Politically Speaking: New American Ideals in Contemporary Jewelry

Politically Speaking: New American Ideals in Contemporary Jewelry
August 27 – November 5, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 27, 2016

In this landmark election year of unprecedented maneuvers, contested practices and fundamental ideological polarization, the Craft in America Center presents an exhibition of art jewelry that confronts the topical issues that Americans are facing. Through the lens of wearable sculpture, artists tackle a myriad of focal socio-political concerns. Their work offers commentary, elicits deeper conversation and sheds light on our aspirations as a society.

The wearable object has been a deeply explored medium of expression for decades. Artists have increasingly imbued their work with communicative power while investigating new materials and processes. Political and personal declarations by both the maker and wearer are often inherent to these small-scale sculptures. In addition, jewelry has the ability to engage with viewers on a level of intimacy. The significant and long-standing history of campaign pins, badges and buttons instills this group of art works with added contextual significance. Jewelry is an ideal artistic realm for political debate.

This group exhibition of work by fourteen jewelry pioneers and emerging leaders will include pieces that examine our political landscape directly and metaphorically. Through imagery, representation and narrative, the discourse speaks visually. In some examples, hopes and fears are depicted metaphorically as underlying themes. This show will be an opportunity to consider the key issues of 2016 as reincarnated in physical form with power, intrigue, humor and lyricism.

The artists include Deborah Boskin, Jana Brevick, Kathleen Browne, Kat Cole, Sandra Enterline, Laurie J. Hall, Trudee Hill, Tiff Massey, Taweesak Molsawat, Joyce J. Scott, Christina Smith, Roberta and Dave Williamson, and Nancy Worden.