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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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Board Members Speak: Brian Ferrell

Brian Ferrell photoWhat brought you to wanting a board position?

I am always interested in the spirit of community and collaboration that exists among a group of individuals. There are times when we need a break from our workbenches. Having a group of friends for feedback, support, or inspiration makes the time in our studios more worthwhile. It makes us appreciate that we are not alone in our enthusiasm for making. Many of the people in my circle of friends feel the same, so getting involved with SNAG board was pretty natural. Additionally, I had already been a volunteer with the organization for several years.

What are your plans for board participation (your committee assignment, fundraising project, etc.)?

Under the new committee structure, I am on three board level committees. Fundraising, Programming, and Impact & Evaluation.

What exciting, interesting, confounding things are you doing right now (in your life other than being on the board)?

-My current work can be described as tableware, furniture, and lighting. My materials are metal, wood, and clay.  I also recently started collaborating on designs with glass artist Adam Kenney.
-I am Associate Professor of Art at Seton Hill University where I maintain the Metal, Ceramic, and Wood Studio! We just moved into a new facility.
-I restored a boat a few years ago and I am hoping to teach my 3-year old son how to water ski this summer.

Can you share an anecdote of a fun or meaningful SNAG experience for you (something that happened at a conference, an interaction with another member, an opportunity that occurred through SNAG)?

The enthusiasm for our field can seem infectious within the bubble of metalsmithing.  Seeing all of the social media posting of people road tripping their way to the conferences is a lot of fun.  On our drive to Toronto, we were asked at the border why we were entering Canada.
Sean Macmillian exclaimed, “We’re going to a metalsmithing conference!”
The border guard squinted and looked confused. “What?” he said.
Sean pulled out his anvil pins and said, “Yeah! These are for the pin swap tonight! You want one?” He looked us over for what seemed like a few minutes. Jim Bové was smiling in the back.
“Just go” he muttered.


SNAG would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Corporate Members for their support: Aaron Faber Gallery, Halstead, NextFab, and Pocosin Arts.

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