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One-of-a-Kind Wearable Works of Art: Eight Art Jewelers to Purchase Right Now

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BmoreArt’s Picks: September 29 – October 5

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Fashion may be largely restricted these days to pajamas and face masks, but if you are looking for inspiration to get dressed, or even dressed up, visit the Baltimore Jewelry Center’s annual contemporary jewelry showcase. The current exhibition, Jewelry Edition: Volume 5, presents exquisite, nimble, and clever pieces that are lightweight, comfortable on your skin and body, and even look great with a face mask. The showcase, curated by Laura Wood and Kat Cole, began in 2012 and aims “to provide emerging jewelers more visibility” and it has evolved each year to include art jewelers from across the country.

Contemporary art jewelry blends sculpture, fashion, and science into unique and wearable works of art, and this year’s iteration of Jewelry Edition features works made of silver, resin, vintage tintypes, enamel, powder coat, aluminum, and 3D printed technology. Price points vary from $50 to a few thousand dollars and the exhibit includes rings, necklaces, bracelets, pins, and earrings, a selection of statement pieces as well as everyday wearables. Volume 5 features the work of Amelia Toelke, Aric Verrastro, Jillian Moore, Kat Cole, Laura Wood, Megan McGaffigan, Tanya Crane, and Taylor Zarkades King and will be on view through October 17, 2020.

When we found out that visitors to the exhibit are welcome to try on the jewelry, we couldn’t resist. With the photographic vision of Jill Fannon, the extended family at BmoreArt—Cara Ober, Teri Henderson, Michael Anthony Farley, and Adrian Orozco—had a fantastic afternoon trying on almost every piece and striking a pose. To plan your own visit, contact the Baltimore Jewelry Center—they are open every day. Whether you’re getting dressed up to go to the grocery store or chatting with your colleagues on Zoom, contemporary art jewelry is an art form with the direct ability to enhance your daily experience, regardless of whether you ever wear real pants again.

 

Amelia Toelke

 

Amelia Toelke is a visual artist from upstate New York State. Toelke holds a BFA in Metals and Jewelry from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an MFA in Visual Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Toelke’s diverse art practice draws on her training in jewelry and metalsmithing yet blurs traditional disciplinary boundaries. Through the integration of content, process, and material her work addresses the rich human history of adornment and the shared understanding of visual language. A combination of sculpture installation, and collage, Toelke’s work lies at the interstice of the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional, hovering between object and image, reality and representation.

In 2015, Toelke was selected as an artist in residence at Lanzhou City University in Lanzhou, China where she had the opportunity to work with students, experiment with traditional materials such as lacquer, and learn from her surrounding environment. In 2016 she was awarded a residency at Brush Creek Center for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming and later that year she participated in Artisterium, an international symposium held in Tblisi, Georgia. She is currently working on a collaborative project that explores the role of wearable objects in political movements and has recently designed a public sculpture for the Corn Hill neighborhood of Rochester, NY, slated to be installed this summer. Toelke lives in Chatham, New York.

Shop the collection.

 

Amelia Toelke

 

 

Amelia Toelke

 

 

Megan McGaffigan

 

Megan McGaffigan received her MFA in Jewelry/Metal Arts at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and her BFA in Metalsmithing from Montana State University. Her one of a kind work has been exhibited nationally at galleries such as Velvet Da Vinci (San Francisco, CA), Pittsburg Society for Contemporary Craft (Pittsburg, PA), and Shibumi Gallery (Berkeley, CA). McGaffigan’s work is included in public collections including the Racine Art Museum (Racine, WI), several private collections, and represented by Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA). She currently lives just outside the Portland, Oregon metro area.

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Taylor Zarkades King

 

Taylor Zarkades King is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler originally from Seattle Washington. Formally trained as a metalsmith her craft based practice sways between a jewelers bench and a studio that finds its form through larger configurations of wood, textile, print, & re contextualized objects. At the bench her material considerations place emphasis on innovative strategies of reuse, favoring process and the labor of transformation over raw material value. Her current of limited-edition/one-of-a-kind wearables are made of re purposed aluminum and wood offcuts collected from neighboring wood shops. Made with an awkward sense of humor, her work has an affinity for everyday contradictions, asymmetry, and murky weathered color.

King received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 and a BFA from California College of Arts in 2010. She served as Chair of the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee 2018-19, and has taught inventive jewelry workshops nationally. Her work has exhibited in the US, Switzerland, Mexico, and China. She is currently the artist in residence with Quirk Gallery + VisArts Center in Richmond, VA.

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Taylor Zarkades King

 

 

Tanya Crane

 

Tanya Crane is a Southern California native living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. Crane’s work is framed within a dual existence of prejudice and privilege having adapted to life amongst family in both the white suburbs and the urban center of South Central, Los Angeles. He current body of work utilizes mark making in enamels as a meditative act. Each mark reveals the layer beneath for an effect that invokes traditional African craft and contemporary urban graphics.

Crane is a recipient of the Society of Arts and Crafts Artist Award (2017), and her work was featured in a solo exhibition at the National Ornamental Metal Museum. She is a Professor of the Practice in Metals at the School Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. Crane received her MFA in Metalsmithing + Jewelry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015, and her BFA in Metal from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Crane’s work is in the collection of The National Ornamental Metal Museum, the Enamel Arts Foundation, and the Stewart Program for Modern Design as part of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts collection in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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Kat Cole

 

Kat Cole received her MFA at East Carolina University and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and was a Visiting Professor in Metals/Jewelry at Western Michigan University. Cole is currently a full-time studio artist in Dallas, TX and is the co-founder of Jewelry Edition. She has been a presenter at Yuma Symposium and Craft Boston, teaches workshops nationally and has exhibited internationally. Cole’s work is in private and public collections including The Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and Houston Museum of Fine Art.

“I find meaning through the observance and intimate awareness of the places I inhabit. With each geographic change, I have become more attuned to the natural and man-made attributes that make a location unique. I look to the built environment of the city where I live for the formal qualities of my work: materials, forms, color and surface quality. The steel and concrete structures that surround us are evidence of human inhabitants- past and present. Monumental structures are interpreted into the intimate scale of jewelry and are completed when worn on the landscape of the body.”

“My work is made from porcelain enamel and steel, both predominantly used on an industrial scale. These materials are used to make small, one-of-a-kind objects- allowing for unusual and light-weight forms in jewelry and makes the translation into sculpture more achievable. The use of vitreous porcelain enamel fired onto the surface of hollow fabricated steel creates unique surfaces, color and depth.”

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Aric Verrastro

 

Aric Verrastro is a Wisconsin-based artist who received his MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2015, and has been a Lecturer in Foundations at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He discovered Metal/Jewelry Design in his final semester of undergraduate studies at SUNY Buffalo State College, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts/Studio Art degree, he continued to complete a Bachelor of Science in Metal/Jewelry Design.

Having been exposed to a wide variety of fine art and design classes his work is often expressed using mixed media. Aric was selected for Talente 2015, an annual prestigious international trades fair held in Munich, Germany, and has been a finalist for Art Jewelry Forum’s Artist Award. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt-Smithsonian Design Museum in New York and the Espace Solidor in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. His work is represented Charon Kransen Arts in New York City, Galerie Noel Guoymarc’h in Montreal, Canada, and Gallery 360 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has exhibited in over 80 international and national exhibitions, and his work can be found in several publications such as American Craft, Lark Books, and Current Obsession Magazine.

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Aric Verrastro

 

 

Laura Wood

 

Laura Wood is a full-time jewelry artist living in Penland, North Carolina where she is a current resident artist at Penland School of Crafts. Her work has been selected for many exhibitions throughout the United States, including The Contemporary Jewelry Show at the Penland Gallery (NC), Shift: Makers that Define, Expand, and Contradict the Field of Art Jewelry at the Grunwald Gallery (IN), and the Lydon Emerging Artist Exhibition (LEAP) at the Society for Contemporary Craft (PA) and as a 2015 SNAG Emerging Jewelry Artist at the annual Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design Expo (SOFA) in Chicago, Illinois. Her work can be found in select galleries in the United States and in the permanent collections of the Gregg Museum of Art at North Carolina State University and The Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin. Publications include, 500 Paper Objects (Lark Crafts, 2013), Behind the Brooch (Shiffer Publishing, 2014), American Craft (2012), and Metalsmith (2014). Laura was the founding voice of the annual ECU Symposium and is a co-founder of Jewelry Edition. Laura was a recent speaker at the annual Yuma Arts Symposium 2016. She earned a BFA from the University of Georgia and an MFA in metal design from East Carolina University.

“My interest in body as site began with self-expression through dance and performative arts. The human form, as a result, offers continual inspiration in how I create jewelry. Though my work is sculpturally autonomous, it is intended to have a direct relationship to the body, as another dynamic canvas through which to facilitate tactile transformation while pushing the line into three dimensions.”

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Laura Wood

 

 

Laura Wood

 

 

Jillian Moore

 

Jillian Moore is an artist and writer based in Iowa City, Iowa working primarily in the field of contemporary jewelry and small sculpture. Moore received a BFA in Metalsmthing and Jewelry Making from Western Illinois University in 2004, and an MFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts from the University of Iowa in 2008. Her work is inspired by forms in the biological world, and amplified by an interest in the fantastical.

Operating with a background in metalsmithing and a foreground in experimental resins and other plastic processes, Moore’s work is comprised of a variety of new materials and techniques executed with the obsessive, monomaniacal approach of her craft discipline training. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently with a solo exhibition during Munich Jewellery Week, as an exhibitor at SIERAAD Art Fair in Amsterdam, and at Athens Jewelry Week as part of the ongoing international exhibition “ABC…”

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Jillian Moore

 

 

Header Image: Jewelry by Aric Verrastro and Auction Items at Baltimore Jewelry Center

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