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Smithonian jury results


#1

Here’s a chance to see the slides of the artists who made it into
the Smithsonian show this year. And to see what the winning work and
slides look like.
To see the five slide images from each artist who made it into the
Smithsonian Craft show

Check out Smithsonian Craft Show Site
http://www.smithsoniancraftshow.com

Click on the exhibitors on the right side of the home page, then
click on any exhibitor and then their respective image-all 5 images
that they were juried in on come up on the next screen.

Carla
www.carlamfox.com


#2

Hi Carla

Thanks so much for posting this

I love the fact that there are two (possibly 3) beadweavers on the
list this year. It gives me a bit of hope and an ideal to aspire to.
Eun Ju Lee’s work is quite nice, but I cannot tell if it is beads, as
this work I haven’t seen before.

The best slides (for me) were those of Aaron Macsai. The work is
outstanding (as always) but the way that the images completely fill
the area of the “slide” is really impressive. It make everything look
so much more substantial.

Congratulations to Joanna Gollberg!

The only critique I could possibly have would be that I wish there
were more “new” exhibitors or that the veterans would do a bit of a
change up.

Thanks again
Kim


#3
Hi Carla, Thanks so much for posting this 

Ditto.

What I especially noticed was that a great many of the jewelers had
at least one image that contained multiple objects from a series
(not a suite). Most prospectuses say not to do this, but clearly it
worked for these folks.

More discouragingly, there were only a couple of people that the
jurors wouldn’t probably recognize instantly, so that they would be
judging at least as much from what they knew as what they saw. There
were a couple of sets that I really don’t think would have gotten by
if this were not the case.

Noel


#4

Hi Carla,

Thanks for the post - the work is all interesting and outstanding for
what it is, but I wish they would change up the artists as there are
so many other really amazing people out there. These artists seem to
be 95% the same artists as were in the show 2-3 years ago when I
went. Time to showcase some different people. I wonder howmany
applicants they get per season – perhaps different people don’t
apply assuming they don’t have a chance to get into the show ???


#5
http://www.smithsoniancraftshow.com 

Thanks to Carla for posting this link. It was very interesting to
see the entire group of photos people used to get in.

While the work was often pretty amazing, I was struck by how
relatively unwearable so much of it appeared to be. Art is one thing,
but if someone is creating “jewelry”, shouldn’t you be able to wear
it? And should that be a factor for the jury to consider?

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#6
I wish they would change up the artists as there are so many other
really amazing people out there. These artists seem to be 95% the
same artists as were in the show 2-3 years ago when I went. 

This is odd, because I was under the impression that the Smithsonian
show didn’t allow people to be in on consecutive years. Am I just
dreaming?

Noel


#7

I agree with many of these postings. If people are creating things
within a wearable art medium like jewelry, it should meet a given
criteria within that craft. I don’t see Smithsonian artists reaching
that withing any stretch of the imagination.


#8

Allan poses an interesting question as to whether or not the
wearabilty of a piece of jewelry should be a factor for the jury to
consider. I don’t think that the wearability issue enters into it.
The piece should be considered on the basis of its artistic values,
and the workmanship of the artist—the technical skill involved.
Unfortunately the word “jewelry” has become a catch all for far too
many items ranging from poorly assembled strands of cheap beads, to
marvelously executed pieces of art, the latter of which required the
skill and artistry of master jewelers, be they silversmiths,
goldsmiths, or gemstone setters.

Perhaps, what is needed is a new terminology for art jewelry which
was never intended to be worn, but requires the full range of skills
possessed by master metalsmiths…

Alma


#9
I was struck by how relatively unwearable so much of it appeared to
be. 

LOL. Check out the other media–like “wearable art,” for example.
Unlike you, Alan, I was surprised at how much of the jewelry is
wearable. It may not look that wearable in the slides (many of the
pieces are brooches, and the size isn’t indicated), but I’ve been
lucky enough to have tried on pieces made by many of these jewelers
and would actually be more than happy to wear them. Unlike, e.g., the
hats.

I too was surprised to discover that I could have identified so many
of the jewelers in a flash. So much for “blind” juries. Other people
have already made some of the points I would make, but here are two
moRe: One of the slides isn’t at all to “formula”–it looks like an
ad–but the jeweler was accepted anyway. One jeweler quite cleverly
included a very “characteristic” piece in a group that reads as a
body of work but includes pieces that I wouldn’t otherwise have
recognized (again, defeating the “blind” jury).

Thanks for the link. Very instructive eye candy!

Lisa Orlando
Albion, CA, US


#10

I’m reading a lot of criticism of the artists in the show. A
question we don’t have the answer to is how many people entered? How
many were turned away?

Given some of the negative criticism I’ve read, and the immense
talent that is on this forum, why aren’t there more Orchid members
submitting to be in this show? Perhaps that could be a goal for 2007
for some of us here on the forum.

I’ve often found that if I see a situation where I’m thinking “I
could do better”, then I attempt to prove that statement true.
Situations don’t improve if new people don’t get involved.

Personally, I studied the pictures, not to critique the entrants and
put them down, but to see what level of work the Smithsonian was
accepting, to see if somewhere down the road I had a chance of ever
entering.

Regards,
Miachelle


#11

Hi Noel

This is odd, because I was under the impression that the
Smithsonian show didn't *allow* people to be in on consecutive
years. Am I just dreaming? 

I thought it was just that they didn’t do any “grandfathering in”. I
think they can be in again and again, but they always have to be
re-juried. Someone made the point though, that much of the
established artists’ work is easily recognizable. Possibly, some jury
panels are formed of experts in art fields other than jewelry though.
That would seem to level the playing field a little.

I was thinking about the jury process and, if I were organizing a
show, I would have a tendency to choose a known entity over a risky
one. I mean, if two artists had equally impressive work, but one had
successfully done the show already, I would rather pick the latter.
It reduces risk. This is just my opinion however, and I don’t know if
some shows actually work this way.

On the wearability topic, I looked again and I would be more than
happy to wear a lot of the items pictured. Maybe some things don’t
seem so wearable because they are pictured larger than life, so to
speak. Seeing things in slide format makes everything look huge. I
especially like the rings by Beth Solomen. I would wear those in a
second. Maybe I am on the fringe though. I often wonder if the
exhibitors make high sales at a show like this or if they mainly
exhibit for the prestige factor.

I like this thread.


#12
Perhaps, what is needed is a new terminology for art jewelry which
was never intended to be worn, but requires the full range of
skills possessed by master metalsmiths.. 

How about classifying the unwearable as “ornamental”, and the
wearable “functional”? For example, some absolutely gorgeous neck
ornaments would be destructive to the clothing or the skin of anyone
who tried wearing them but nevertheless have great aesthetic value.

Shall we label these creations “for display only”? At juried shows,
should they be exhibited as “fantasy jewelry”?

I suppose they could be compared to the spectacular fantasy cars
that draw all the crowds at the automobile shows but never make their
way to the street.

Dee


#13
I'm reading a lot of criticism of the artists in the show. A
question we don't have the answer to is how many people entered?
How many were turned away? 

Miachelle - Good point. As for me, I do enter every year. I have
been rejected every year for the last 6 yearrs. I know I could do
better than many selected.

Archie


#14
A question we don't have the answer to is how many people entered?
How many were turned away? 

Acccording to Artfair Source Book, there are 120 artists chosen from
1200 applicants. Ninety percent reapply, 30% are retuning, 70% new.

I have applied to this show myself a few times. I tend to rotate
through the shows I’d like to be in but know I won’t get into… “my
annual kick in the pants” as I think of it. But I always say, you
for sure won’t get in if you don’t apply.

I don’t think people are really trying to put down those who got in,
but there is inevitably a sense of “What’s he got that I ain’t got?”

I’m betting that a number of the folks on this forum apply to this
and the other prestigious shows. Of those 1200 applicants, I’d bet
that 20-25% are jewelers. Pretty steep competition.

Noel


#15

My question is how are the people who are making 'non-wearable’
jewelry making a living? Unless an entirely new genre of ‘jewelry
art’ that you hang on the wall instead of wearing becomes
fashionable, who is buying these fantastic pieces. I, by the way
disagree with the comments about the Smithsonian pieces being
unwearable and I think the scale may be throwing people off - when
you see them in person they are more than wearable and quite lovely,
but to get back to the original topic, I have seen many pieces, for
example in early Metalsmith issues that could not be worn and hence
my question, how do you make a living unless unwearable jewelry is
sold and purchased as ‘Fine Art’.


#16

I have been following this thread with much interest. Does the
definition of jewelry include wearability ? I looked up the
definiton in Websters and it simply said a jewel collectivity which
would rule out about every thing seen there as jewelry. I think the
term is very subjective also there is the case of can be worn vs.
some one actually wearing the piece. Another consideration was the
piece actually constructed just to make a slide to try to impress
the judges at art shows?

I think this occurs every where. I have looked throught the Lark,
1000 rings, bracelets etc series If anyone were to wear half of that
stuff the first time they sneezed the jewelry would self destruct.
Does anyone here read Metalsmith? It has some fantatic work it also
has what I think fits perfectly the old adage " if you can’t dazzle
them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bull…t." I
actually quit taking the magizine because of what in my opinion were
too many people with bad jewelry who could justify what they were
doing with a page of Phd level babbling. Just some thoughts.

Dave


#17

How about classifying the unwearable as “ornamental”, and the
wearable “functional”? For example, some absolutely gorgeous neck
ornaments would be destructive to the clothing or the skin of anyone

We went to an opening for the book “100 Necklaces” - maybe the # is
wrong, but it was the necklace one. One of the pieces was street
signs (like stop signs, etc.) cut into marquise kind of shapes, like
300 of them. That’s goofy enough, but they told me someone put it on
and it weighs about 45 pounds. It’s art, for sure - I’m not so much
making any point but that it was one of the most extremely
un-wearable things I’ve ever seen. I won’t mention it was poorly
made, that wouldn’t be nice at all…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#18
We went to an opening for the book "100 Necklaces" - maybe the #
is wrong, but it was the necklace one. One of the pieces was street
signs (like stop signs, etc.) cut into marquise kind of shapes,
like 300 of them. That's goofy enough, but they told me someone put
it on and it weighs about 45 pounds. It's art, for sure - I'm not
so much making any point but that it was one of the most extremely
un-wearable things I've ever seen. I won't mention it was poorly
made, that wouldn't be nice at all... 

I believe the neckpiece described above is made by the metalsmith
Boris Bally. To hear his work described (or implied) as being poorly
made comes as a surprise. I have known Boris and his work for many
years and have never seen poor craftsmanship exhibited. He is one of
the most respectful and gentlemanly people that I have ever had the
pleasure to meet. Also one of the best craftsmen. I urge anyone
participating or lurking on Orchid to visit his website at
borisbally.com or the Velvet daVinci website velvetdavinci.com–
which is the gallery hosting the necklace show. Using the word
"goofy" to describe a piece, of course, says more about the personal
inclinations and taste of the person describing the piece than it
does the piece.

Whether or not an object is wearable is a very grey area. Certainly
there is jewelry that is truly not suited for the body and an
argument can be made that this disconnect would eliminate its
qualification as jewelry. I might even agree wit using the terms
"ornamental" and “functional”

But “wearability” is mercurial term. How wearable does an object
have to be? Must you be able to wear it every day? How about cocktail
rings? Must you be able to wear a brooch on a silk blouse? Is a
strand of huge wooden beads not jewelry because it isn’t made of fine
metals?

It has been my hope in the years that I’ve participated on Orchid
that this “is it or isn’t it jewelry” or the “my kid could have done
that” discussion or the “ottist” thread would cease to be a
recurring theme. Discussion is always a good thing. But the
bitterness and intolerance that I have heard off and on when SNAG,
Metalsmith or exhibitions and publications that push the envelope and
traditions of “fine jewelry” are put on the table leaves me tired and
disappointed. I may not find a lot to interest me in a shiny sterling
pendant set with an amethyst but I will try not to dismiss it or
describe it with a yawn.

Happy Holiday, I’m off to Denver.
Andy Cooperman www.andycooperman.com


#19
This is odd, because I was under the impression that the
Smithsonian show didn't *allow* people to be in on consecutive
years. Am I just dreaming? 

From the Smithsonian Craft Show website:

  Two artists who exhibited in the 2006 Show are returning in
  2007: decorative fiber artist Nebiur Arellano of Bethesda, and
  jewelry artist Namu Cho, also of Bethesda. 

  The 120 individual artists or partnerships are selected from
  more than 1,100 applicants. No artist is ever included without
  first being juried into the show. The 2006 show included 30
  first-time exhibitors.

I live in the area and attend the Smithsonian show yearly (at least
for the last 5-6 years). I see a lot of the same people exhibiting
every year, usually well-known names. There is generally a very low
percentage of “new” artists each year. As you can see from the
website info, everyone does have to jury in yearly-- even those who
have been in the show for many years. Some years the jurors don’t
seem to include anyone with a background in jewelry and the entries
that year are not as interesting (nor as well executed, rough,
pointy edges, etc.) in the jewelry category. As to sales, some of
the artists are swamped, others not so much (from what I saw, it
depended a bit on the price range). One of the years that Carole Web
was in the show her booth was so deep in buyers that I couldn’t even
get close enough to say hello.

Donna in VA


#20
I have seen many pieces, for example in early Metalsmith issues
that could not be worn and hence my question, how do you make a
living unless unwearable jewelry is sold and purchased as 'Fine
Art'. 

You make a living because you’re an academic and get a salary. As
has been discussed before (just enter “EOP” in the archives),
Metalsmith is essentially a magazine dominated by academics. Those of
us who have been graduate students recognize the prose style only too
well.

Lisa Orlando
Albion, CA, US