The Museum of Arts and Design presents the twenty-first edition of MAD About Jewelry (formerly known as LOOT: MAD About Jewelry), its annual exhibition and sale of unique contemporary jewelry. Following the opening event in honor of the esteemed educator and advocate of contemporary craftsmanship Helen Drutt English on December 6th, MAD About Jewelry 2021 will showcase the work of more than 40 emerging and acclaimed American jewelry artists. For collectors, connoisseurs and anyone with an interest in the interplay of art and design, MAD About Jewelry offers an unprecedented opportunity to chat with some of the most innovative creators in the field and to purchase pieces from some of the most innovative creators in the field, to support the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.
This year, MAD About Jewelry is also offering special shopping experiences with Of Rare Origin and Pamela Love. Founded by a mother and her two daughters, Of Rare Origin creates quirky jewelry, handcrafted in collaboration with Italian artisans, steeped in their playful spirit. This includes the Aviary Classic ring, which Oprah Winfrey gave to Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history, to wear at the President’s inauguration ceremony in 2021. Your mobile pop-up, the so-called “Truck Show”, will be on from Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th. Write postcards to your home and mingle with other jewelry lovers.
On Wednesday, December 8th, MAD About Jewelry is holding a piercing party with jewelry designer Pamela Love, who will advise on individual ear piercings for buyers of the award-winning brand’s piercing jewelry. Appointments for piercings must be booked in advance by emailing [email protected]
The MAD About Jewelry Opening Benefit, which includes the first access to shopping the jewelry selection of the participating artists, will become English on the 6th Helen Drutt.
“The MAD About Jewelry Award is given to luminaries in the industry and has recognized legendary personalities such as Josie Natori, Iris Apfel, Joyce L. Scott and Kay Unger over the past few years,” said Michele Cohen, CEO of MAD and MAD About Jewelry Member of the Advisory Committee. “This year we are very proud to honor Helen Drutt English, distinguished contemporary arts and crafts educator and collector, former gallery owner and longstanding advocate of MAD’s commitment to research into and showcasing jewelry as an art form. Helen is co-author of Jewelry of Our Time with Peter Dormer, a groundbreaking book on studio jewelry Helen is nothing short of a visionary who has changed our understanding and appreciation of craft after having compiled, curated and lectured worldwide one of the leading collections of international jewelry, and with countless significant ones Is friends with artists and designers. “
During the public auction, which is free to enter, the public will learn about a variety of creative practices, from the ancient technique of granulation to hand knitting and digital fabrication. Inspired by nature, climate change, outer space, history, family and myriad other current themes, the artists use traditional metals and gemstones, as well as unusual jewelry materials like porcelain, steel, photography and more to articulate their ideas and aesthetics.
“The artists selected for MAD About Jewelry 2021 are outstanding storytellers and exquisitely trained artists,” said Bryna Pomp, director of MAD About Jewelry. “Every piece presented expresses the artist’s ideals and aesthetics deeply. The opportunity for visitors to deal with this breadth and caliber of artists and to learn more about the inspiration, technology and process of these manufacturers makes MAD About Jewelry a shopping experience like no other. When a piece is bought, there is a lasting bond between the collector and the artist. “
MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Prize
The MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Prize is awarded annually by a jury during the Opening Benefit Preview and recognizes a MAD About Jewelry artist or designer whose work reflects maturity in artistic and conceptual terms, has both a superior and an experimental understanding of materials and shapes and expertise demonstrated in technology and execution. MAD’s permanent collection includes nearly a thousand pieces of jewelry from the mid-20th century to the present day. The MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Prize represents the museum’s goal of keeping the collection relevant to the field today, and a piece from the winner (s) is added to reflect the best works of modern practitioners. Previous winners include Mariko Kusumoto (2019) and Joo Hyung Park (2019).
MAD About Jewelry 2021 is headed by LaVon Kellner, Deidre Quinn, Kay Unger and Advisory Board members Susan Ach, Michele Cohen, Marsy Mittlemann, Ted Taylor and Barbara Waldman.
MAD About Jewelry 2021 jewelry artists and designers include the following:
Sunyoung Cheong integrates technology with traditional metalworking to create her visual narrative; Combination of precious metals with mixed media such as 3D printed resin, fabric, wood, paper and glass enamel and the lost wax process. Recent work reflects the artist’s interest in honey bees, which she uses as a recurring motif in her work to raise awareness of the ecological value of honey bees and the importance of sustainable communities.
Ben Dory is fascinated by the mechanics of granulation, an ancient technique in which small, mostly golden balls are melted together with a torch or an oven. As a pioneer in stainless steel granulation technology, Dory uses special machines, including a tiny silver vacuum, to micro-weld the steel granules together and on a base. Dory’s style explores the possibilities of his technique, shifting from scientific and molecular to emotional and artistic, reminiscent of the Victorian era with all its flourishes.
Jade Gedeon’s works are mainly made of brass and create organic shapes and playful motifs that are inspired by countless art and design movements. By reinterpreting classics and optimizing traditions, she creates funny and surprising pieces that are characterized by their strong colors and rich patina. Each piece in the Trinidadian Natives line is handcrafted and assembled by an all-women team with a focus on sustainability.
Xinia Guan works with sterling silver stretching and folding it in a process that starts with a circle and ends with another shape. From the simplest observations in nature to detailed measurements of complicated shapes, Guan finds geometry, patterns and shapes everywhere and is fascinated by contrast and unity, organization and repetition.
MoAnA Luu reinvents the evolution of Creole jewelry, honoring the rich, diverse cultural diversity of the French West Indies. Her debut collection includes playful and stackable, gender-neutral pieces with bold, geometric details that effortlessly evoke modern elegance with cultural authenticity. Each piece is crafted from 18-karat vermeil gold and sterling silver by local New York artisans to mimic woven cane. Luu’s earliest fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary J. Blige, and Cardi B. wore ManLuu bangles for her second pregnancy announcement in the summer of 2021.
Michael Nashef was born in war-torn Lebanon and has seen a lot of beautiful architecture damaged and destroyed. Influenced by the colloquial language of architecture and the building materials, Nashef constructs structures that also serve as vessels: distilled representations of buildings destroyed in the war, whose functional resilience results from the stability and strength of the cement he works with. He also makes jewelry from 3D-printed nylon, the lightness of which ironically compliments his concrete work. By bridging the aesthetics and materials of his jewelry, he challenges the wearer and viewer to establish a connection with his surroundings and realizes that there is no such thing as perfection, only adaptation to our current situation.
Tiffany Vanderhoop makes hand-set earrings with brass accents. As a descendant of the Haida and Aquinnah-Wampanoag tribes, she integrates traditional geometric weaving patterns into her beadwork. Their designs represent an unbroken thread to their ancestors and serve as a portable homage to the survival of textile art forms and the resilience of indigenous peoples. Vanderhoop was among several Indigenous designers worn by first Native American cabinet member and current Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, when she graced the cover of Instyle magazine’s August 2021 issue.
EVENT LOCATION AND TIMES
Museum of Art and Design
2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY
Monday, December 6th, 5:30 p.m.
CRAZY ABOUT JEWELRY HOURS:
Tuesday, December 7th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, December 8th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, December 9th, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, December 10th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 11th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission is free. Reserve season tickets online.