Dear Barbara Garrett,
In regards to enlightening the minds of the Gallery personnel, it
sounds as though they have their own idea and judgement as to what
constitutes art. There are always those individuals who want to
label and define what is or isn’t art according to their own
personal likes, dislikes and interpretation. Unfortunately you may be
looking at a losing proposition.
Aside from the ridiculous statement that “we don’t feel that this is
art” are they indeed themselves professional artists who work in the
discipline of metals and jewelry?
As a matter of fact, the majority of professional jewelry artists
that I am aquainted with do not cut their own stones, which is most
frequently another completely separate realm of jewelry artistry
falling under the various categories of the lapidary arts. Whether it
is cutting cabochon stones, doing inlay work, carving cameos, or
faceting these are generally pertaining to disciplines
outside the boundaries of metalsmithing.
There are numerous artists (in the southwest especially) who do cut
their own stones such as inlay artists, however quite often the person
who does the metal work is not the same person who does the inlay
work. Personally, I fail to see what bearing or implication this has
upon whether their work is somehow more ART than those artists who
purchase stones from a stone cutter or lapidary artist.
If the gallery directors chose to look into the more than 7000 year
history of precious metal ornament, art and adornment on this planet,
it would be surprisingly easy for them to realize the goldsmiths and
lapidaries are more frequently than not, separate guilds.
My humble opinion for what it is worth. If you wish to contact me
offline you are welcome to do so. Best regards,
Michael David Sturlin, jewelry artist