Month: June 2012

Brigid O’Hanrahan: Geologica

April Higashi April Higashi is a jeweler who opened a lovely intimate gallery called Shibumi in Berkeley, California, a number of years ago. I know her to be industrious and thoughtful, which is reflected in the work she does as well in how she has structured her life and her gallery. She is lots of fun, a woman of many talents and has a good time making things work in her life. At the moment she is having a show called Geologica by Brigid O’Hanrahan, who works in both porcelain and metal and often combines the two in her jewelry. Her sensitive rings and brooches give you a hint of her shy nature.

Susan Cummins: I know we have worked together in the past, but please refresh my memory about how you got to be the owner of a jewelry gallery.

April Higashi: I’ve been making jewelry for twenty years. Even in the beginning when I was first starting to make jewelry, I always thought about how it would be shown, grouped together or how it could be worn. When I worked at your gallery (Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, California) you instilled in me the importance of thought, idea and craftsmanship in each piece. While there, I realized how much I enjoyed aesthetically arranging and grouping the work. I also realized during that time how much I liked working directly with clients. So I knew I would enjoy curating a gallery. When my husband and I were looking to buy a house we found a building that was zoned for partial commercial use. The space was large enough to have both a workshop/studio and a gallery on the bottom floor. With this set up I felt I could continue to be a jewelry maker as well as take on a new role as curator and gallery owner. Originally I was thinking I would only do the gallery part-time. The reality, however, is that I have ended up creating two full-time jobs for myself. Fortunately I am a good delegator and so I have also ‘curated’ an amazing creative team to help me.

‘The Heat is On’ and the Air Conditioning is Blasting

About 600 conference attendees arrived in Scottsdale, Arizona in 100-degree weather for the 2012 SNAG conference (May 23-26) aptly titled The Heat is On. The setting was surreal—a vast, dry, desert landscape covered in suburban sprawl, swimming pools and lush golf courses, in a state whose Secretary of State was actually questioning the validity of the …

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Lisette Colijn: (Take a) Look at Me

Galerie Louise Smit Amsterdam must have more jewelry galleries per capita than any other place on earth and some of them, like Galerie Louise Smit,  have been around for more than 25 years. This gallery helped to create an audience for contemporary jewelry both locally and internationally. Luckily for us, Monika Zampa has kept the gallery alive as Louise Smit retired. Best wishes to Louise and Robert Smit and may you enjoy the less frantic pace of your retired lives. In the meantime I wanted to know more about what Monika was planning.

Lisette ColiijnSusan Cummins: You are a fairly new owner of a very old gallery. Can you tell us about how the transition took place between you and Louise Smit?

Monika Zampa: In the past I used to work in London as an investment banker, project manager and a deputy director for medium size company. Then I moved to Amsterdam, changed my life and started to study conceptual jewelry at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. In my last years of the studies, I realized that my combination of financial/organizational skills and passion for conceptual jewelry was rather unique. I thought that it could be perfectly applied in running the gallery. I approached Louise and offered my skills and knowledge if she would consider having a business partner. We started to talk, got to know each other and had lots of good times. Our cooperation began in September 2010 with the idea that I would be able to run the gallery on my own by 2011.

Lisette Colijn-(Take a) Look at Me

Galerie Louise Smit Amsterdam must have more jewelry galleries per capita than any other place on earth and some of them, like Galerie Louise Smit,  have been around for more than 25 years. This gallery helped to create an audience for contemporary jewelry both locally and internationally. Luckily for us, Monika Zampa has kept the gallery alive as Louise Smit retired. Best wishes to Louise and Robert Smit and may you enjoy the less frantic pace of your retired lives. In the meantime I wanted to know more about what Monika was planning.

Lisette ColiijnSusan Cummins: You are a fairly new owner of a very old gallery. Can you tell us about how the transition took place between you and Louise Smit?

Monika Zampa: In the past I used to work in London as an investment banker, project manager and a deputy director for medium size company. Then I moved to Amsterdam, changed my life and started to study conceptual jewelry at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. In my last years of the studies, I realized that my combination of financial/organizational skills and passion for conceptual jewelry was rather unique. I thought that it could be perfectly applied in running the gallery. I approached Louise and offered my skills and knowledge if she would consider having a business partner. We started to talk, got to know each other and had lots of good times. Our cooperation began in September 2010 with the idea that I would be able to run the gallery on my own by 2011.

Under That Cloud

Benjamin Lignel, Bracito de Oro, 2011, mixed media, photo: Jonathan Keenan Susan Cummins: You are famous for your informative website, Klimt02.net. Please tell me the story of how and why you started it. Leo Caballero: I learned about this kind of jewelry in the 1990s by visiting a very good gallery in Barcelona called Positvra, …

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Maris Sustins: Sphere

Agita Putane  and Maris Sustins AJF is searching the world for galleries, museums, curators, makers and collectors who are passionate or even just interested in art jewelry and want to join our community. In the process we found Putti Art Gallery in Riga, Latvia and asked the owner Agita Putane to answer a few questions about her gallery and her current show with artist Maris Sustins, a Latvian jeweler. Welcome Putti!

Susan Cummins: Congratulations on being AJF’s first Latvian gallery.

Agita Putane: I am excited and happy about it. This is the best birthday present for our gallery. I would like to thank you for this fantastic opportunity. This is a great chance to tell the world that Latvian jewelry designers are highly professional artists and that Riga is home to a fantastic art gallery, PUTTI.

First of all I have to ask why your gallery is called Putti? I know that in renaissance art the ‘putti’ is a little pudgy winged baby. How does that image work for you?

This story dates back to the times when the gallery was located in another place in Old Riga. Its brick wall had been preserved since the seventeenth century. During that period, baroque dominated in art and in architecture. The figure of the angel was used in paintings and in arches. The figure of angel – ‘putto’ – in Italian means ‘a guardian angel.’ ‘PUTTI’ in Italian means ‘guardian angels’ (plural). They are protecting us and we feel it all the time. For our logo we used a font from the baroque period.

 

Maris Sustins: Sphere

Agita Putane and Maris Sustins Susan Cummins: Congratulations on being AJF’s first Latvian gallery. Agita Putane: I am excited and happy about it. This is the best birthday present for our gallery. I would like to thank you for this fantastic opportunity. This is a great chance to tell the world that Latvian jewelry designers …

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