Julia Barello

Charon Kransen Arts, New York, New York, USA

Julia Barello Charon Kransen Arts is a gallery and bookstore located on the Upper West Side of New York City. Their show schedule consists of a regular series of fairs. Charon Kransen Arts recently organized an exhibit for Art Palm Beach (January 24–28). We took advantage of this opportunity to feature one of the artists they represent, Julia Barello. Julia got her start as a jeweler and is now doing very large installations, which is what she will show at Art Palm Beach.

Susan Cummins: Julia, first can you give me some idea of where you live and about your background? Schooling? Etc.

Julia Barello: I live in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is the second largest city in New Mexico and part of a large metropolitan area formed by El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Las Cruces is part of the Chihuahuan desert (not the Sonoran desert of Arizona). The city is in a river valley formed by the Rio Grande, and the Organ Mountains form the eastern border.

I grew up in Bellevue, Washington and always considered myself a North westerner, but the Southwest has grown on me! My undergraduate education was at Fairhaven College, an interdisciplinary program housed at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. My degree was formed from research in anthropology, art history, and studio art. For the most part, I worked in textiles, weaving, and surface design, but near the end of my studies I discovered metals. I was taken with the processes and by the sense that I could use them to make anything from jewelry to teapots to sculptures and fit it all under that umbrella.

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Julia Barello
Julia Barello
Julia Barello
Julia Barello

Monochrome Noir

Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, California, USA

Laura Wood Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt of Velvet da Vinci gallery have once again inspired another curated exhibition Monochrome Noir. The work was chosen by the makers Michael Dale Bernard and Tara Locklear. This show brings together some fresh work and represents a broad spectrum of approaches. The featured artists are Allyson Bone, Sara Brown, Ashley Buchanan, Kat Cole, Gabriel Craig, Robert Ebendorf, Réka Fekete, Arthur Hash, Sarah Holden, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Nick Mullins, Katie Poterala, Marissa Saneholtz, Loring Taoka, The Opulent Project, Robert Thomas Mullen, Tanel Veenre, Stephanie Voegele, Sarah West, Laura Wood, Leia Zumbro, and including Tara Locklear and Michael Dale Bernard themselves.

Susan Cummins: What inspired the theme of black with a color accent? Why not totally black?

Michael Dale Bernard and Tara Locklear: All black jewelry is a three-word statement. The Monochrome Noir theme is not that simplistic. It is not about black. It is not about accents. It is about a symbiotic relationship of a bold color and a deep void of any color. The show began with three artists that Velvet da Vinci was interested in putting together. These makers had a certain affinity for a dark palette but were clearly not afraid of color. Yet, each of these artists had only a few pieces that successfully combined deep black fields with color in a way that provided an equal visual emphasis to both. This equality became the goal or stimulus for the show, and the idea was transposed onto the other artists’ established styles.

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Katie Poterala
Laura Wood
Michael Dale Bernard
Monochrome Noir exhibition catalog
Réka Fekete
Sarah Holden
Sarah West
Tara Locklear

Clarisse Bruynbroeck: Het getekende lichaam (The Marked Body)

vander A Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

Clarisse Brunynbroeck vander A Gallery is owned and run by Françoise Vanderauwera in Brussels, Belgium. It represents a very challenging group of young artists who are taking fascinating risks. This month, Clarisse Bruynbroeck travels some very emotional terrain with her work called The Marked Body. By investigating the effects of anorexia on those close to the disease, she exposes a topic close to the site of jewelry—the body. It is a topic that has just been waiting to be explored.

Susan Cummins: Clarisse, what is your background? Where are you from, and where are you now? Where did you go to school, and was there a teacher who was a major influence on you?

Clarisse Bruynbroeck: I’m from Bruges and studied in the jewelry department at Sint Lucas Antwerp. There, I learned that there is more than the common jewel. Sigfried De Buck and Hilde De Decker showed me that, each in their own way. At Sint Lucas, I learned a lot about art, jewelry, and myself.

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Clarisse Bruynbroeck
Clarisse Bruynbroeck
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Clarisse Bruynbroeck
Clarisse Brunynbroeck

Ulla + Martin Kaufmann

Maurer Zilioli Contemporary Art, Brescia, Italy

Ulla and Martin Kaufmann Maurer Zilioli Contemporary Art in Brescia, Italy is owned by Ellen Maurer–Zilioli and Claudio Zilioli. Ellen is an art historian with a number of books to her credit, including ones on Bruno Martinazzi, Norman Weber, Helfried Kodré, Ulla and Martin Kaufmann as well as many others. She has been setting a standard for writing in this field for a long time, so it is particularly significant that we see who she is showing and hear what she has to say about the work of the Kaufmanns and the current issues in contemporary jewelry today.

Susan Cummins: Ellen, your gallery is having an exhibition with Ulla and Martin Kaufmann. Can you tell me something about their background? What is their relationship, and how do they work together?

Ellen Maurer-Zilioli: (On Background) There is a background, but it doesn’t seem to be important anymore because their present design has become their hallmark. They come from classical craftsmanship, from a postwar design and tradition in Germany dominated by the “Gute Form,” which means a sort of Bauhaus heritage, reconstructing everyday life aesthetics from the 1950s.

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Ulla and Martin Kaufmann
Ulla and Martin Kaufmann
Ulla and Martin Kaufmann
Ulla and Martin Kaufmann
Ulla and Martin Kaufmann

Felieke van der Leest: Once upon a time in My West (Part 2)

Galerie Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Felieke van der Leest The first time I encountered Felieke van der Leest was at an AJF-sponsored talk in 2004. She was funny and imaginative and also extremely practical somehow. She was playful, for sure, which probably adds to the appeal of her work. It is outstanding and unusual partly because it is just plain accessible. Anyone can enjoy what she does. Felieke is having a show this month at the active and lively Galerie Rob Koudijs in Amsterdam. She has reached back into her childhood memories to create creatures from the Wild West.

Susan Cummins: Where did you study, and who were your early influences?

Felieke van der Leest: From 1986 until 1991, I studied at the technical school for goldsmithing and silversmithing in Schoonhoven, Netherlands. I was a fan of the surrealist Salvador Dali and Egyptian jewelry. From 1991 until 1996, I studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I have no idea who and what influenced me. Those years were a struggle. Fortunately, in my graduation year, the head of the jewelry department Ruudt Peters noticed some textile crochet work I made for fun. He allowed me to see that what I made was special. Luckily, I listened. From that moment on, I have worked nonstop making jewelry and objects.

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Felieke van der Leest
Felieke van der Leest
Felieke van der Leest
Felieke van der Leest
Felieke van der Leest
Felieke van der Leest

Doris Betz/Attai Chen

Galerie Spektrum, Munich, Germany

Attai Chen Galerie Spektrum was founded in Munich, Germany, by Juergen Eickhoff and Marianne Schliwinski in November 1981. Throughout the past year, they’ve celebrated their 30th anniversary with shows called Forever Young and The Way It Fits. Eickhoff and Schliwinski have been part of the effort to bring contemporary jewelry to the attention of the public all those years. They have the advantage of being located in a city with a world-renown jewelry school and where the field gathers annually at the Schmuck exhibition.

The current jewelry show of Doris Betz and Attai Chen seems a very proper first blog post for Galerie Spektrum. Both jewelers attended the Akademie der Bildenden Küenste and live in Munich. I’ve asked them to answer the same interview questions, and I like the juxtaposition of their individual thoughts.

Susan Cummins: In your joint show at Galerie Spektrum, there is an undercurrent of similarity as if you were from the same family. Why do you think that is?

Attai Chen: It is a good question. I feel the same way. I can say that we both live in Munich and were students of Otto Künzli. For my first two years at the academy, Doris was the assistant tutor of Otto. In a way, we do come from the same family. I guess that, on some level of our subconscious, in the “Munich style,” there is an undefined similarity we all share.

Doris Betz: As a member of this “family,” I can’t see the obvious similarity, which might be typical of family members in general. Attai and I talked about possible common grounds before we installed the exhibition. There is a certain interest in everything that grows, in the observation of nature, and in the power of life. I would say we have a strong inner need to express ourselves in an uncontrolled, unplanned way. Plus, I see the longing for directness.

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Doris Betz
Doris Betz
Doris Betz
Doris Betz
Attai Chen
Attai Chen
Attai Chen
Attai Chen
Attai Chen

Nancy Worden: Smiling Faces

Traver Gallery, Seattle, Washington, USA

Nancy Worden Traver Gallery in Seattle, Washington, shows a large variety of artwork, including painting, glass, and ceramics. Nancy Worden is the only gallery artist who has consistently worked in a wearable medium, but she stands out as one of the most successful. In 2009, Nancy’s work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum called Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden, and was accompanied by a catalog. Nancy has been contributing to the art community in the Pacific Northwest for many years, and it is always interesting to see what she has been thinking about.

Susan Cummins: Why did you choose the title Smiling Faces?

Nancy Worden: A few years ago, my cousin was visiting and we were looking at old family photo albums. She made a comment about a group picture from the early 1970s of herself, her parents, and her siblings. Everyone in the picture was dressed up and smiling, but my cousin’s remark was, “I was SO miserable that day.”

People will smile for a camera because that is what is expected of them, regardless of how they’re feeling at that moment. I’m interested in the stories behind the smiles.

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Nancy Worden
Nancy Worden
Nancy Worden
Nancy Worden
Nancy Worden
Nancy Worden

Valdis Brože: Thin Thin

Art Gallery Putti, Riga, Latvia

Valdis BrožeArt Gallery Putti, located in Riga, Latvia, is owned by Agita Putāne. She has chosen to show only graduates from the Art Academy of Latvia (Latvijas Mākslas akadēmija) or the Estonian Academy of Arts (Eesti Kunstiakadeemia), which is a wonderful limitation to impose. With this concentration, the gallery can claim its unique place in the world, and at the same time, adds to the world view of studio and art jewelry. In this month’s exhibition Thin Thin, the gallery features the very thin work of Valdis Brože, a local artist who shows with at Art Gallery Putti on a regular basis.

Susan Cummins: Where do you live? Can you tell us something about your surroundings?

Valdis Brože: I Iive in the center of Riga. If I want to reach the old town, it only takes 30 minutes. Usually, I ride a bicycle to go across town. The place where I live is very quiet. There are nice old buildings, and the park is five blocks away. The streets are still covered with very old pavement. 

Where is your studio located?

Valdis Brože: My studio is just three blocks away from where I live. So, some weeks I only see those three blocks, and I get the feeling that I live in a three-block town.

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Valdis Brože

Julia Maria Künnap: Interview

Aaron Decker

Julia Maria KünnapAaron Decker is a recent graduate from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. He is using a grant from the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (CCCD) to travel in Europe and interview artists. Aaron has been traveling in Portugal and Estonia, and in this, the fourth interview, he talks with Julia Maria Künnap. Aaron is now back in the US and living in Maine with plans to return to Estonia in the future for school. 

Aaron Decker: Julia Maria Künnap is an Estonian artist whose work I can only characterize with the word ‘wonder.’ Striving for perfection, she utilizes techniques that are time consuming, laborious, and intensely meticulous. Her work bridges the gap between the instantaneous and infinity, catching time like a snapshot in a material as eternal as stone. Not looking for words to describe her work, she hopes viewers see it in person, but not just see but look and let the work hit them at their core. Julia Maria Künnap is a graduate from the Estonian Academy of Arts and a practicing artist in Tallinn, Estonia.

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Julia Maria Künnap
Julia Maria Künnap
Julia Maria Künnap
Julia Maria Künnap
Julia Maria Künnap
Julia Maria Künnap
Julia Maria Künnap
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Manuel Vilhena: Miss Amelia & 1001 Rings

Gallery S O, London, England

Gallery S O Felix Flurry owns two galleries—one in Solothurn, Switzerland, and the other in London, England. The AJF interview with him is in our collection of dealer interviews. This month in his London gallery, Flurry is showing the imaginative Portuguese artist Manuel Vilhena. This jeweler studied in many places and with a number of well-known teachers, and he has come up with a very personal and very intimate way of being a jeweler. See if you agree as we discuss his show Miss Amelia & 1001 Rings.

Susan Cummins: As I understand it, there are two parts to this show. Is that correct, and can you describe the two parts?

Manuel Vilhena: Yes. One part is Miss Amelia, a story about a girl in strange and curious lands. The story develops over a period of seven days and is basically a voyage. During this voyage, Amelia meets many people and has conversations with them. (Within these conversations lie my working philosophical principles.) This story gave rise to jewels that represent characters in the plot, and subsequently, the jewels themselves created deviations and new pathways for the story to unfold. As such, the jewels and story created each other.

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Manuel Vilhena
Manuel Vilhena
Manuel Vilhena
Gallery S O
Gallery S O
Gallery S O
Manuel Vilhena
Manuel Vilhena

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