The BJC Focus symposium is a free annual event that features workshops, demonstrations and presentations all centered around a particular theme. Our featured speakers are artists and intellectuals who are well-studied and acquainted with the chosen topic for the year. The symposium, while developed with jewelry and metalsmithing students and enthusiasts in mind, is free and open to public, with something to offer everyone. The one-day event culminates with an artistic challenge posed to our maker community: to create a new piece of work that aligns with the theme of the symposium.
Our 2022 Symposium, Signs, Signals, and Symbols, will explore the role that jewelry plays as a cultural signifier. Throughout history, jewelry has been utilized to visually indicate a wearer’s preferences, characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs. Jewelry might play an overt role as a signal, as in the case of political buttons, or act as a coded symbol of inclusivity, exclusivity, or social status. Through online and in-person educational content, we will learn and discuss how jewelry and wearable art relate to political movements, gender and sexual identity, as well as cultural communication and practices. We will also host workshops and demonstrations that present jewelry as a tool that signals, indicates, and speaks for the wearer. The event will culminate with a charge to artists to participate in our community challenge, which asks artists to create jewelry or small sculpture inspired by the symposium theme.Learn More