07/19/2010

Susan Cummins, chair of the Art Jewelry Forum (AJF), and Susan Kempin, award program chair, are pleased to announce this year’s Emerging Artist Award winner, Agnes Larsson. Larsson was chosen from among 117 entries, from 38 countries.

The goal of the Emerging Artist Award is to acknowledge promise, innovation and individuality in the work of emerging jewelers. The competition is open to makers of art jewelry who have recently completed their professional training and have not been a featured artist in a commercial gallery or museum. Larsson will receive a $5000 cash award. In addition, her work will be featured by an AJF member gallery at the Sculptural Object and Functional Art (SOFA) Expo in Chicago and in AJF advertisements and she will serve as a juror for next year’s competition.

Jurors for the 2010 competition were Namita Wiggers, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon; Susan Beech, long-standing member of AJF and collector of contemporary jewelry; and Sharon Massey, jeweler and recipient of the 2009 award.

Criteria used in the judging were originality, depth of concept and quality of craftsmanship. Larsson used carbon and horse hair in the series of work she submitted. She allows the material to lead the way through the working process, drawing inspiration from thoughts about gravity, lightness and heaviness, death, life, transparency and darkness, growth, decomposition and transformation, to show contrasts like fragility and strength, depth and surface, darkness and light.

Susan Beech commented, ‘This body of work most exemplified the guidelines for judging: originality, depth of concept and quality of craftsmanship. The use of carbon and horsehair, original materials, work well together. The first thought that came to mind when I looked at this body of work was elegant.’ Sharon Massey added, ‘Agnes Larsson presents a cohesive body of work that I found quite unusual and poetic. Her forms are simple, emphasizing the texture and blackness of the carbon as well as the fragility of the horsehair. Her artistic voice seemed the most authentic and unique.’

Larsson received a BFA in 2004 and an MFA in 2007 in silversmithing and jewelry from Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm, Sweden.

Formal announcement of this award, with images of the work, will be made at SOFA Chicago, November 5-7, 2010.

The Art Jewelry Forum, founded in 1997, is a non-profit organization with the mission to advocate the field of contemporary art jewelry by promoting education, appreciation, and support for contemporary art jewelry.