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COVID-Themed Jewelry Exhibitions

Part 3 of a Special Limited Series

By United States

“The effects of the pandemic extend far beyond our bodies—it has upended lives, undermining our sense of security and confidence,” wrote Yvonne Markowitz and Elyse Zorn Karlin, the co-directors of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts, in their introduction to the catalog for Upended Lives: Jewelry in the Age of Covid. “Realignment of relationships; economic insecurities; feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and loss; and physical isolation are just some of the stresses and traumas experienced. These negative effects have often been offset by uplifting feats of heroism, personal sacrifice, and acts of kindness. For many, the damaging and inspiring aspects of the disease co-mingle, forming a complex set of emotions and reactions. More recently, vaccines have provided renewed hope while enterprising individuals have seized the moment, using the disruptions of the pandemic as a springboard for personal, social, and cultural transformation. During challenging times, artists occupy a unique position in society because of their exceptional ability to unearth, absorb, and illuminate what lies hidden or inchoate. It is their creative efforts that provide us with the means to understand, comfort, challenge, and seek solutions in troubling times.”

Writes Patti Bleicher, who organized One World: 40 Artists Respond to Covid-19, “Throughout history, jewelry has often served as touchstones for health and well-being, charms for good luck, or symbols of faith in a better future. The novel coronavirus, with its fearsome implications and daily inconveniences, has brought the international community to a standstill, confronting us all with a common peril, and thereby illustrating just how interconnected we truly are, and unified we must continually be, to fight this existential threat together.” (See the entire catalog for One World here.)

We asked the jewelry artists who made work and galleries and museums who organized exhibitions in response to the pandemic to send in photos. You sent a deluge!

Click on the photos to learn about what they show.

This is Part 3. Part 1 is here. You’ll find Part 2 here. We’ll keep publishing all the remaining photos over the coming weeks, but the response was so great that we’re splitting them into smaller sections that you can enjoy and digest more easily.


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