electrum at Collect
    COLLECT, Electrum Gallery
  • And in 2010 we developed a new grant category, which formalizes the work AJF was already doing in commissioning critical writing about contemporary jewelry.
  • And last but not least we took our first trip outside the United States with a fantastic group. We visited London during the COLLECT fair in May and introduced many member collectors to European galleries and artists.
And now for 2011 plans:
  • In 2010 we had an idea to publish a book about contemporary jewelry.
  • Our funding application succeeded in raising $50,000 from one foundation, and then another $25,000 from the Rotasa Foundation to support the book.
  • Then we managed to sign with the jewelry publisher Lark Books. We also got some of the leading international writers in the contemporary jewelry field to agree to contribute to the book.
  • As a result of the round table component of the AJF book, we have arranged for a session on critical discourse at the SNAG conference in Seattle in 2011.
Geography Show Logo V1
Geography Show
  • Mark your calendars for the next AJF trip to Seattle during the SNAG conference. More information will be coming soon.
  • Our first curated exhibition will take place in Seattle during SNAG. It is called Geography and includes work from artists represented by all of our gallery members. This also means we will be building our first set of furniture for display.
  • Our first exhibition catalog will be printed for the Geography show.
  • We have also reserved space at SOFA Chicago for another AJF curated exhibit.
  • In 2010 we began the redevelopment of the AJF website, which will be launched in February
    Arthur Hash
    Arthur Hash pins for AJF
    2011. Taking into account our rapid growth and the ambitious activities the organization is now undertaking, the website redevelopment will provide AJF with a powerful platform to showcase the various dimensions of what we do. It will enable us to become a leading source of information about contemporary jewelry, and to provide an excellent level of service to our members.
  • Every member will get an Arthur Hash pin as a signifier of your participation in supporting Art Jewelry Forum's work.
Need I say more? I am breathless with our rapid development and excited about how this will affect the global community of makers, educators, curators, writers and appreciators of contemporary jewelry. We hope you will join us again this year. Add it to your list of New Years resolutions!

Cheers,

Susan Cummins
Chair, AJF
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