Works by MAD About Jewelry artists (top row, left to right) Rebecca Hannon, Michelle Currie, Lorraine West; (bottom row, left to right) Jessica Thompson-Lee, Eunseok Han, Matagi Sorensen.

April 27–30, the Museum of Arts and Design will present MAD About Jewelry, its annual benefit sale of contemporary jewelry featuring designs from more than 40 emerging and acclaimed international jewelry artists. MAD About Jewelry has become known as the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary, artist-made jewelry, where collectors and jewelry enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to meet and acquire pieces from some of the most innovative creators in the field. 

ARTIST HIGHLIGHTS

The jewelry artists and designers featured in MAD About Jewelry 2022 include the following: 

a jewelry artist based in Seoul, South Korea, Eunseok Han makes jewelry out of recycled aluminum cans in lieu of precious stones and metals. Han notes that disposable products are one of the main contributors to environmental pollution, whose effects she explores in her work. Her current collection references the vibrant colors of coral, which undergoes bleaching and degradation as a result of rising water temperatures. Her commitment to preserving the environment extends to the use of other discarded materials, such as plastics. 

New York–based jewelry designer Lorraine West makes strikingly elegant pieces that allow wearers to connect to their own beauty and power. A self-taught craftswoman, West pays homage to her Caribbean roots by mixing bold and minimalist design sensibilities. Inspired by symbology and geometric shapes, her hand-fabricated brass jewelry is meant to be a form of self-expression and liberation. 

Based in Arizona, Matagi Sorensen is a metalsmith, jewelry designer, and fine artist from the Yavapai-Apache Nation. He creates hand-fabricated and lost-wax cast silver jewelry. His designs are sleek and modern and draw from traditional motifs rooted in his heritage. His jewelry incorporates mokume gane, an ancient Japanese metalworking technique that results in patterns resembling woodgrain. Sorensen is currently pursuing an MFA at Arizona State University, where he is furthering his knowledge and skills in metalsmithing and design, as well as experimenting with natural and culturally traditional materials. 

A jewelry artist based in Canada, Rebecca Hannon investigates ideas of adornment in relation to the human form. In her “Contemporary Camouflage” series, she uses laminate, which she laser-cuts and interlocks to form three-dimensional pieces reminiscent of children’s toys. Through color, form, and intention, she interrogates how we conceal or reveal ourselves, as seen throughout the animal kingdom: coloration and mimicry in nature influenced early ideas about camouflaging in the theater of war. Her jewelry can fade into a striped blouse or jump out like a rosy wine stain. Worn on the body or displayed on the wall, these works are bold, impactful icons. 

Michelle Currie is a Scottish jewelry designer and current artist-in-residence at the Glasgow School of Art. Inspired by science and astronomy, including research into black holes and gravitational waves, her practice explores the unseen forces that govern and shape our world. By combining silver and precious stones with ferromagnetic materials such as iron oxide, iron sand collected from the beaches on the west coast of Scotland, and ferrofluid, a substance engineered by NASA to control liquids in space, Currie captures the exciting variety of textures and movements created when iron particles are exposed to neodymium magnets. She creates her own mixtures of iron particles, which she sculpts directly onto magnetic field lines, using the invisible structure as a canvas to capture explosive moments as static, ominous wearable sculptures. 

OPENING BENEFIT 

Join us Tuesday, April 26 for the benefit evening featuring first access for patrons to meet the artists and acquire their designs, a cocktail hour and reception, as well as a dinner honoring the 2022 MAD About Jewelry Award recipients, the iconic British fashion and textile designer Dame Zandra Rhodes and Art Jewelry Forum. Established in 1997 to promote critical attention to contemporary jewelry, AJF has become the leading voice for art jewelry’s advancement, serving to establish and elevate jewelry’s contributions to art. 

Cocktails and Shopping, 5 pm. 
Dinner and Award Ceremony at Robert restaurant, 7:30 pm. 

To purchase tickets to the Opening Benefit, visit thestore.madmuseum.org/collections/mad-about-jewelry-2022-tickets, or contact Rebekka Grossman at 212.299.7712 or rebekka.grossman@madmuseum.org.  

LOBBY ARTISTS 

The moment you enter this April’s MAD About Jewelry sale you will be able to observe jewelry making in action. MAD loves to show visitors how art is created—and it’s all for sale!  

MAD About Jewelry has always been known for its wide breadth of materials and this variety of processes and techniques will be evident among the lobby makers as well. 

Jessica Thompson-Lee will be demonstrating how she creates her porcelain jewelry using a playful technique in which she “draws” with a liquified clay.    

Dina Rudeen will be hand-sanding and painting elements in her sculptural earrings made from reclaimed wood, incorporating a design sensibility of both midcentury modernism and multicultural motifs.  

Co-creators Ian Henderson and Sue-Yee Leung will reveal the making and formation of the multiple layers in their biomorphic, deceptively soft, touchable line of rubber jewelry inspired by the growth patterns of flora and fauna. 

BALLOON INSTALLATION 

This edition of MAD About Jewelry will feature an imposing piece of installation art by jeweler Xinchen Li that will capture the attention of visitors immediately. As part of her MFA work at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Xinchen took two of the most iconic forms of jewelry, beads and chains, and created oversized metallic balloon renditions of these in jewelry’s most classic colors, gold and silver. Working from her original rendition, she will be creating a site-specific installation for the MAD About Jewelry gallery.

PUBLIC EXHIBITION AND SALE HOURS 

Wed, April 27, 10 am to 6 pm 
Thu, April 28, 10 am to 8 pm 
Fri, April 29, 10 am to 6 pm 
Sat, April 30, 10 am to 6 pm 

VENUE AND HOURS  

Museum of Arts and Design  

2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY  

OPENING BENEFIT PREVIEW  

Tuesday, April 26, 5 pm 

MAD About Jewelry is in keeping with the Museum’s long-standing commitment to presenting jewelry as an art form. MAD is the only American museum to possess a gallery dedicated to the display of both special jewelry exhibitions and its own collection of contemporary and modern studio and art jewelry. 

MAD is proud to celebrate our artist community. Proceeds from MAD About Jewelry will benefit participating artists and support the museum’s educational programs. 

ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN 

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first century innovation and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit madmuseum.org. 

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