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Letters from the Director & President – February 2021

Kat Cole 2020 SNAG Board

Kat Cole, Managing Director

Dear SNAG Members,

Moving into 2021 the SNAG Board of Directors has again had to make strategic decisions to ensure a stable future of the organization. As of January 31st, 2021 I have resigned as President and have been asked to become Interim Managing Director.

This shift has come at an important time when as an organizing body, SNAG is in great need of the strongest possible management on all fronts to successfully follow through with important initiatives, programs and implementing a new conference format.

I will fulfill this part-time role for the next several months as the Board seeks a qualified candidate to take on this as a full-time position and lead SNAG through the next phase of strategic planning. Thank you to John Garbett for all his hard work these last months in this role, and I appreciate his renewed focus as Director of Advertising and Production.

Patricia Madeja has graciously volunteered to step into the role as President until the next election in May 2021 — a sincere thank you to Patricia. We are also happy to welcome Nicole Jacquard officially back onto the board until May to assist in the Managing Director search. If you would like more information on this call for applications please email for details.

Overall, I am honored to have been SNAG’s President and to have served the membership through a difficult year. I am also quite humbled to be asked to take on the interim Managing Director role in our organization, and appreciate the trust the Board has put in me. As we launch ourselves into this new year with renewed vigor, I hope that you all stay safe, healthy, and connected.


Kat Cole, Interim Managing Director


Patricia Madeja

Patricia Madeja, Board President


Dear SNAG Members,

It is with great pleasure that I say Happy 2021 to the entire membership!

It goes without saying that 2020 was an incredibly hard year for so many in our community, across the country, and around the world. Events over the past 12 months have touched so many people; personally, professionally, emotionally, as well as financially. With the fresh new year, I want to acknowledge that SNAG continues to strive for diversity, racial equality and social justice while endeavoring to have underrepresented people join our community. The SNAG Board and Staff also recognize that small independent businesses, individual artists, educators, as well as the nonprofits that support them, continue to struggle, and navigate these difficult times — many have even closed their doors. As we move into 2021, we are definitely facing a continuing battle on many fronts. However, because of these trying times, there have been many new initiatives that have brought the membership together through virtual exhibitions, get-togethers, and other unique programming.

As the new Interim President of our nonprofit that is truly member-driven — I would like to extend a heartfelt THANKS to each and every one of you who generously left a portion of your conference fee, and who donated to the 2020 Annual Appeal!! Because of your generosity, our annual appeal was a success and we were able to exceed our goal by $1,000. Giving to organizations that can easily disappear in these highly sensitive times is absolutely critical. With your donation, you have proven to be a dedicated member and giving truly is the key to the longevity of our organization and to securing the future of SNAG.

So again — thank you. Your donations have played a key role in helping us move forward. And if you have not had the chance to donate, we encourage you to do so at whatever amount is comfortable for you. All donations are greatly appreciated and have a direct impact on SNAG.

I also want to thank Kat Cole for her service and incomparable leadership as President.  She has strategically led this organization and the Board at a most difficult time. In her new role as Interim Managing Director I am confident that with her guidance and commitment, SNAG will be well positioned to lead the metals community for the next 50 years.

Looking toward the future, there are several exciting things to report:


WE ARE SNAG: Anthology, an online catalog, is accepting submissions — please participate. Intended to highlight SNAG members, this is a great way to have your work shown to our community and beyond. Know of someone who is not a member but wants to participate? Encourage them to JOIN! The deadline for the online exhibition is midnight (11:59:59 pm) MOUNTAIN TIME February 28, 2021.


SNAG Virtual is being finalized and more information will be announced soon. We will be launching three new programming categories: Workshops which will provide skill or process-based education in support of the studio practice; Craft Labs will continue to address topics relevant to professional development and business practices such as branding, marketing, sustainability, or grant writing; Voices will provide lectures and conversations from various individuals who are makers, curators, and researchers in the field. Check here for updates.

Nominations and Elections

With the recent election in the United States, the world has witnessed the importance of voting and how fragile democracy can be. Becoming an active member of the Board gives you a voice in shaping the future of this organization. As a member of SNAG, please consider running for one of the several positions opening up. The Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) is looking for individuals to serve on the Board, and as the President. We have an open call for nominations and self-nominations. There will be a Zoom meeting on February 20th at 4:00 pm EST  for anyone wanting more information about SNAG Board service. Please contact the Chair of the NEC, Sharon Massey, for more information. Duties and responsibilities associated with the governing roles can be found here.


As we plan for the conference in June, we are excited about the direction planning is taking for our first-ever hybrid conference with both virtual programs and in-person events in Philadelphia. More details will be available in March. Check here for updates on the 2021 conference program.

Educational Endowment Scholarship

Our mission as an organization continues to support efforts to cultivate Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion. I am happy to announce that two new funding opportunities are being added to our Educational Endowment Scholarship program. It is essential to identify and support underrepresented craftspeople, and SNAG is dedicated to championing education and enrichment for all. Check here for updates on eligibility and how to apply.

Finally, as we start this new year and we look toward the months ahead, there will be more struggle. However, the SNAG Board and Staff is committed to the future of the organization and is diligently working toward the time when we can physically come together again and share all the things we love to make, talk about, and what has consistently made our organization an open, sharing, and caring community.

Best wishes to you all for a brighter 2021!

Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!

Patricia Madeja, Interim Board President

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As we come to the end of what has been a strange and difficult year, many of us have felt the need to re-examine and take stock of things. Privileges and relationships that we have taken for granted show themselves differently in the light of all that has happened in 2020. With these reflections, we look to chart a better course forward into 2021 and beyond.

In light of these times, the SNAG board has been compelled to do the same. In 2019, we celebrated the 50-year history of this organization with great pride, and the makers and educators who contributed to our success along the way. But there were many who have been left out of our official history. As we look to the future, what is it we want to see? Who are the future voices of our field? Voices, that those of us charged with guiding this institution through this difficult time need to hear?

For this year’s Annual Appeal letter instead of asking a well-recognized member of our community, we decided to ask our future artists what they love about our organization, what programs and activities resonate with them, and what they want to see more of from SNAG going forward. We received a variety of responses, both thoughtful and encouraging. Watch for our daily posts on Instagram and Facebook, mid-November through mid-December, where we will share those responses.

As you think about what is important to you during this time of giving, please consider a donation. Your financial support will have a direct impact on our organization by helping to secure the next 50 years of this member-driven institution.

Kat Cole
Society of North American Goldsmiths

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J. Fred Woell: An American Vision

Earlier this year, we made available this feature documentary by Richard Kane about the history and significance of J. Fred Woell, a metalsmith, jeweler and political artist. Originally scheduled to be shown at the SNAG conference, this documentary will be available again for an online limited screening on December 2nd & 3rd, and is FREE to all SNAG members!

Woell made satirical commentary on the dark side of history. Woell had profound beliefs in our democratic ideals yet saw the flaws in our politics. An inspiring, humble and humorous artist and teacher, Woell opened the door to seeing anew.

Online Screenings – December 2nd & 3rd, 2020
Information on how to view the film will be emailed to members on October 25th. If you have not received this information please contact us.

DVDs of Documentary
Copies are available for purchase at SNAG//SPACE for Institutional use, Library use and Personal/Home use.

Handouts from the 20th Century
A Collection of Teaching Aids Created and/or Gathered by J. Fred Woell During his 20 Years of Teaching are also available to purchase at SNAG//SPACE.

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Metalsmith Magazine 40th Anniversary

Metalsmith 1980-2020

Metalsmith magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020. SNAG has created an online gallery of all the magazine covers and their tables of contents. Some backissues are available for purchase. Please visit this new resource.

Metalsmith is available through SNAG membership or by subscription.

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SNAG Membership Meeting & Election Results

Copy of SNAG 50 years logo r1

A big thank you to everyone who attended SNAG’s virtual Membership Meeting on August 29, 2020! If you missed it you can watch the recording here. The chat text is also available here.

SNAG would also like to thank everyone who voted in the 2020 SNAG election. The results are as follows: President: Kat Cole; Board of Directors: Ben Dory, Stacy Rodgers, Demitra Thomloudis; Nominations & Elections Committee: Liz Clark; Constitution & By-Laws changes and waivers: approved. Learn more