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AJF had an action packed 2011. We hope you had the opportunity to take advantage of one of our activities - or at least enjoyed watching from the sidelines and hearing all about it in our monthly newsletter. We did everything but a back flip to keep you entertained! Like you, our enthusiasm for contemporary jewelry is boundless and growing. Thanks so much for your help and support.


AH Pins B&W
Arthur Hash's coffee stain brooch 

Just to remind you of our 2011 accomplishments: 

  • The membership grew from 197 to 345, a 75 percent increase. 
  • We discovered Facebook and grew from about 200 to over 1000 followers.
  • Our pin: This year AJF commissioned a jeweler to design a pin for everyone who joined. Arthur Hash, our first collaborator, came through with a variation on his coffee stain brooch.
  • Our newsletter has grown to include tons of information and special offers for you. We have added:
    Roundtable photo
    The AJF Panel @ SNAG 
    • Gallery listings
    • VIP passes to fairs
    • Regional events
    • Meet our gallery interviews
    • Exclusive content for you to see before it is posted on our website
  • Our book
    • AJF signed a contract with Sterling Publishers to publish Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective (working title) in 2013.
    • 20 writers were commissioned to write for the book.
      At Andy Cooperman's Studio
      At Andy Cooperman's
  • At SNAG in Seattle
    • In conjunction with the AJF book, five writers met together for a round table, the results of which will be published in the book. The writers were Monica Gaspar, Kevin Murray, Benjamin Lignel, Namita Wiggers and our editor Damian Skinner.
    • They also presented a panel on critical discourse as part of the conference. 
    • Our group trip this year was organized around all our activities at SNAG, plus special visits to the homes of Edie Adams and board member
      Geography Show Catalog
      The Geography Catalog
      Sally von Bargen, the studios of Andy Cooperman and Lori Talcott and the exhibitions of Kiff Slemmons, Sondra Sherman and numerous others.
    • We organized our first exhibition. Encouraged by SNAG and our board member Mike Holmes we organized a show called Geography, complete with beautiful display cases and a catalog. The catalog was our first ever publication and featured three commissioned essays about geography, as well as selling over 200 copies.
  • At SOFA: 
    Jeanine Fallino @ SOFA NYC
    Jeannine Falino
    • In New York we sponsored a talk by Jeannine Falino on Crafting Modernism, the MAD museum show on mid-century craft and design. Damian Skinner and Toni Greenbaum led a tour through the fair highlighting our member galleries and discussing their favorite pieces.
    • In Chicago we sponsored a panel headed by Davira Taragin and featuring Iris Eichenberg, Seth Papac and Gemma Draper on creativity and the professor/ student relationship.
    • Thanks to the folks at the Artfair Company we gave you about 60 VIP passes.
    • We had our second showing of the Geography show in the non-profit section of the fair.
  • Our regional events:
    ACC/AJF @ Velvet Da Vinci
    AJF @ Velvet da Vinci
    Agness Larsson
    EAA winner
    Agnes Larsson
    • April: SOFA NY
    • May: SNAG in Seattle
    • June: ASJRA Forbes Gallery in New York City walkthrough of the Hudson Valley jewelers exhibition
    • August: ACC San Francisco free passes and reception at Velvet da Vinci
    • September: Origin craft fair in London 
    • October: MFA Boston visit organized by Sienna Patti  
    • November: SOFA Chicago showing of Geography and member dinner
    • November: Tour of shows in conjunction with the Metals Arts Guild conference in Oakland
    • December: New York City day trip in partnership with ASJRA
  • VIP passes:
    • Secured 94 passes to various shows in and outside of the United States.
  • Our awards
    • Gave out $5000 to Agnes Larsson for the Emerging Artist Award
    • Gave ourselves $5000 for the Geography show from our Exhibition grant funding 
  • Our donations
    • Received a substantial donation from SNAG to support the Geography show and catalog
      Geography @ SOFA
      Geography @ SOFA Chicago 
    • Received $5000 in donations from our membership to support the Geography catalog
    • Received donations from Rotasa to fund the building of a new website amongst other things.



And now for the 2012 plans:

  • A new website has been launched - this is a big one! Last January I promised a new website in February . . . Well, it took a whole lot more time to get it to you but now you can see the results at www.artjewelryforum.org 
    • With a fresh bold design
    • A home page that looks like an online magazine
    • New navigation to make it easier to find content and clarify what we have to offer
    • Sections which better address the needs of our collector, gallery and arts professional supporters
    • Galleries of images from recent graduates from jewelry schools around the world
    • A bookstore of relevant contemporary jewelry publications we think should be in your bookshelves
  • Our pin
    Ted Noten for AJF
    Ted Noten for AJF
    • We have commissioned Ted Noten to make our next membership pin
    • Ted made a tiny mouse called Little Princess
    • Ted received the Dutch Artist of the Year award
  • Our book
    • Complete the final texts for publication in 2013
  • Our awards
    • Writers grants: commission writing for our website
      Farrah Al Dujaili
      2011 EAA winner 
      Farrah Al Dujaili
    • Emerging Artists Awards: Increase the amount by 50 percent
    • Exhibition Grant: Increase the amount by 50 percent
    • Increase the number of applicants
  • Our membership
    • Increase the number of AJF members to 500
    • Improve communication to the members and to the community at large
  • Our regional Events
    • Plan at least ten events worldwide
  • Our trip
    • Plans are underway for a trip to Munich during the annual Schmuck gathering

So there you have it! We look forward to another great year in 2012, in which we support and celebrate the practice of contemporary art jewelry which all of us are committed to and care about.


Susan Cummins

AJF Chair




On Wednesday February 8, 2012 AJF will join the Art Guild of the Oakland Museum for a full day of jewelry viewing from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. The day will start with a special curatorial tour of Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta. She was a mid-century pioneer of American jewelry and her work is based on the shapes and influences of the art world at the time. To understand the contemporary jewelry of today it is helpful and fascinating to look back at these pioneers. Then we will travel across the bay to the fabulous collections of two AJF members - Susan Beech and Susan Cummins. Their collections range from the elegant and wearable to the edgy and provocative. Lunch and bus transportation are included. The cost of the day is $110 and we need to hear from you by January 9, 2012 as there are a limited number of spaces available. Please contact Nancy Yoneyama at info@artjewelryforum.org to let her know of your interest. You will need to send your check to: PO Box 823, Mill Valley, CA 94942 by January 15, 2012. 

ACC BaltimoreACC Baltimore 

Once again the American Craft Council is offering AJF members free tickets to their Baltimore show which runs from February 24-26, 2012. This is the largest fine craft show in the United States with over 700 exhibitors under one roof. To get your free ticket, go to the ACC ticketing website and enter coupon code AJF2012.  One ticket per member. 



Pinakothek de Moderne
Danner Rotunde
Thanks to everyone who expressed their interest in the trip to Munich. We are actively planning the trip and have the tentative dates: March 15-18, 2012. 
The trip will be focused around the annual Schmuck exhibition, held from March 14-20, 2012, as part of the Internationale Handwerksmesse. For over 50 years Schmuck has drawn jewelers and jewelry enthusiasts from around the world.

Here's what a tentative itinerary is starting to look like: 

March 15: Gallery exhibits, studio visit, first night group dinner 
March 16: Exhibition opening at Pinakothek de Moderne, Danner Rotunda tour, Academy of Fine Arts, studio visits, AJF member dinner 
March 17: Private tour of the Schmuck exhibition, Herbert Hoffman prize, beer hall celebration 
March 18: Group breakfast, lecture at the Pinakothek

While the exciting nature of the trip won't change, we will be making adjustments and refinements as plans and exhibitions develop. It will be difficult for you to resist.


The AJF fee will include group meals, museum entry fees and any bus transportation as needed. We will provide hotel recommendations. The cost of hotel accommodation, meals outside the group and transportation to and from Munich are up to you.

There's still time to reply!  Please send Nancy a quick email to let us know if you want to take part, or are considering going. If a telephone call is more convenient, please call at 415 435.1614.  


AJF is now inviting applications for the 2012 Exhibition grant. We have a total of $7500 to give to any museum, university and other non-profit exhibition spaces or organization that is tax-exempt in the United States under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. Your exhibition needs to be opening within the next two years and the grant may cover exhibition or catalog expenses. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2012. You can find out more about the program and the requirements on the AJF website
The 2010 award was given to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, to support publication of a catalog for Atelier Janiy and the Legacy of Miy Matsukata. In 2011, the exhibition award helped fund the catalog for Geography, an exhibition organized by AJF of work from AJF member galleries, which was shown in May 2011 at the Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference in Seattle and in November 2011 at SOFA Chicago.



A group of eighteen people from ASJRA (Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts) and  AJF spent a full day in New York City on December 1, 2011, viewing several museum exhibitions.


Forbes Gallery Marcus & Co Brooch
Morning Glory brooch

The day began at The Forbes Galleries with Elyse Zorn Karlin taking the group on a curator's tour of International Art Jewelry: 1895-1925 . One of the highlights of the exhibition was an iconic American jewel created by the renowned firm of Marcus & Co. circa 1900 made of delicate plique-a-jour enamel (enamel with no backing). The tour de force Morning Glory Brooch is several inches long and entirely three-dimensional . . . it greets viewers as they enter the gallery.  


The exhibition includes almost 200 pieces of jewelry from early twentieth century art movements known by various names in different countries, including art nouveau, arts and crafts, Jugendstil, skonvirke and others. This art jewelry differed from mainstream jewelry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The work represented over 75 known artists and many unknown makers.


Following the exhibition tour the group had lunch at DiFiore's Marquet Cafe, a charming bistro located near The Forbes Galleries.


Crafting Modernism
From Crafting Modernism

The afternoon was spent at the Museum of Arts & Design. Curator Jeannine Falino took the group on a tour of Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design, which explores the interplay and cross references of art and design in all craft media (clay, fiber, wood, metal, glass and alternative materials) that appeared across the United States during the postwar era. The exhibition includes a good deal of modernist studio jewelry by artists such as Irena Brynner, Sam Kramer, Claire Falkenstein, Elsa Freund, Margaret de Patta, Margaret Craver, Betty Cooke, Ken Cory, Harry Bertoia and Alexander Calder.


From Picasso to Koons
From PIcasso to Koons

When the tour was finished Jeannine took the group down to the permanent jewelry gallery where Picasso to Koons: Artists' Jewelry was on view. She gave a few comments on the exhibition and then allowed members of the group to explore it on their own.


It was a day full of jewelry and pleasant companionship.  

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