Emerging Curators Program

The Emerging Curators program offers grants up to $2,500 to assist an emerging curator or curators in executing an exhibition focused on jewelry and/or metalwork.

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2019 Emerging Curators Grant Application

Deadline has passed

The Exhibition Planning Committee awards grants based on the following objectives:

  • Support Documentation and Scholarship
  • Encourage Innovative Research
  • Promote Curatorial Practice
  • Educate the Public

Who is Eligible?
SNAG realizes that emerging curators in the field of Jewelry and Metalwork have varied backgrounds. An emerging curator may be a recent graduate of a jewelry and/or metalwork program with an exhibition idea; or artists who have hosted a few exhibitions and are looking to stay in the curatorial field; or curators looking to host an exhibition about the jewelry and metalworking field. On the application you will have the opportunity to expand on why you fit the title of  “emerging curator.” We think the diversity of people who may consider themselves an “emerging curator” is exactly what makes this program dynamic and diverse! Priority will be given to exhibitions occurring in North America (United States, Canada, Mexico).

As this program is, in part, meant to provide visibility of the field to the public, the Committee is looking for projects that consider ways for community engagement and creating learning opportunities outside of the field of metalwork and jewelry. While organizing exhibitions around SNAG conferences is acceptable, emerging curators should not consider conference attendees to be their primary audience.


  • Grant of up to $2,500
  • An online version of the exhibition hosted on the SNAG//SPACE website
  • A special post on the SNAG news blog
  • Promotions and marketing of the exhibition
  • ½ page ad on the exhibition in any two issues of Metalsmith magazine
  • Announcements on the exhibition to be run in Riveting News, SNAG’s weekly e-newsletter
  • Access to our Maker Profiles for potential artists for exhibition
  • SNAG Project Liaison will provide assistance in the exhibition planning process

Application Requirements:

  • 2019 application deadline has passed
  • Proposed budget (utilizing the given Emerging Curators Budget Form, available in the online application form)
  • Timeline of events
  • 1-page resume. Please include curatorial experience if applicable.
  • 2 letters of support.  If this exhibition will take place in a gallery, museum, or institution, one letter may be from the exhibition venue. Applicants should reach beyond SNAG staff and the Exhibitions Planning Committee members for letters of support.
  • 10-15 high quality images in support of exhibition theme including example images of artworks/artifacts.

Additional Requirements:

  • Exhibition must be supported with visual and written documentation that is accessible to the public. This can be a digital or printed presence such as a catalog, online exhibition, etc.
  • 5-20 high quality images of artwork and installation, exhibition statement, and artist list to be featured on the SNAG//SPACE website.
  • Exhibition must open before December 31, 2019.
  • Curators are also required to complete status reports.
  • Previous grant recipients are not eligible.


November 1, 2018 – Call Opens
January 15, 2019 – Extended Deadline
March 1, 2019* – Notification of Results
* Date subject to change

Questions? Email exhibitions@snagmetalsmith.org

2017 Emerging Curators grant recipient


Sasha Nixon

Sasha Nixon
A View from the Jeweler’s Bench: Ancient Treasures, Contemporary Statements
Bard Graduate Center Gallery, February 14-July 7, 2019

“Narrative” or “critical” jewelry made by contemporary art jewelers today is intimately connected to their artistic identity and primarily driven by a concept. This concept (or idea) is articulated in an “artist’s statement,” which develops throughout the artist’s career. This exhibition emphasizes the voices of twelve contemporary art jewelers that deliberately appropriate ancient and historical jewelry styles and techniques. These jewelry artists use the symbolic language of past jewelry forms, methods, and materials to reflect on the meaning of adornment. For this exhibition, deliberate appropriation was determined through artists’ statements, artist interviews, and other artist-produced textual evidence, with selections represented as quotes throughout the space as wall text.

Traditional and current processes employed by jewelers will be displayed alongside contemporary and historical jewels and artifacts. Statement Jewelry, 1887 BCE – Present: A View from the Jeweler’s Bench differentiates itself from recent jewelry exhibitions by focusing on the role of the maker in determining the form of the final jewel, rather than looking at the jewelry alone. The exhibition will illustrate the influential role that ancient and historical jewelry archetypes play in the development of jewelry styles and techniques, from the perspective of the contemporary jewelers.

Sasha Nixon is a practicing metalsmith, curator, and jewelry historian. She obtained her Masters Degree in decorative arts, material culture, and design history from Bard Graduate Center in New York City in 2018, and her Bachelors Degree from Indiana University in 2010. She received the 2018 Windgate curatorial internship at the Museum of Art and Design, and is currently working with assistant curator Barbara Paris Gifford on MAD’s upcoming exhibition Robert Baines: Fake News and True Love. Her primary focus is the influence that ancient and historical jewelry styles and techniques has on contemporary art jewelry.

2015 Emerging Curators grant recipients

Hannah Fewtrell BoltonLexie Owen, Vancouver Metal Arts Association
“Unexpected explores the strange and sometimes discordant elements that make the viewing and wearing of contemporary jewelry a pleasurable and enjoyable endeavor. This grant, and the opportunity to develop a curated show at the CCBC Gallery with support from the VMAA’s exhibition committee, provides me with an chance to continue expanding my craft-based curatorial practice, and an opportunity to bring work to Vancouver by some of the most exciting emerging and established metalsmiths from Canada and beyond.” (image: Hannah Fewtrell-Bolton)

Uli RappLyndsay Rice, Earlham College

“I see curating as an opportunity to articulate ideas that are developing in the field. Using the body as the starting point the exhibition EMBODIED, seeks work that exhibition explores the collision of jewelry fashion and design in motion by connecting the body and re-defining the impossibility of wearing. This exhibition invokes the poetics of the history and traditions of jewelry while simultaneously subverting notions of material, scale and wearablility.” (image: Uli Rapp)

Melissa CameronMaggie Smith, CodeVA
Tech in Craft
“I met a librarian who has a brand new 3-D Printing lab. No one uses her lab. No one knows what to do. This made me think about the art jewelry I admire that is created by hand but also using technology. What if the library were able to show patrons real life artistic applications of the technology available at their local branch? …A great deal of thought and craftsmanship goes into creating art jewelry. When a piece is complete, it becomes personal for the maker as well as the wearer. This is part of what makes art jewelry fundamentally engaging. I want to use art jewelry to encourage people to be creative.This exhibition will reach both patrons who may be inspired to use the library’s resources and educators who can open minds.” (image: Melissa Cameron)