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Board Members Speak: Brian Ferrell

Brian Ferrell photoWhat brought you to wanting a board position?

I am always interested in the spirit of community and collaboration that exists among a group of individuals. There are times when we need a break from our workbenches. Having a group of friends for feedback, support, or inspiration makes the time in our studios more worthwhile. It makes us appreciate that we are not alone in our enthusiasm for making. Many of the people in my circle of friends feel the same, so getting involved with SNAG board was pretty natural. Additionally, I had already been a volunteer with the organization for several years.

What are your plans for board participation (your committee assignment, fundraising project, etc.)?

Under the new committee structure, I am on three board level committees. Fundraising, Programming, and Impact & Evaluation.

What exciting, interesting, confounding things are you doing right now (in your life other than being on the board)?

-My current work can be described as tableware, furniture, and lighting. My materials are metal, wood, and clay.  I also recently started collaborating on designs with glass artist Adam Kenney.
-I am Associate Professor of Art at Seton Hill University where I maintain the Metal, Ceramic, and Wood Studio! We just moved into a new facility.
-I restored a boat a few years ago and I am hoping to teach my 3-year old son how to water ski this summer.

Can you share an anecdote of a fun or meaningful SNAG experience for you (something that happened at a conference, an interaction with another member, an opportunity that occurred through SNAG)?

The enthusiasm for our field can seem infectious within the bubble of metalsmithing.  Seeing all of the social media posting of people road tripping their way to the conferences is a lot of fun.  On our drive to Toronto, we were asked at the border why we were entering Canada.
Sean Macmillian exclaimed, “We’re going to a metalsmithing conference!”
The border guard squinted and looked confused. “What?” he said.
Sean pulled out his anvil pins and said, “Yeah! These are for the pin swap tonight! You want one?” He looked us over for what seemed like a few minutes. Jim Bové was smiling in the back.
“Just go” he muttered.


SNAG would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Corporate Members for their support: Aaron Faber Gallery, Halstead, NextFab, and Pocosin Arts.

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Board Members Speak: Angela Bubash

What brought you to wanting a board position?

Angela Bubash 2I want to give back to an organization that is important to me. The SNAG community has been vitally important to my development as an artist and educator.

What are your plans for board participation (your committee assignment)?

I am on the Editorial Advisory Committee of Metalsmith magazine and well as the Board Liaison to the magazine. I am also in the early stages of developing a fundraising initiative to collect scrap metal for SNAG.

What exciting, interesting, confounding things are you doing right now (in your life other than being on the board)?

I started a new job at Longwood University in Virginia. It’s a small school with fantastic studios where I am developing the metals program within the new Design in Craft major. We also have an awesome working artist residency and visiting artist program. I am excited to bring the SNAG community to my students.

My own work continues to evolve as I explore memory-inducing scent. I am creating evocative and thought provoking work that involves viewer/wearer participation.


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Board Members Speak: Lauren Selden

What brought you to wanting a board position?

SNAG has been a component of my life as a student, educator, and professional for the past 13 years.  I remain baffled that at a SNAG conference, I can sit down with my metals heroes and have a discussion about the continuation of creating beautiful objects that will continue to be a part of our culture throughout time. Serving as a SNAG board member is a gratifying method of service to a community that has provided me with knowledge, opportunity, and a constant belief in the importance of what we all do.

Lauren McAdams SeldenI hope to learn more about administration of a non-profit organization while also learning about logistics and management strategies.  Meeting new people and working with other talented members is a perk of the position while engaging in common goals to provide service to this community that has already done so much for so many artists. In short, I felt that it was my time to serve the organization that has served me for so many years.

What are your plans for board participation (your committee assignment)?

I am a member of the strategic planning committee and draft notes during these meetings.  I also help with the educational dialogue committee and pitch in on any of the committees that need extra help.  I enjoy working with multiple committees and filling in where extra help is needed. I have enjoyed working with the strategic planning committee and am looking forward to seeing us utilize our living strategy for making a more sustainable organization.

What exciting, interesting, confounding things are you doing right now (in your life other than being on the board)?

I recently set up an exhibition at Texas A & M College Station, titled Estrangeira. The exhibition was a response to a recent research trip that I was part of in Salvador, Brazil.  In the summer and fall, I plan on attending multiple art centers and have applied for residencies around the world.  I am currently committed to creating new work and showing in new venues.  In May, I was part of an all women’s outdoor sculpture exhibition at the Kemp Center for the Arts in Wichita Falls, TX. Currently, I have outdoor sculptures displayed in St. Joseph, MO, Palestine, TX and Abilene, TX.


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Board Members Speak: Nicole Jacquard

What brought you to wanting a board position?

It was really a combination of things, however, I remember in particular at the Houston conference Billie Jean Theide addressing the audience about the importance of volunteering for SNAG and how these positions are invaluable for the organization. And it is not until you find yourself in a volunteer position you really begin to understand the larger picture of what the organization is all about. So my first volunteering position for SNAG was serving on the Exhibition Planning Committee. And once my time with that committee was about to end I thought that maybe I could help at a different level and in a much more significant way.

Nicole_JacquardMy decision to run for President and serving on the board was also preempted by the feeling that over the years I have heard from many people that SNAG was simply becoming too large, impersonal, expensive and out of touch with the members…. it seemed that in order to help facilitate change – it has to come from within and people need to stand up and actively take a part or want to be a part of that change.

Overall I think it is a very exciting time to be on the board. It seems there is some real need and desire for transformation and I am honestly looking forward to seeing how this creative group of people that make up the board can help the organization and membership grow together in new and exciting ways.

What are your plans for board participation (your committee assignment)?

I have just become the current President. After being elected last May, I spent the past year shadowing our Past-President Renee Zettle-Sterling. This shadowing included learning the many facets that make up SNAG. I quickly realized there was a lot about the internal structure of the organization I was not aware of. So initially it was simply finding out how many different committees there are – who is currently serving on them and who will be ending their service. It also involved becoming aware of what initiatives have been suggested in the past, how we can think dynamically about programming and services for the future, as well as what needs to evolve with the current structures of the organization in order to facilitate change that will best serve ALL the members and their diverse needs.

In particular my activity serving on the board so far has included conversations and implementation of actions in the areas of Strategic Planning, Board Governance, the overall budget, future conference planning including SNAG Next, and fundraising.

What exciting, interesting, confounding things are you doing right now (in your life other than being on the board)?

Over the past three years I have become very interested in research initiatives that focus on STEM education – Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. By collaborating with several other departments on the campus at Indiana University, I have learned there is a huge shortage of women in these fields and there is significant effort to determine why and when there is a drop out point. For the past several years we have been implementing the idea of STEAM — the introduction of ART – through workshops, demonstrations and other community programs, focusing on a different approach to teaching the same concepts and ideas. There are three main workshops that I have been a part of and have helped develop which have continued to grow in concept and scope.

  • For the past four years my graduate students and I have been running a workshop called Successorize at our local community college IVY Tech. Successorize teaches middle school girls how to design jewelry using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software along with Rapid Prototyping (RP) to manufacturing their ideas. Over 5 days the girls learn the basics of Rhino, produce objects in addition to developing a company, the company logo and slogan, conduct a cost analysis of their products to figure out their overhead and payment for employees – which is then all compiled and presented as a Power Point to a banker at the end of the week.
  • Another fun workshop designed to explain simple circuitry is making interactive Voodoo dolls. By using conductive threads and fabric participants ‘wire up’ their dolls so when pierced with a pin LED’s illuminate particular parts of the body. Once the basic premise of the circuit is understood many people go on to make interactive t-shirts, hats and other wearable articles of clothing.
  • Also in its fourth year I have co-hosted with the Computer Science/Informatics department at IU, is creating your own Electric Guitar. Again using CAD and a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Router, participants cut various profiles of guitars and then customize body designs and head stocks. In addition they have outfitted their guitars by rapid prototyping unique guitar knobs and picks.

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Board Members Speak: Jen Townsend

SNAG has meant so much to me since I attended my first conference in 1996. I have made both personal and professional connections at conferences. I have seen work that has inspired me and heard lectures I still think of years later.

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