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Smithsonian jury results


#1
So much for "blind" juries.

Lisa, To some degree I think that no jury will be blind when
considering certain people’s work. One of the main edges that you
have as a one of a kind or production metalsmith (as somewhat
distinct from a custom jeweler) is the recognizable style or
sensibility of your work. When you are acting as a juror some pieces
simply sing out the names of their makers. Even work that is vastly
different in the design mode you’ve come to expect from a particular
artist will carry an identifying design language, material
application or visual and mechanical solution. This is a good thing,
I think, and to imply that work submitted should always be "fresh"
enough to not ring any bells of familiarity with a juror seems a
little short sighted. When an artist has established themselves the
advantage/burden of identifiability is often simply part of the
picture.

I say "burden’ because, since juries are most often blind, seeing an
entry with a very recognizable style can pose an interesting
dilemma. How can the juror be certain that the piece is from the
hands of the artist that it appears to be and not some derivative
maker, former student, etc.? Even a very well made piece may be one
from a smith who was “influenced” by the originator. Without the name
to check against, this can be tricky business and can, in a strange
way, work against an entrant.

Andy Cooperman


#2
how do you make a living unless unwearable jewelry is sold and
purchased as 'Fine Art'. 

A diamond dealer I knew told me years ago that he had participated in
many awards type things - Spectrum, Platinum Guild. All of the pieces
he had a part in went on tour and were ooohed and aaaahed over, and
in the end they were scrapped. Just his experience…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#3

Hi Andy,

Without the name to check against, this can be tricky business and
can, in a strange way, work against an entrant.

I wasn’t actually being critical, just surprised–or maybe surprised
that I was surprised, since it’s obvious, once you see a collection
of such slides, that most jewelers with established styles would be
easily recognized. But I understand, from your post, that it’s even
more complicated than this.

In fact, this reminds me of a thread a couple of years ago, about
SNAG’s Exhibition in Print. Many of us were expressing our (shall we
say?) disagreements with the jury in question (which I was rather
disconcerted to see included Susan Cummins, whose taste I once
thought exquisite). I asked you if you had ever been juried into an
EOP, and you said no, and I was pretty outraged, knowing this
couldn’t be because of the quality of your work.

So, I suspect that being recognizable can have other disadvantages.
For example, if someone on the jury doesn’t like you, for whatever
reason, you’re not going to get in, no matter how great your slides,
or your work.

I think it would make more sense to toss the entire process of
so-called blind jurying–since it obviously isn’t blind–and find a
different way of making these decisions. My only thought is that
juries might be elected by their peers, and the whole process could
be subjected to a kind of sunshine law, with “devil’s advocates” who
can challenge choices and demand that jurors defend them. (But then,
of course, somebody has to decide who qualifies as a peer… What a
can of worms…)

Lisa Orlando
Albion, CA, US


#4

Hi Lisa,

My only thought is that juries might be elected by their peers, 

ACC uses this method in part. The membership selects six artists
from a slate of maybe twelve and then ACC selects three gallery
owners. (I may have the numbers wrong by a little.) Also, jewelers
are judged by jewelers, ceramists by ceramists, etc.

I think this system is about as fair as you can get – on paper –
and still people complain about it as much as any other jury system.

and the whole process could be subjected to a kind of sunshine
law, with "devil's advocates" who can challenge choices and demand
that jurors defend them. 

I suspect this would extend the duration of the jurying time beyond
the breaking point of most humans :-). I’m told by friends who’ve sat
on juries that it’s incredibly demanding already.

A few years ago, Ornament (I think) printed a transcript (artist
names removed) of the discussions of three Smithsonian jurors. These
people take their “jobs” very seriously and tend to balance one
another. It was very interesting.

Nevertheless there will always be some bias as long as humans are
involved and I, for one, would hate to see “impartial” machines
making the decisions :-).

Beth


#5

Thanks for your reply Lisa. I would be surprised if a lot of jurors
allow personal feelings about the artist to enter into the process. I
have juried 3 shows this past year and I recognized-- or thought that
I did-- the work of one or two artists who I have had negative social
or professional experiences with and I just had to put that aside.
Some of the work made it in --and some didn’t-- on its own merits and
on how it related to an exhibition theme or criteria, if there were
any.

Ditto work that I thought I recognized as that of friends. Some made
it in and some didn’t.

I don’t believe that I am in the minority. In the end, I don’t
believe that personal axes are ground on the jury circuit. That may
not be true about art criticism, but that is another can 'o worms.

In the end, I think, juror’s rely on their opinions and taste
tempered, hopefully by education.

We’re off to Denver–finally-- tomorrow night.

Happy Holidays, Andy


#6
Since when does 200lbs of rocks and gold paint laying on the ground
qualify as a necklace. 

The thing about art is that it’s in the eye of the beholder. That’s
good to remember. The problem I have (this is only me - I’m not
trying to change the world) is discipline. It’s EASY to sit there on
a guitar and Like, Jam Man. It’s EASY to throw a bucket of paint at a
canvas and call it art. And it’s EASY to make some thing without the
constraints of human comfort, fit, clothing and flesh and call it “a
bracelet”. I know that some think it “high art”. I think of it as
"lesser art". There is a whole set of skills involved in making
jewelry that is suitable for wear by real people that I don’t think
should be denied. But really, that is just me.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#7

I have been following this discussion, and couldn’t constrain myself
from jumping in. first of all, I would like to reflect on
wearability of jewelry. I agree with Andy here - wearability of a
particular piece is very subjective. If we were to express
wearability on a scale of 1 to 100, “1” would be something like stud
earring which any human would agree is comfortably and unnoticeably
wearable, and on the other end of the scale, “100” would be an
arrangement of heavy boulders described earlier in the thread, which
most people would agree can not be worn on a human body. Anything
that falls in between is highly subjective. Such factors as weight,
size, texture, color, material - are contributing factors in
determining how wearable a piece is for a particular individual and
are again, very subjective. Some people wouldn’t consider anything
not made of gold as wearable, for others size might be the defining
characterisitc. There are a lot of other factors besides comfort and
fit that people consider when they decide if a particular piece of
body adornment, including clothing is wearable. Humans willingly go
as far as dramatic body alteration (stretch ear lobe plugs and
weights, neck extension, etc.) to achieve desired body image. Are
such objects not jewelry just because they are uncomfortable to wear?
Are stiletto boots not footwear, because most people wouldn’t be able
to take more than 10 steps wearing them? It might be technically easy
to throw a bucket of paint on a canvas and call it art, but it takes
COURAGE to do it for the first time and to challenge the
establishment. All that said, I personally believe in the wearability
of jewelry and design all my big necklaces to be wearable. But i bet
that as comfortable as I find my “Aurora Borealis” necklace (it’s in
"500 Necklaces" book, but i don’t know what page, as my copy is in
New York) to be, there would be thousands of others that would find
it completely unwearable with its weight of 400 grams. I think that
these books are not published only for people who wear jewelry, they
are also for people who create jewelry and other art. Any crazy
"unwearable" pieces should be welcomed for their refreshing ideas,
for not only pushing the limits of what is wearable, but also for
challenging the definition of jewelry itself. I might not want to
wear them or even like them, but they often start my creative juices
flowing.


#8
But "wearability" is mercurial term. How wearable does an object
have to be? Must you be able to wear it every day? 

Andy, I like the things I’ve read of yours on Orchid, and I think you
are a real straight-up guy. I don’t want to argue with you, and I
don’t think there’s an argument there, anyway. I’ve looked at your
work, I know what you are about from a jewelry standpoint, and I
respect that. I would say a couple of things though. First,
“wearability” is not a mercurial term - that’s just evasive. A piece
that can be worn is wearable and one that cannot is not wearable. I
don’t actually care, myself. I hear more and more the cry of “This is
a jewelry show and that’s not jewelry”. I think that is a perfectly
reasonable, valid concern for those who are concerned. My statement
about the Honda Civic is also straightforward - does putting a
pinback
on a car make it a brooch? It does not. Arguing that it somehow does
only makes one the village idiot. It does not. I can only speak for
myself. My respect is earned. My respect in the jewelry field is
hard-earned. My respect in other arts, which I am quite familiar
with, is also hard earned. I’m not alone in the attitude that
stringing up some scratched up junk on a cheap chain is not something
that I should pay attention to. And I would propose that maybe you
could have the same discrimination. It’s not prejudice, it’s
descrimination. Not all things are good, not all things are useful,
not all things are beautiful. It is the ability to tell the
difference that makes us better human beings.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#9

Ateh said:

If we were to express wearability on a scale of 1 to 100, "1"
would be something like stud earring which any human would agree is
comfortably and unnoticeably wearable.... 

Actually, just to prove your point that “wearability of a particular
piece is very subjective”, let me say that I am one human who would
not agree that a stud earring is comfortably wearable – not when
spending a lot of time on the phone anyway! So be very careful when
making generalizations.

John said:

Not all things are good, not all things are useful, not all things
are beautiful. 

And who’s to be the judge? You? Me? See my reply to Ateh above.

Beth


#10
to throw a bucket of paint on a canvas and call it art, but it
takes COURAGE to do it for the first time and to challenge the
establishment 

I came to the computer intending to write what follows, and the above
statement is the perfect intro. The post by Ateh is completely fine
in all respects. The post I’m about to write is almost, but not
quite, an apology to all of you Orchidians for my posts in this
thread. The reason being that this thread has become about something
that I and many, many others feel passionately about. I would even
call it a “movement”, it’s so widespread and powerful. That is that
there is a collective response to the above statement: “Rubbish”. Or
as one writer in the SF Chronicle put it, “Heaven forbid that they
would actually learn how to draw.” There has been a deluge, in recent
years, of meaningless, talentless, simpleminded art in the name of
"Art", and it’s almost always accompanied by “You don’t understand”,
“Maybe you just don’t get it”. “But the Curator thought it was good
enough for the collection”. Well, some of us do understand - I’m very
much not alone, here. There are thousands, if not millions of
incredibly talented artists doing meaningful work while fools are
drooling over nonsensical, poorly or very poorly executed “work” just
because it’s the latest trend. I can illustrate this pretty simply.
Picasso’s “Guernica” is titled simply that. If you see it, though, it
needs no title. I’m particularly fond of a blue woman by Modigliani -
I don’t even remember the title - it might be Blue Woman. It needs no
title. “Nude Descending a Staircase” - well the list just goes on and
on. The point being that it is the art itself that makes the
statement. The title is largely because it has to have a title.
Nowadays, you might walk into a museum (My shop is 3 blocks from SF
MOMA) and see a pile of rocks on the floor (seriously - not made up).
What it is, is a pile of rocks on the floor. Ok. So you read the
title, and it says some trite thing about the downtrodden or
whatever. They call that “Conceptual Art”. Since the art itself makes
no statement, I call it “Failed Art”, and wonder who the genius was
who put it in a museum. Now, of course, the argument could be made
that the piece and the title are one, and part of the whole
experience, and yada yada yada. Sure, I don’t need that explained to
me. I also don’t need explained that the ART says nothing. In which
case someone has lowered their standards of what art is, and what
it’s about, and I DO NOT ACCEPT THAT. I spend much of my free time in
galleries of one sort or another - We visited an “Art Colony” here
just yesterday, and it was chock full of talented, skilled,
meaningful artists. We spoke with many of them, as it’s not our first
visit. And believe me, not one of them was throwing buckets of paint
at canvases, not one was stacking up rocks. What they WERE doing was
painting, drawing, sculpting, and more, expressing themselves, their
emotions and their souls for all the world to see. Probably few or
none of them are going to be in the Louvre, but they are, to a
man/woman, skilled, trained, and dedicated. And largely pushed aside
in the art world because some Bozo thinks stacks of rocks, or piles
of garbage, or knives hanging from a rack (real) or bread hanging off
of hooks (also real) actually means something, and, even more, that
that work is THE VERY BEST that they, as a museum can find to display
to the public in this month’s special exhibit. So, I’ll stop. Again,
it’s not an apology, per se, but ---- well maybe you’ll get the point
that it’s something I’m passionate about. And you know what? I’m not
alone…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#11

The issue of wearability plays a huge role in my work. It is very
important to me that the work I make is wearable-- as I define that.
Not every piece that I make can be worn every day on all occasions.
Not every ring can be worn under surgical gloves, not every brooch
worn on sheer, light- weight fabric. But if I make a neckpiece that I
want to be worn, outside of the performance realm, I take great pains
to make it well and to build it from materials that will not harm
clothing or react to the body. Any of those who have been in one of
my workshops or classes has heard me stress the importance of
durability and craftsmanship. I couldn’t agree more that --in my
work-- the challenge that I find so compelling is walking the edge
between wearbility and formal/conceptual exploration.

But these are MY rules, rules that are tailored for what I wish to
get across in a specific piece or body of MY work. Rules that occur
on a spectrum whose poles are on one end conceptual and the other
market driven. If I want to make work that will be less challenging
to be worn and therefore more likely to be sold to a broader
audience, I will tailor it–

material wise and design wise-- to that audience. The
"functionality" of that work in no way competes with or affects the
validity of a more “conceptual” ring, say, built around a 9" long
porcupine quill. They are simply two very different things generated
from the same mind and built by the same set of hands. One is to be
worn, perhaps, to the grocery store or even the opera, while the
quill ring is engendering an entirely different set of discussions.
(I built a set of wall mounts to display the trio of quill rings
pictured on my web site. The rings can be easily removed from the
mounts and worn. It is the placing of each ring on the finger that
validates it, in my mind, as jewelry. But I recognize this
functionality as distinct from that of a custom wedding ring. Both
pieces, however, may contain elements of my personal visual
vocabulary: one fuels the other. For me it is this conceptual
stretching, tempered by the real world issues of durability and ease
of wear that makes the truly wearable work exciting.)

I think that what galls me the most is the need that others feel to
impose such strict parameters on to what others wear or build, and to
dismiss efforts at exploration. I had a friend who was in the Peace
Corp in Zaire (Congo-- Belgian Congo) many years ago who got quite a
kick out of a gentleman that he met who wore a plastic toilet seat
around his neck as a neckpiece. Such an item was a rarity in that
place at that time, the shape of it led directly to an obvious
function and the material was quite unique to his experience.
Duchampian associations (Ready-mades) aside, I would be hard put to
dismiss this piece of jewelry as goofy or somehow less valid. Making
high priced fine jewelry out of aluminum in this day would seem odd
and fool hardy. But not that long ago aluminum was quite rare,
possessed of noble qualities and made into beautiful objects often
combined with high carat gold. They are very collectable and
beautiful. The (now prosaic) material was treated with the dignity
reserved for any precious material. And I think that maybe this is
the key. Please don’t mistake my opinions as applying to all
nontraditional or experimental work. Poorly made work, no matter what
the materials, does not ring my bells.

I agree with John that most, if not all, art is at its core in some
way conceptual. But I most strongly disagree with the statement that
"‘Conceptual Art" is a short way of saying, "I can’t actually DO
anything, so I just wing it.’" While there is certainly much
conceptual art that I find to be trendy, shallow and poorly made, I
make those judgments through the eyes and sensibilities of a person
drawn to Craft. I also know b.s. when I read it in an overly florid
and contrived artist statement that can’t possibly justify the work
it is written about. But these overblown statements simply do not
invalidate ALL artists’ statements. Why throw out the baby with the
bathwater? It seems that any intelligent person-- such as John–
would understand that speaking in such broad generalizations takes
the power out of the argument, as does the somewhat reactionary tone.

I’m sure that this thread will continue and I will be glad when it
does, but I hope that it doesn’t continue to degenerate into a bunch
of tired platitudes about “crap’ and “phd level babblings” and
"artspeak”. Why are so many coming across as so angry and intolerant?
Simply stop buying Lark books, going to galleries that mount these
exhibitions, begin approaching venues and organizing your own
exhibitions or write thoughtfully about why some work should be
considered jewelry and other not. Either do some research and support
the argument with facts rather than simple opinions or at least state
such opinions less dogmatically.

Better yet, if there really is a “grass roots” movement of people
fed up with "conceptual’ jewelry and art --as John implies-- then why
don’t those who are so vocal in their disdain for this type of work
approach Lark Books with a proposal for a 500 book that might explore
what they consider to be valid and exciting. “500 Channel Settings”,
“500 Wearable Rings”, etc. I am serious in this regard. It might even
be a great book.

Andy Cooperman, Back from Denver-- barely.


#12
What is art? What is wearable? Is 500 (Rings, Broaches, Necklaces)
garbage? 

I read all the posts and hesitated to add the Lark series to my
library. I did purchase them starting with 1000 Rings. Are they all
art or even craftsman like works? Not to me, but I am excited by
many of the “out there” designs. I also think there is a large amount
of junk in there, but I bet my junk is someone else’s favorite piece.
How dull would it be if every ring came from Stuller’s catalog. Like
many of you I think much conceptual art is garbage, but it is a great
way of pushing the envelope. To quote Paul Gauguin, Art is either
plagiarism or revolution
. I would like to see more revolution and
less plagiarism, why else do I acquire the hundreds of jewelry books
in my library if not to see NEW things? Garbage? yea, but maybe good
garbage. Much of it is not something I would buy or even keep around,
but again, much of it is interesting. I subscribe to Sturgeon’s
Revelation
: “Ninety percent of everything is crud”. Ahh, but that
other 10% makes it worth while. Either that or I am just going nuts
from being stuck in Denver’s 3+ feet of snow, having my UA flight
canceled and getting cabin fever.

Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets, 6 of you will get lucky, I
did last time.

Marlin in a very, very white Denver.


#13
There are thousands, if not millions of incredibly talented artists
doing meaningful work while fools are drooling over nonsensical,
poorly or very poorly executed "work" just because it's the latest
trend. 

Don’t get your socks into a knot over it…as long as there are
people with too much money and too little taste willing to compete
with each other for possession of whatever the trendsetters declare
to be ‘in’…all the little sycophants and wannabe’s will follow in
their wake and create a copycat demand for more of the same. No
matter how they hype it up, bad art is not art. It’s just bad. And
yes, folks…no matter how much the pundits admire the brocade, the
emperor is just plain naked.

Happy New Year to everyone…Here’s to imaginative innovation,
not pretentious outrageousness.

Dee


#14
What is art? What is wearable? Is 500 (Rings, Broaches, Necklaces)
garbage? To quote Paul Gauguin, *Art is either plagiarism or
revolution*. I would like to see more revolution and less
plagiarism, why else do I acquire the hundreds of jewelry books in
my library if not to see NEW things? Garbage? yea, but maybe good
garbage. Much of it is not something I would buy or even keep
around, but again, much of it is interesting. I subscribe to
*Sturgeon's Revelation*: "Ninety percent of everything is crud". 

Agreed-

None the less, a memo to all regarding those whose “innovative
creations challenge the concept of wearability…” It’s been done.
In fact, it was done by the Dadaist movement nearly a century ago.
The “challenge” is now a cliche in its own right. Time to move on.

One of these days, if I ever tire of just celebrating beautiful
stones, It might be fun to lampoon some of the real cliches of
jewelry, such as the southwest death by Kokopelli look, or the “this
would be a $99 Walmart ring but I channel set every square
millimeter of it with tiny little diamonds” look (not sure I have the
patience for this last one.) My fear is that people would buy the
pieces without getting the joke.

Lee


#15

Hello Orchidians,

My approach to jewelery has to include wearability. As Andy
Cooperman (for whom I have the greatest respect) indicated, that does
not necessarily mean suitable for everyday wear, under surgical
gloves, or on sheer fabrics. Yet, I do think that the very nature of
jewelry is to decorate and enhance one’s appearance.

I enjoy drawing up ideas that may not ever make it to the bench.
Some are more like little sculptures. The idea of removable bits that
become earrings or a pendant appeals to me, and I believe Noel has
created some amazing pieces with this characteristic. The owner has
a piece of art that does double duty - very practical.

I think we’re back to that old theme - beauty (and jewelry) is in
the eye of the beholder.

My US$.02, along with wishes for a marvelous New Year, 2007. Judy in
Kansas, where it’s raining. SOoo welcome. The wheat really needed
this moisture.


#16
Don't get your socks into a knot over it.....as long as there are
people with too much money and too little taste willing to compete
with each other for possession of whatever the trendsetters declare
to be 'in'.....all the little sycophants and wannabe's will follow in

There ya go. Somebody wrote me off-list, and said that one
installation lasted only one day, because janitorial thought it was
the trash - now there’s a statement. As I’ve said before, my comments
here are not directed so much at jewelry specifically, but art in
general, of which jewelry is a part. And I will confess that,
although all that I’ve said is genuine and sincere, the thread needed
some perking up - going back and forth about rejection is legitimate,
but a real discussion about what it all means is much more fun.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#17
there is a collective response to the above statement: "Rubbish".
Or as one writer in the SF Chronicle put it, "Heaven forbid that
they would actually learn how to draw." There has been a deluge, in
recent years, of meaningless, talentless, simpleminded art in the
name of "Art", and it's almost always accompanied by "You don't
understand", "Maybe you just don't get it". "But the Curator
thought it was good enough for the collection". 

I thought I would able to keep my mouth shut. Silly me!

I have a lot of sympathy for both these statements. It’s so trite to
say I believe the answer is somewhere in the middle, but–too bad!
People in John’s “movement” are very upset, and have been at least
since Nude Descending a Staircase. And the painters in that show (who
weren’t yet throwing paint) did have a lot of courage.

At least a couple of things have changed since then. First, there
have been what you could call paradigm shifts, in which certain kinds
of art that once were rejected (“Heaven forbid that they would
actually learn how to draw”) are now viewed as great art by members
of the same “movement.” The movement, which was once monolithic, has
fragmented. There are people in it who would still make this
complaint about Picasso, but John wouldn’t. Maybe he would make this
complaint about Jackson Pollack. Others consider Pollack a great
artist but think David Salle is dreck. It’s not the modern world
anymore!

Another thing that has changed is that the art market is driven by
desire for innovation in a way that it definitely wasn’t when that
nude descended the staircase. Many young artists know that, if they
play their cards (or throw their paint) right, they can appeal to
wealthy collectors and be the next big thing.

And there are related changes in the “academy”–the universities,
the critics, the arbiters of taste. The academy was once a stuffy
enclave whose denizens where outraged by any straying from what they
defined as good art (Matisse was, after all, called a “wild
beast”–une Fauve). Now it takes more courage to do plein air
watercolors (which, however brilliant, will be viewed by the academy
as “vacation art”) than to do something which is considered "outside"
by someone like John. Outside is in!

And then there is something else, that has been going on at least
since the bourgeois revolution–a “movement” of artists with varying
non-market, non-academic motivations. While, in my experience, such
artists tend either to be driven by the desire to bugger whomever
they view as having power and authority, or by some kind of vision
that they will express despite the views of those with power and
authority, there’s a good deal of crossover. Many of them can draw
quite well but choose not to. And they either don’t care what you or
I think (they only please themselves) or they are quite pleased when
they upset us. Some of them will tell you that art that doesn’t upset
someone isn’t art!

I’m not proposing any solutions. Where are we
anyway–post-post-modernism? This too shall pass. Maybe a sense of
history can help. A little detachment and serenity never hurts
either.

Lisa Orlando
Albion, CA, US


#18

This is confusing me. I’m never going to judge or enter, being
neither a US citizen nor living in the US, but it does call itself a
"Craft" show.

Now, to my mind, the making of jewellery is first a craft
(encompassing many other disciplines) and making pieces that are
wearable is a prime prerequisite for competance in the “craft” of
making jewellery. Those who have gained competance in the basics of
the “craft”, and have the talent and inspiration, may go on to make
jewellery that is also “Art”. If it doesn’t conform to the
limitations of the “craft” 'though, it is not jewellery. It may be
"Art", or even “Jewellery-inspired-Art”, but it isn’t jewellery.

Does the Smithsonian Craft Show judge jewellery or
jewellery-inspired-art?

On a different note, my concept of what “Art” is includes a
requirement that it inspire an emotional reaction in the beholder
beyond “what-the 'umm’
hell-is-THAT-doing-in-a-gallery/museum/exhibition”, etc. The
previously mentioned pile of rocks does not qualify.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Beer everybody,
Andrea in Australia


#19
Now, to my mind, the making of jewellery is first a craft
(encompassing many other disciplines) and making pieces that are
wearable is a prime prerequisite for competance in the "craft" of
making jewellery. Those who have gained competance in the basics of
the "craft", and have the talent and inspiration, may go on to make
jewellery that is also "Art". 

I’m with you Andrea.

Jewelry is not art.

It is a tortured position to present jewelry as art. It seems that
the basis for the argument that jewelry is art usually has to go
outside the field of jewelry for justification.

Why is “art jewelry” art jewelry? Is it simply jewelry that one
doesn’t normally see in a traditional jewelry store? There’s always
the “art” of whatever. When a word is used so loosely it loses
definition.


#20
People in John's "movement" are very upset, and have been at least
since Nude Descending a Staircase. And the painters in that show
(who weren't yet throwing paint) did have a lot of couragesay I
believe the answer is somewhere in the middle, but--too bad! 

Very well put, Lisa. But to some degree yo misunderstand me. I’ll use
the stop sign piece to illustrate. You can go out and get you a stop
sign, hack it up, go to a hardware store and get some chain, drill a
hole in the piece. That is precisely what the piece in question is.
Or, you could get a piece of metal, make an octagon, and inlay a stop
sign in stone - or enamel, or pave’ rubies and diamonds. I, and the
movement I mention (which is very real, by the way) are not saying
that we want to go back to pretty pictures by any means. What it is
is to recognize craftsmanship, whatever the medium may be. The notion
that someone who goes out and picks up stuff and arranges it so, so
artfully deserves equal if not greater weight than someone who
creates an item which has never existed before is, well, "offensive"
comes to mind. I’m not talking about content, or saying that
abstraction is a bad thing. I’m talking about plain old everyday
craftsmanship, whether metal, paint, beads or fabric. A pile of rocks
is merely a pile of rocks. A sculpture carved out of marble, even if
you or I don’t like it, deserves more from all of us.

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