Announcing more stuff! Here’s some other things that I’ll be doing over the coming months:
March: Starting March 18th I’ll be in an exhibition curated by the irrepressible Maggie Smith (not the dame, but a grande dame) called Tech in Craft. So far we have two dates, from the 18th-27th of March at Libbie Mill Library, Henrico Co Virginia, and then directly after at CodeVA’s Eureka Workshop, Richmond VA until May 5th. These are non-traditional exhibitions venues as this series of exhibits is focused on education, so I can’t wait to see what people have to say! More on this shortly.
Studio disruption – Also in March we’ll be having our basement – aka my studio space – waterproofed. On the place side I won’t have to navigate through the space on pontoons during the wet season (and being Seattle, it rains only a paltry nine months.) but on the down side I have to pack up the studio to keep the sensitive equipment – and the sandblaster – away from the dust. (It is well timed to sort out the taxes though…)
May: From the 9th of May I’ll have work in a show at the new Studio 2017 Project Space in Sydney organised by the impressive Sarah Heyward, entitled:
FORCES: Strength and Fluidity in contemporary jewellery and object practice using steel – the dirty metal
Also in May: Along with everyone else I’ll be at the SNAG Conference in New Orleans – come along to the Trunk Show where I’ll have my little collection (including some of the RESISTance) laid out and bag yourself a pretty.
July: I’ll be speaking at the Association for Contemporary Jewellery’s 20:20 Visions Conference in Sheffield in the UK. My presentation will be on my work, and the political turn it has taken which began at a residency I undertook at the University of the West of England in 2011.
August: It’s looking very likely that I’ll head over to Arrowmont for the Enamel Society Conference, where you can see my previously mentioned latest attempt at curating, the exhibition Plate Glass.
At Arrowmont I’ll also have works in the exhibition Alchemy4, the 16th Juried International Enamel Exhibition, sponsored by the Enamelist Society. So please come along to see that too! I plan to be there for the opening on the 4th of August. After Gatlinburg the show will tour, first to the Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH and then beginning early in 2018 it will be exhibited at the National Ornamental Metals Museum, Memphis, TN.
September: In the first week of this month I’ll be teaching an enameling workshop as a part of the Radical Enameling Workshop series presented by the Center for Enamel Art at The Crucible in Oakland, California.
… to the presentation I’m doing tomorrow on the SnagSpark theme of holistic practice (where I’ll go into how and why to sustain your creative existence and ways to attain and maintain flow from 3:45pm at the On Broadway Arts Building) I’ve also been added to the 20/20 lineup for Friday night.
“What is this 20/20 that you speak of, Melissa?”
I’m so glad you asked! This Friday, May 20th from 7:00-10:00pm at the On Broadway Arts Building (49 Broadway Ave) in Asheville there has been added a group of 20 x 7 minute slide presentations where people are going to “Show us their vision.” More specifically, I’m going to talk about my recent solo show Body Politic that took place earlier this year at Gallery Bilk in Canberra.
I’ve lots of things to say about the show, the work and the inspiration for each work, and only a tiny time to do it in (SEVEN MINUTES!!) so come watch me talk my own face red trying to squeeze too many words into far to little time. I’m on second so y’all better be on time!!
And of course, let’s not forget the Trunk Show – 3pm – 6pm in the Grand Ballroom at The Renaissance on Saturday.
Jueves 30 de abril – 7pm
“Sin Título” Estudio de Joyería
Dr. Mora 9, 2o piso interior 22
– A quick reminder that I’m giving an artist lecture tomorrow night at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
“Join artist-jeweler Melissa Cameron as she presents her work through images and words in the BIMA Auditorium. This event is a special Meet the Artist presentation in conjunction with her 2014 Artist Fellowship through Artist Trust. Thu, Apr. 30, 2015 6:30pm — 8:30pm”
I’m going to be talking about my art, my heritage, my moves across OZ and to the US, my inspirations and my work – the laser cut pieces and the hand-cut object series, and I’ll include a sneak peak of the EscalationSeries that I’ve been working on for the last two years. Don’t know what I mean and live within a 25 mile radius of Seattle? I encourage you to come along and listen to my tale. We can take the ferry-ride across to BIMA together!
Announcing the 19th Annual Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium
Saturday, October 18th
Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
The volunteer members of the Seattle Metal Guild’s Symposium Committee are pleased to announce this year’s lineup of speakers for the annual Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium. Working to the theme of Continuum, we have selected six speakers – curator Suzanne Ramljak, historian Stephen Fliegel, metalsmith Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, artist Jennifer Trask, jeweler Todd Pownell and sculptor Vivian Beer to share their expertise and wisdom with our audience.
This year the event coincides with the unveiling of the exhibition Protective Ornament: Contemporary Armor to Amulets at the Tacoma Art Museum. Speaker Suzanne Ramljak, editor of the prestigious Metalsmith magazine has curated this exhibition, which also features many Northwest artists. She will be on hand to celebrate the opening along with its initiator Carissa Hussong, of the Metal Museum in Memphis.
The beautiful Washington State History Museum, located a short stroll from TAM, will play host to this incarnation of the Symposium. The date also coincides with the annual Tacoma Arts Month, which this year will again feature Metal-Urge, a celebration of metal arts with multiple events planned for locations throughout the city during October.
The close-of-day speakers’ reception will also double as the opening celebration for the Protective Ornament exhibition, meaning Symposium attendees will be among the first to see this beautiful collection of wearable objects.
Founded in 1989, The Seattle Metals Guild is a non-profit community dedicated to promoting educational and networking opportunities for metals artists at all career levels and skill sets through lectures, workshops, social gatherings, and other enrichment opportunities, in order to strengthen our creative community.
August this year is shaping up to be a belter; I have the One Design exhibition opening in Sydney on the 1st with the workshop following later that month, while more of my works will appear in three other exhibitions opening in that same 31 day bracket, in America, Ireland and Italy. And most of this will happen while I’m in Germany!
I’m heading over to Erfurt for a two-week stretch to be with my mentor/friends Elizabeth Turrell and Beate Gegenwart and several of the second group of Heat Exchange artists, where we will be doing a group residency for two weeks at the Kuenstlerwerkstaetten. At the end it is planned that we will present a small showing of our ‘research findings’ to the community there.
To help me get over there, I’m pleased and proud to share that just last week I was amongst those awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship. Artist Trust is a Washington based organisation that supports Washington State-based artists with a merit based (rather than project-based) cash award.
The fellowship awards are given to around fifteen artists annually, with the focus on music, media, literary and craft disciplines every even-numbered year, and emerging fields & cross-disciplinary, performing, visual and traditional & folk arts in odd numbered years.
In receiving the award, artists commit to: “participating in a Meet the Artist event held outside their place of residency yet within Washington State. The purpose is to outreach to underserved populations that are not aware of the artist and/or have little access to art.” So now I’m investigating where and who I should talk to, and hoping that wherever it is they can get past my accent to understand the content.
One thing I do know about it already, it won’t be happening in August…
From tomorrow until Monday you’ll find me haunting Kent State University in Ohio. I’m heading over for the opening of The Digital Hand exhibition at The School of Art Gallery on this Thursday night, the 13th of February, from 5-7pm. At the invitation of Kathleen Browne, the curator and head of jewelry/metals, I will also be presenting a public lecture on my practice on Friday the 14th from 12pm. The School of Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Art Building at 400 Janik Dr. in Kent, with the lecture taking place in the adjacent auditorium, room 202.
I’m really please to be invited to exhibit amongst a pretty amazing array of artists (from the Kent State News and Events site):
Pam Argentieri, Kristin Beeler, Allyson Bone, Doug Bucci, Melissa Cameron, David Choi, Joshua DeMonte, Arthur Hash, Matthew Hollern, Nicole Jacquard, Amy Klainer, Plural Studios (Courtney Starrett and Michael Gayk), Phil Renato, Rebecca Strzelec, Kim Tatalick, Jess Todd and Linda Threadgill.
And once I’m done there, if you’re in Asheville I’m spending an afternoon and evening in your town next Monday, before I take a day trip out to Penland on Tuesday to visit with the wonderful Elizabeth Brim, blacksmith extraordinaire.
Then I hop a flight to Richmond, VA, where I’ll be chillin with Susie Ganch and team at VCU for a few days, particularly as one class starts their Radical Jewelry Makeover project, making new jewellery from old. And as I’ve just learned, other artists participating in the project are welcome to join us!
I’m going to give a public lecture there too, in room 535 of the Bowe St building, on the afternoon of Thursday the 20th from 12pm. I’m sticking around for a few days, as guest artist, hanging out in the classroom to help out as the students begin work on their recycled jewellery project. I’m planning to have a dabble with the tools myself if I get a chance, since I will have work in the upcoming RJM exhibition that opens in Richmond on the 4th of April. I encourage you to check out the RJM site, as they’re posting up images and text about what each of us participants are getting up to, as we go along.
I really encourage you to get along to this event. We’ve carefully planned an enriching day in which we plan to get into the fine detail of how, when and why creative people throw out the rule book to forge ahead on their own path.
To whet your appetite local legend Andy Cooperman, writer and master metal-smith, has diligently prepared an in-depth spiel on each of our game-changing speakers, which I have included below. And of course there will be the book sale, featuring Charon Kransen’s collection of books, a silent auction, and for the first time this year we’ve introduced a jewellery auction! I have contributed a piece with a starting price of $5 for the “Bijoux Big Board” – a collection of little jewels available for sale that can be taken home on the day.
See you there!
Elizabeth Brim:Forming/Reforming Tradition
Remember when June Cleaver—Beaver’s mother—wore high heels and a string of pearls as she stood washing dishes at the kitchen sink? Nostalgia for early television sitcoms aside, change that image up a bit: the sink is a forge and Mrs. Cleaver is now Elizabeth Brim, pearl wearing, hammer wielding, nail polished blacksmith. She is not your typical steel worker.
“I grew up in a strong female dominated society. The things I make are all about being female and the expectations of women of my generation. I’m just playing dress-up, making a little fun of myself and having a really good time.”
From subject matter to execution, there is improbability and audacity in the work of this exceptional blacksmith, from the delicately woven southern bonnet forged and fabricated in steel to the sheets of iron welded into flaccid hollow forms, heated red and then inflated with compressed air into pillows. Brim has an MFA from the University of Georgia and has studied metals, sculpture, and blacksmithing at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She was an instructor in the Columbus State University Art Department in Columbus Georgia before deciding to become a full-time studio artist and moving to Penland. Since then she has demonstrated extensively in the United States and in Germany and Canada and has been a visiting artist at a roster of universities that include Cranbrook Academy of Art. Brim will speak about her life and work
Danielle Maveal:Changing the Game: One player’s story and tips for building a new kind of creative business online
Once upon a time there was no simple, straight path for artists and makers to get their work out there, get it seen and maybe sold. Etsy changed all that, providing almost instant access to worldwide markets, free from the constraints of applications, juries, galleries and booth fees. Focused on the hand-made, this e-commerce site is now for many the way that they first begin and then continue to sell their work. As much as Etsy has helped to redefine the marketplace, it is now also changing things by teaching makers how to be better entrepreneurs.
After working as a bench jeweler and shop manager, and then running her own business, Danielle Maveal found Etsy. Working through this online craft community, she soon was in 30 boutiques worldwide, with thousands of sales and a supportive team of mentors, collaborators and peers. In 2006, Etsy hired Maveal to help grow the company and work with the community. During her five years as Etsy’s Seller Education Lead, Maveal was responsible for writing the newsletter and blog posts and organizing both online and offline workshops for an audience of nearly one million. Since then Maveal has led small business classes at Seattle’s General Assembly, The Creative Conference of Entrepreneurs, Martha Stewart’s Dreamers Into Doers Conference and other entrepreneurial events. She recently launched Creative Little Beasts, the podcast, consultancy and community for rebel entrepreneurs where she is Rebel Leader.
Ursula Ilse-Neuman:The Transcendent Jewelry of Margaret de Patta: Vision in Motion
The 1940’s was a pivotal time in the history of American contemporary metalsmithing. Back east was Art Smith, Ed Weiner and Sam Kramer. Here on the west coast one of the iconic figures was Margaret De Patta. A child of the Northwest—she was born in Tacoma—De Patta studied in Chicago and eventually moved to San Francisco, where she built signature compositions that dynamically balanced light and line and helped define Modernist jewelry.
Curator of Jewelry at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, Ursula Ilse-Neuman has organized and curated exhibitions including Elegant Armor: Jewelry from the MAD Collection; GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry and, in 2012, Space, Light, Structure: Margaret de Patta Retrospective. Ilse-Neuman holds an MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Parsons The New School for Design) and has completed doctoral studies at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. She has lectured widely in the United States, Europe and Asia and has established an international reputation as an expert on contemporary jewelry, writing books and contributing feature articles and reviews to publications that include Metalsmith Magazine. Ilse-Neuman will speak about the life and work of Margaret De Patta, and the retrospective exhibition and its accompanying catalog.
Kiff Slemons:More Than One to Make One: The Jewelry of Kiff Slemmons
Thought. Idea. Metaphor. Slemmons: Words that just seem to go together. Over forty years of work, Kiff Slemmons has explored ideas through serial investigations and museum and gallery exhibitions. Ideas about scale and classification through images of insects, ideas about imperfection in the “repair” and remaking of other artists’ work and ideas about the value of materials in the restructuring of found photographs. Slemmons is a self-taught metalsmith with degrees in Art and French from the University of Iowa. She has studied Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and Metal through Parsons School of Design (in Japan). She is a Fellow of the American Craft Council and has been interviewed for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. The public collections that hold Slemmons work are too numerous to detail here but include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX.
Though now living in Chicago, Kiff Slemmons will always be a favorite daughter of Seattle and the Northwest. She is an artist known for her thoughtful and honest approach to both conception and process. The respect that Slemmons accords even the simplest materials can change the way that we see and appreciate the world and our ideas about it. Slemmons will discuss how she came to work with a cooperative in Oaxaca, Mexico founded by the artist and cultural activist Francisco Toledo, designing jewelry using handmade paper. And how this project led her to question the importance of the handmade in current contemporary culture.
Greg Wilbur:East and West: The Hammered Metal Object: How to make a show(s) from scratch
There is a point of plasticity where metal can be said to act like clay, but this man raises metal vessel forms whose insanely choked-in necks and integrally forged tendrils seem metalurgically impossible. How does he push a sheet of metal this far? Greg Wilbur is a studio metalsmith and artist living in Portland, Oregon. He has earned degrees in Metalsmithing and Art Education from the University of Oregon, where he played a lot of baseball (“hammering is just like baseball” he writes). Wilbur was cofounder of ‘Art in the Pearl’, the highly rated street fair in Portland (“artists should make money”) and since 1996 has participated in the collaborative artists event Emma Lake Collaborations born in Saskatchewan, Canada and also staged in Oregon, New Zealand and France.
Greg Wilbur will be speaking to us mostly about his experiences organizing and crowd-funding the exhibition “East and West: The Hammered Metal Object”. This cross-cultural, bi-continental exhibition of Japanese and American metalsmiths will travel to multiple venues including Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Crafts and the Velvet Da Vinci gallery in San Francisco. Crowd-funding– raising money online through a multiplicity of small contributions on sites like “Kickstarter”—is how many creative projects are now being made. See his Kickstarter here. Wilbur’s work can be found at Velvet daVinci and the Waterstone Gallery in Portland OR among other venues.
And when you’re there be sure to come and introduce yourself to me, I’m running the book sale for the day!