The Board of Directors is happy to announce the 2017 Volunteer Recognition Award recipient is Don Friedlich. Since 1987, Don Friedlich’s continued vision and investment has strengthened the core functionality of SNAG. After completing his tenure on the Nominations & Elections Committee in 1989, he served on the Editorial Advisory Committee for Metalsmith 1990-94. He served on the hiring committee for a new editor in 1992. In 1993, he worked with the committee to conceive and develop the new Metalsmith Exhibition in Print issue. Don served as chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee in 1995 and co-curated Exhibition in Print: Studio Multiples in 1997.
As President from 1998-2002, along with the normal daily investment of time and energy, he was central to the hiring of SNAG’s first executive director, hiring of the current editor of Metalsmith and an advertising director for the magazine. During that time he also chaired the committee that made long needed constitutional revisions for the organization and led the organization away from a budget crisis.
Don served on conference programming committees for Rhode Island (1992), Chicago (2006) and Seattle (2011) and has been at the front of enduring conference initiatives including: the Trunk Show (2010-12), Spotlight Artists (2011), the very successful Professional Development Seminar (2003-10), and the Education Resource Room and Portfolio Reviews. The Seattle and Chicago conferences were the two most well attended in SNAG’s history. In 1999, Don organized the first SOFA lectures in Chicago and has directed this very popular series each year since.
After guiding SNAG programming for 30 years, Don continues to serve through the SOFA Lecture Series and jurying for the SNAG Educational Endowment Scholarship while maintaining a vigorous studio practice.
As a leading figure in contemporary American jewelry, his work has been shown in galleries and museums all over the world and is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and many others.
Don has been an artist in residence at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, Canberra School of Art at Australian National University, Tainan National University of Art in Taiwan, California College of Art and at the Uroboros Glass factory in Portland, OR. He was a featured speaker at jewelry conferences in Dubai, UAE and Melbourne, Australia and the keynote speaker at the annual conferences of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers and the annual Precious Metal Clay Conference.
In 2015 he joined the Board of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) and was a featured speaker at SOFA Chicago. In 2016, his work was chosen for the seminal exhibition Schmuck 2016 in Munich, Germany. This show is widely considered the preeminent annual exhibition of contemporary jewelry in the world. Also in 2016, he was the keynote speaker at the SNAG conference in Asheville, North Carolina.
Don was recognized at the Membership Meeting during the New Orleans conference in May 2017.