Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Thank you to master jeweler Tom Mann for the outstanding review of the Brooching Exhibition. See below to read Tom's take on the show.

Drawer 1 and Drawer 2 (See line sheet below for artist attributions)

Brooching the Subject: One of a Kind  Center for Southern Craft & Design at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art   Curator: Jan Katz  April 21 – July 15    925 Camp St. New Orleans LA 

A review by: Thomas Mann -- May 31, 2010
 It’s an important moment in the history of contemporary jewelry design in New Orleans. There are only a few venues for contemporary work of this nature in the city so it’s a remarkable moment when a one of the city’s prominent museums is willing to celebrate work from the field of contemporary metalsmithing.  

Jan Katz knows her stuff.  She’s been a fan of contemporary jewelry, collects it and knows the current maker scene.  She selected an appropriate range of artists relative to experience, reputation and influence from the field and, as a result, the show makes a vigorous statement about the quality and character of the artists working in the medium today.

I was a bit disappointed at the installation site for the show. It takes place in the museum store, which is a nicely designed modern space, but not as nice, nor as important, as many of the museum’s primary exhibition halls. 

But, in light of the restricted budgets that most organizations and galleries are working with to mount exhibitions these days, displaying the work in four pull-out drawers (the top two side by side, which had glass tops), was adequate, just not as celebratory as you might hope for.  In support of that decision though, Katz’s very helpful sales assistant is happy to remove any of the pieces for closer inspection.

To their credit as well, at the opening on that Thursday (April 21), in between Jazz Fest weekends, models walked around the museum acting as moving canvases, with exhibition brooches displayed from collar to hem.  Of particular note is that, despite the lack of funds for a catalog, they made the inventive, creative decision to enlist the aid of artist Fredrick Stivers, who hand drew a lovely illustration of each piece in the show.  His work was employed into the design of a simple broadside layout catalog in B & W.  This piece alone is remarkable.   A unique document of the event and, in my estimation, a documentation collectable in it’s own right.

Line sheet by local artist Frederick Stivers

All work is for sale.  So…maybe…. the store is better exhibition space for everyone concerned. Still, as of this writing, (May 31) they haven’t sold piece one. Let me offer some encouragement to everyone out there who is a fan of the work to check it out online (see links below) and call Elizabeth Bowie (504-539-9614) to purchase one of these amazing piece by these truly fabulous artists!

Drawer 3 and Drawer 4 (See line sheet above for artist attributions)
JEWELRY DESIGNERS: Julia Barello, Kathleen Browne, Linda Darty, Robert Ebendorf, Sandra Enterline, Pat Flynn, Donald Friedlich, Susie Ganch, Heidi Gerstacker, Joanna Gollberg, Arthur Hash, Thomas Mann, Valerie Mitchell, Anya Pinchuk, Natalya Pinchuk, Biba Schutz, Sondra Sherman, Marjorie Simon, Rachelle Thiewes, Linda Threadgill, Marlene True, Joyce Scott and Kiwon Wang.

Linda Threadgil: really snappy copper compositions.  Lots of kinetic energy.  Inventive shapes and connections.

Biba Schutz: I wanna’ see these pieces BIG on a wall somewhere.  Biba’s imagination is on the threshold of the 5th dimension!

Bob Ebendorf: Ebendorf appears to be channeling Rauschenberg, Klimt, and Cornell all at the same time!  And the eclectic fine mesh personal vocabulary filter he strains them thru produces iconic work.
And….the pieces he sent for this op are in addition really, ridiculously low in price.  What were you thinkin’, Bob?

Valerie Mitchell: WoW! Valerie really stepped out into a new dimension for these pieces.  I’d love to see the rest of this group cause’ these enameled, 

Rachelle Thiewes: This girl is always pushing the edge, and always…successfully!  That’s whatz so unnerving about it….damn it!  Brightly painted circular motion steel forms with brilliant magnetic discs for securing the pin to fabric.

Marjorie Simon: Must of us know Marjorie for her torched fired enamel work.  But the pieces she sent for this exhibition are revelatory and exceptional.  So, even if she dug them out of a personal archive of work they are still delicious in their creativity and structure.

Kiwon Wang:  We know that Kiwon is the Pearl R Us designer of record.  So, it was cool to see here actually systems bashing her silver structural work (with pearls) with her also signature use of newspaper (with pearls) in one of her two pieces.

Sondra Sherman: Black is beautiful! These pieces from Sandra’s current body of work are an exceptional exploration of steel and enamel.

Marlene True: Steel, gold, delicious apparently fragile elegant forms.  Luscious!

Natalya Pinchuk:  This girl is really workin’ it!  An awesome extrapolation of polymer clay, crystals, wood, copper, leather, and wool!  Three pieces…all completely different…all completely cool!

Joyce Scott: Hey, make a face Joyce!  No, not that face, the one with BEADS!  Get these prototypical Joyce Scott pieces NOW!

Linda Darty: Queen of enameling, flower goddess…delicate lovely enchanting….pink!

Sandra Enertline: Did you know that Sandra drills everyone of those tiny tiny holes by hand…no techno tricks…..its INSANE!….but beautiful, elegant and full, absolutely stuffed with metal umami!

 Arthur Hash: Only one piece but a clear demonstration of Arthur’s continuing interest in exploring the possibilities of technology applied to jewelry design.

Joanna Gollberg: Space is the place Johanna!  Suspended stones on a course to somewhere…most likely on your lapel!

Kathleen Brown: The butterfly piece is deceptively light, precise and enchanting.  Kathleen is always experimenting.  Her very precise vocabulary reveals itself delicately in these pieces.

Julia Barello: The floating window escape….with x-ray lenses…another world awaits.

Heidi Geerstacker: dude….let’s get minimal…thin • balanced • sharp.

Marcia McDonald: Marcia we love you even though, invited, you weren’t here in this show with us.

Pat Flynn:  Pat’s work drives elegance strait down the center of brilliance.  His evolution from historic the inspiration imbued in hand forged nails through those objects delivered to these exquisite objects is a true travel adventure.

Don Friedlich:  Donald has carved out (literally and figuratively) his own niche in the pantheon.  slate then glass…what’s next.  Remember the Clothes Pins?  Really inventive….ask him about them. 

Susie Ganch: Absolutely the most cutting edge piece in the show!  Susie is kickin’ it big time for inventive use of materials and techniques.  Buy this work NOW…its gonna’ be immensely important.

Thomas Mann:  You don’t really expect me to review my own work here….do you?  You’ll have to be satisfied with my admission that I am addicted to beach combing for stones!

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