The dimensions of the wall showcase—33 meters long, 3 meters high, and 90 centimeters deep —are quite unusual. This is the place destined for jewelry exhibitions in the relatively new venue of the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
20 Years in TRANS is now on display at Galerie Elsa Vanier in Paris, France, until November 27, 2013. This exhibition showcases jewelry selections from Agathe Saint-Girons’s 20 years of making. In this interview, gallery owner Elsa Vanier and artist Agathe Saint-Girons discuss how this exhibition developed and about the current jewelry extravaganza in Paris called the Circuits Bijoux.
Missy Graff: What is the Circuits Bijoux, and who organized it?
Elsa Vanier: Circuits Bijoux is presented by Ateliers d’Art de France in partnership with Les Arts Decoratifs Museum and the Un Bijou à l’Autre Association. Circuits Bijoux will be presenting around 70 exhibitions and proposing conferences and encounters aimed at highlighting the great diversity of contemporary jewelry from September 2013 to March 2014.
France’s capital city has never before held an event that includes designers, museums, schools, galleries, cultural and institutional players, historians, and experts.
Joyce Scott is a very special jeweler to me since she made the pieces that provided my first clue that jewelry could have something to say. In 1981, four of her brooches were included in an exhibition called The Eloquent Object. The brooches were based on the 1978 suicide of 909 people in Guyana on the direction of Jim Jones, their cult leader. These four brooches, dated 1980, gave you a clear picture of the horror of it all. Many of the followers of Jones were African Americans, and Joyce, who is also African American, clearly felt the tragedy deeply. She has continued to pursue political themes and narratives in her jewelry over the years, and she has added sculpture and performance to her creative forms as well. Her current show at Mobilia Gallery includes a variety of necklaces, some of which continue to be politically motivated.
Susan Cummins: Joyce, when did you first know you were going to be an artist?
Joyce Scott: In vitro. I was born with one of the best-decorated placenta.
I know you have repeated the story of your mother and her influence on you many times, but would you mind repeating it for us once more?
Joyce Scott: I wrote this for Harriet Tubman, but I believe the same for my mom.
Marian Hosking is currently having an exhibition titled greetings from … at Gallery Funaki in Melbourne, Australia, where Marian is also based. As Kevin Murray has pointed out, “The basis for Marian’s artistic vision seems laid partly at her birth. Her parents’ marriage combined the two main elements that characterize her work. The mother was a passionate conservationist and the father was a Methodist metallurgist. The work that Marian has come to make seems to marry the bounty of nature with the discipline of matter.” In 2007, she was named a Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft and has had numerous international shows over the years.
Susan Cummins: Please tell the story of when you knew you wanted to make jewelry.
Marian Hosking: While at high school, I was interested in architecture, Le Corbusier and the Modern movement. I started an architecture degree at Melbourne University, only for a few weeks, in 1967. I believed I could be studying for six years and end up working in a drafting office. I knew it was difficult to build buildings that pushed boundaries, and so I decided to go to art school. My sister had studied painting, and I did not want to study painting. Gold and silversmithing was my choice, so I unenrolled from university and applied to RMIT. I made the right decision for me.
Ce qui n’est pas là was on display at Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, located in Montreal, Canada, from October 4 to October 20, 2013. The artists included in this exhibition were Gabrielle Desmarais and Anne-Marie Rébillard. In this interview, Gabrielle and Anne-Marie both discuss their process and how their work developed for this exhibition.
Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you become interested in making jewelry?
Gabrielle Desmarais: When I first began college, I studied administration while making fashion jewelry for small shops in town. It took some time to realize that jewelry making was an option for me. After giving birth to my first child, I decided to go back to school to complete the jewelry program at the Montreal Jewellery School.
Anne-Marie Rébillard: I felt the need to learn how to work with my hands after I tried a different program of study where I was unsatisfied. I applied to the École de joaillerie de Québec, and I knew quickly after I started that I had found the training I was looking for. I realized that I could express myself through jewelry. For me, jewelery was slowly becoming an artistic medium, just as painting or sculpture can be.
Peter Schmid is the Atelier Zobel. Recently, he had a brief showing at de novo fine contemporary jewelry in Palo Alto, California. We caught up with him to ask about his evolution and the jewelry he creates with his team. In a side note to the interview, he told me that he is very fond of de novo, not only because it is a great place, but also because it is where he met his wife Sue nine years ago. It was her second day on the job. They have been married for six years and have two kids now. Nice story to go along with the interview.
Susan Cummins: Peter, what is your role at Atelier Zobel?
Peter Schmid: I am the new face of Atelier Zobel. I worked for Atelier Zobel for 11 years before taking over the studio in 2005.
Please describe how the atelier works. How many people do you employ? What are their specialties?
Peter Schmid: Mathias Morgenstern started the year before I did, in 1993. We celebrated his twentieth anniversary this fall. Mathias is the leader of our workshop, an extremely talented goldsmith, and a great friend. It’s hard to think of our team as employees. It is more like family. We are a family of ten. Ten characters, including at least three divas, but I’m not naming any names. Everyone has his or her own flair.
Died: September 29, 2013 in Leuven, Belgium
It was June 1982 when I first met Yvonne Joris at my eponymous gallery in Philadelphia. Within minutes, I fell under her enthusiastic spell and passion for the arts. She was accompanied by Evert van Straaten, who eventually became the director (now retired) of the Kröller-Müller Museum, in Otterlo. Before I knew it, I had become the central depot for their planned exhibition of American pottery, which opened in 1983, Who’s Afraid of American Pottery? That title in itself should have prepared me for what was to come. From that moment on, until her untimely death, it was a journey into the unexpected!
Joris retired as director of the Stedelijk Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch in 2010, having led the museum since 1988, when it was initially known as Museum Het Kruithuis. She oversaw its renovation, expansion, and multiple moves through many challenging years. The museum was transformed from a regionally known collection of ceramics to an internationally renowned collection of contemporary art, artist’s ceramics, and jewelry. More than 5000 works dating from the past 50 to 60 years were acquired. A unique museum for the Netherlands was created- a unique museum for the world!
Yvonne’s interests were broad. Her dynamic personality made the impossible an attainable goal time and again. In addition to studio works, she responded to innovative design, especially Memphis, Droog, and Gijs Bakker’s project of Jewelry editions by artists-" Chi ha paura...?" (now CHP) She built extraordinary collections for the museum and curated groundbreaking exhibitions, which included Jewels of Mind and Mentality: Dutch Jewelry Design 1950–2000 (2000) and Private Passions: Artists Jewelry of the 20th Century (2009). The latter was her final exhibition. Can we forget the unique installation of a floating circle of cases in the midst of a dark room? The audience was offered spot flashlights so they could intimately examine each work. As one looked at the works by Calder, Fontana, Picasso, Meret Oppenheim, among others, one began to wonder how the budget of this museum could support these acquisitions. Her innovative manner of raising funds was legendary, as was her will to obtain work. It was not unusual for her to travel 12 hours by car to consider a work in a private collection. Like Thelma and Louise, we once drove to Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, to look at a buried Salvador Dali brooch in a sea of costume jewelry, and then raced 100 miles to Princeton, New Jersey, to negotiate not jewelry but ceramic acquisitions of Ken Price, Robert Arneson, and Ron Nagle.