Five days out from opening night, the Society of Arts and Crafts (SAC) in Boston is a site of purposeful activity. The previous exhibition has come down and is being packed away in preparation for sending back to the makers and new owners. The gallery walls are clear, the floor is dotted with empty boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. The next show, From Minimal to Bling: Contemporary Studio Jewelry, is due to open on Friday November 4, 2011. This is the third time SAC has hosted this exhibition. I asked Fabio Fernandez, exhibitions director at SAC, if he could explain to me exactly what the show is about.
Essentially it is a mini survey presenting the work of contemporary practitioners who we think are doing good and interesting work. With a number of fine art schools in the area, work in the exhibition has the possibility to become an extension of the classroom. We therefore attempt to make selections that mirror or anticipate current methods, materials, processes and themes . . . plastics, CNC, felt, found materials, narrative . . . Our selections are informed by our attendance at events like the SNAG conference, where Beth Ann Gerstein (SAC director) and I have served as portfolio reviewers, by what we learn when asked to be visiting critics at universities and by artists whose work we encounter when we are asked to be on jury panels. We also keep abreast of developments on sites like AJF, Crafthaus, Klimt02 and the like.