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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 njacquard@snagmetalsmith.org 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.

Sincerely,

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:

Exhibitions

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.

Education

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.

Conference

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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Member Achievements – December 2020

Jess TolbertJess Tolbert was a winner of an international jewelry award at Preziosa Young 2020. In addition, Jess was a finalist for international craft prize at Loewe Craft Prize 2020.

Zihan YangZihan Yang also was chosen as a winner at Preziosa Young 2020.

W4_Claudio_PinoClaudio Pino presented sculpture rings at the exhibition “Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age” curated by Elyse Zorn Karlin at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA.

Teri Brudnak had work in an online show in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Members: Send your achievements to SNAG!


SNAG would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Corporate Members for their support: Gemological Institute of America, Halstead and Pepetools.

GIA_Logo_CMYK Halstead pepetools


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In Remembrance: Maria Tritico

Maria Tritico

Maria Tritico, the education director at the Lighthouse ArtCenter and a recent SNAG member, tragically lost her life after a stray bullet struck her this month.

Maria was a graduate of Texas State University and The Art Institute of Chicago, and worked at the ArtCenter since 2017. She was a metalsmith and jewelry artist. Her work features silver and gold asymmetrical patterns on earrings and necklaces and had been on display in the United States and Canada. She also worked with art-therapy programs for veterans, the elderly, and for adults with special needs.

Lighthouse ArtCenter has created a memorial fund to continue the work Maria was doing. Those interested can donate at lighthousearts.org

All of us at SNAG are so sorry to hear of this terrible loss and our thoughts are with her friends, coworkers and family.

Source: The Palm Beach Post website. Photo: Provided to The Palm Beach Post by Laura Zele.


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Future50

Future50 horizontal

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.

Sincerely,
Kat Cole
President
Society of North American Goldsmiths


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In Remembrance: Carolyn Benesh

Carolyn Benesh

The staff and board of SNAG were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Carolyn Benesh. Carolyn was the founding co-editor and co-publisher of Ornament magazine since 1974. She also worked with Craft in America as an advisor and board members since its inception. Carolyn, along with her son Patrick, have been long-time members and supporters of SNAG. She has brought much to the field through traveling and documenting jewelry, textiles and more. We know that Carolyn will be greatly missed.

You can read a memorial message from Patrick and Robert at Ornament here.

SNAG extends its sincere condolences to all of Carolyn’s family and friends.