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Archive for August, 2019

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SNAG Celebrates: Taisha Carrington

SNAG Celebrates

SNAG is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and is honoring its membership by highlighting different artists on the SNAG website.

Taisha Carrington

Introduce yourself (background, education, preferred mediums/styles, etc.)
I was born in Barbados and moved to NY for college in 2013. I graduated from Pratt Institute in 2018 with a BFA in Jewelry Design. Prior to my education in the arts, I studied mechanical engineering drawing and physics, which I pull on heavily to realize my pieces. My concepts dictate my choice of material, but I have particular interest in materials that hold ‘DNA’ of people or places such as hair or ocean water.

What are your goals in creating the work that you do? Are there any concepts you are particularly interested in?
Currently I am exploring the concept of the sea as my material. I have been renegotiating the relationship Barbadians, other Caribbean islanders and their diaspora have with the sea through a series of installations, performances and small scale wearable pieces. This body of work will foster an environment for social dialogue about the current ways of thinking and being as islanders regarding immigration and the effects of our history on our present state. I hope to collectively investigate generational trauma with my audience.

What does your work mean to you? Why create these objects?
My work is how I communicate and breakdown issues or curiosities that I am confronted with. Art making is so therapeutic that I make sure my process involves a meditative component; whether it be sewing, embroidering, playing in sand, going to the beach to collect my materials, felting, hiking and exploring; I make sure I make it enjoyable for myself. I then present my objects like ‘look, this is what I’m thinking, do you feel the same, is it different through your eyes, does this help you? Let’s talk, let’s heal, let’s make changes.’ Sometimes I see my pieces as peace offerings to others and even to myself, to reconcile differences and shift prejudices.

Taisha Carrington 1

A model showing a headpiece by Taisha Carrington


How and when did you arrive at your membership with SNAG?
I came to know of SNAG in my junior year in college; a group of students including myself were invited to attend the conference in New Orleans. The conference was very instrumental in shaping my approach to my work after attending. Since then I became a member.

How have you witnessed SNAG (and metalsmithing in general) evolve since first beginning your membership?
My membership thus far has been short but SNAG has made strides in the direction of diversifying their body of speakers to include more people of color. It is very encouraging to see people like myself represented in the metalsmithing field.

What are your plans for the future? Is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish or achieve in 2019?
I am working to better represent the breadth of my work as a multidisciplinary artist. I currently have a series of performance-based works planned for execution over the coming 6-month period. These works will expand my social practice. I am extremely excited for the interactions this work will bring and the relationships I will build with communities and institutions.

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Pieces from Carrington’s “Woke in the Wake” Collection

 

To learn more about Taisha and her work, visit www.taishacarrington.com


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Letter from the President – August 2019

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For the last year, I have been working for SNAG as President-Elect, and I have to thank Nicole Jacquard for helping to make my transition to the Presidency very smooth. It was a pleasure to work with her and I am glad she is staying with us on the board. I officially took over during the conference in Chicago where I was lucky enough to be on stage with nine Past-Presidents. It is an honor to be a part of a legacy that inspired me when I was a student.

We saw the departure of four very committed board members and I have to thank Jill Baker-Gower, Diane Hulse, Anne Fiala, and Ezra Satak-Wolman for volunteering their time to help the organization. At the same time, Elizabeth Shypertt was re-elected to another term and we welcome three new board members: Patricia Madeja, Kee-Ho Yuen, and Jeff Georgantes. They bring a wealth of experience and I look forward to their involvement.

This year has been transformational for the organization, and as we reflect on a half century, I think there is positive momentum looking forward. But there is a lot of work that we need to do, and to quote David Bowie, “it ain’t easy.” But, we’ve had some excellent individuals step up with some great ideas on how we can partner with other organizations and I am excited to work with them.

I was also struck by the energy from the next generation of smiths at the conference, and it’s exciting to see them take ownership of this organization. That kind of enthusiasm is what sparked SNAG in 1969 so it was great to see such motivation in Chicago.

At this point the priority of the Board is the long term sustainability of the organization. Membership only covers a small portion of the finances so we need to find the funds to maintain our most important and popular programs.

Look around the website for some new things such as the Road to Success scholarships, the Goldsmiths ’20 call for entries, and the new SNAG Celebrates interview series.

In the meantime, we want your opinions. The direction of this organization is dictated by you, the members; this is your community. And to all of our amazing volunteers, we couldn’t do any of this without you. If you have an idea, or want to get involved, look out for our upcoming member online feedback chats. You can also contact me via email at any time.

Happy making!

Brian Ferrell
President

Society of North American Goldsmiths


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SNAG Celebrates: Komelia Okim

SNAG Celebrates

SNAG is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and is honoring its membership by highlighting different artists on the SNAG website.

Komelia Okim

Introduce yourself (background, education, preferred mediums/styles, etc.)
I am a Korean-American and came to the US during my senior year at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, majoring Fiber Arts (Contemporary). I later received my BA (Fiber/Metal) and MFA in Metals from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. I have participated in 30 invitational exhibitions, including a solo show at Honolulu Museum of Art.  These exhibitions were held in such locations as Korea, Canada, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris.  I have also participated in 130 workshops & lectures at universities and crafts organizations around the world, in places like Russia, Taiwan, China, Japan and many more.  I create hollowares & jewelry using hammer raising techniques— I am mainly interested in landscapes and people with their hair blowing.  Lately, I am interested in adding Korean surface techniques highlighting Keum-boo (Korean style Damascene, hammer-chisel-engraving and sumac lacquering on silver surfaces to prevent tarnishing as well as decaying from food or ash.)

What are your goals in creating the work that you do? Are there any concepts you are particularly interested in?
I want to create sculptural objects—whether they are wearable, fictional or decorative.  I wish to create objects with concepts of landscaping and people in the setting designed to be both allegorical and highly decorative on the surfaces.

What does your work mean to you? Why create these objects?
My work represents allegorical and narrative objects carrying mysterious stories behind them. Recently, I’ve been trying to add my heritage of Korean backgrounds—melding Korean-American cultures and traditions.

Komelia Okim brooch

A silver brooch by Komelia Okim


How and when did you arrive at your membership with SNAG?
I joined during my graduate school in 1972, from SNAG’s 2nd Conference in New York City.

How have you witnessed SNAG (and metalsmithing in general) evolve since first beginning your membership?
I used to be classified as a senior selected member, but over time memberships became general for whoever can pay the membership fee. This system is great, although it has no distinctions between professional, junior and/or hobbyist’s memberships.

What are your plans for the future? Is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish or achieve in 2019?
I want to work more in adding my past heritage/ethnic cultures/techniques and introduce them globally in my own work as a Korean-American Metalsmith/Jeweler. At my senior currier as an artist/past educator, I am organizing my works to find appropriate resting places to house them. Furthermore, I am planning to employ assistant(s) to produce and design my line of metal art pieces for wearing and table top pieces for next year.

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Examples of Komelia’s sculptural objects

 

To learn more about Komelia and her work, visit www.komeliaokim.com