Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry

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Aphrodisiac Rose Pomander, 2006 Pewter, Sterling Sliver, Feather Boa, Vial Of Rose Oil 17 X 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 Inches © Courtesy of the artist
Nest, 2007 Polyolefin © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Foggy Day in Parkville, 2010 Sterling Silver, Enamel, Copper, Labradorite, Rubber Balls, Felted Wool, Enamel Paint © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
New Beginnings, 2009 Cotton, Sterling Silver, White Sapphire © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Tree Pod #4, 2010 Tree Pod, Gold Leaf © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Wrist Expansion, 2009 Goldplated Brass, Elastic Cord © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Palimpsest 9, 2010 Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Translucence Series (white dome), 2008 Glass, 22k Gold, 18k Gold, 14 Gold, Gold Dust © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Colors, 2009 Crayon, Semi Precious Stones © Courtesy Gallery Loupe
Statement #2, 2008 Sterling Silver, Freshwater Pearl, Ny Times 6 X 13 X 1 1/2 Inches © Courtesy of the artist
Inside, 2010 Beetle, Wallpaper, Silver, Resin, Lacquer 2 1/2 X 1 1/3 X 1/2 Inches © Courtesy Sienna Gallery
Black Beauty, 2005 African Blackwood, 18 K Gold, Fox And Mink Felt, 14 K Gold 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 X 2/3 Inches © Courtesy Sienna Gallery
Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry
Curated by: Ingrid Renard

7 Lower Center Street
Clinton, NJ 08809-1303
June 19th, 2011 - September 18th, 2011
Opening: June 26th, 2011 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

other (outside main areas)
Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
contemporary jewelry
$5 suggested donation


Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry features the work of thirteen artists who create jewelry that is part of an ongoing trend to marry precious with non-precious materials. Merging the timeless with the fleeting, the precious with the ordinary, their work combines gems and metals with materials found in nature, the environment and industry.

Formally trained in design and fabrication, the artists in this exhibition are grounded in the history of jewelry and its purposes. Their work represents their individual searches for an aesthetic that speaks to their chosen materials and craftsmanship. Tina Rath works with precious gems and fur, materials associated with privilege, but while the gems are stable and everlasting, the fur is fragile. Kiwon Wang mixes ageless pearls with paper, a product prone to aging and fraying. Man-made materials, old and new, get new life in the hands of Susanne Klemm and Jill Baker Gower.

Jewelry has long signaled status and wealth. Traditionally, social value could be attained only if the materials themselves were enduring, making possible heirlooms that passed from generation to generation. Although their appearance and craft could change over time, it was the precious gem or metal that gave it value.

Although mainstream jewelry designers still trade on the notion that ‘a diamond is forever’, the 20th century saw a shift in this approach. Studio jewelry, influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, redefined value as resting in the aesthetic and skill of the maker rather than the value of the materials. This shift opened the door to any material that caught the fancy of the artist.

This juxtaposition of precious, long-lasting materials and non-traditional, ephemeral elements may suggest a playful or irreverent critique of our understanding of value, challenging the consumer to reconsider the meaning of jewelry and our understanding of the relationship between value and timelessness. Appearance can be greatly enhanced by beautiful objects and therein, lies the Art of Adornment.