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2020 SNAG Lifetime Achievement Award, Eleanor Moty

SNAG’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Eleanor Moty.

Eleanor Moty 2020 LAA

Moty’s contribution to our field as a highly regarded artist, as a teacher, and as a mentor has been exemplary and worthy of SNAG’s highest honor. Moty has made an indelible impact on the field through the training and mentorship of generations of metalsmiths, and has made a sustained impact on SNAG itself though many years of support and involvement with the organization and as lifetime ambassador of SNAG within the broader national Crafts community.

In 1968 Moty received her BFA in jewelry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in 1971 she received her MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia.

Sterling silver, 22K gold, phantom quartz 2 1/4" x 2" x 3/8"

Eleanor Moty, sterling silver, 22K gold, phantom quartz, 2 1/4″ x 2″ x 3/8″

 

While an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, Moty began researching photo fabrication techniques and electroforming with the encouragement of her professor, Robert von Neumann, and she continued her research in the graduate program headed by Stanley Lechtzin at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia.  She gained recognition for her pioneering work in photo fabrication techniques of photo-etching and photo-electroplating early in her career and in 1970 she was one of nine presenters at the first SNAG conference in St. Paul, MN.  The topic of her presentation was Photo Fabrication.  This introduction led to other speaking and workshop engagements and in 1972 her work was featured in Frontiers of Photography, in the Time-Life books series on photography. She was subsequently invited to participate in photography as well as jewelry exhibitions.  Her work and research were featured in numerous books and articles and for more than a decade she taught photo-etching workshops at jewelry programs throughout the U.S.

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2019 SNAG Lifetime Achievement Award, James Wallace

SNAG’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is James Wallace.

James Wallace Repair DaysThe Lifetime Achievement Award is SNAG’s highest honor and is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of metalsmithing.

James Wallace is a practicing metalsmith and former Founding Director of the Metal Museum, formerly known as the National Ornamental Metals Museum. His contributions to the field of contemporary crafts both as a maker in high regard and as a museum professional have advanced the understanding and appreciation of metalwork and metalsmiths for over 30 years.

Having received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Western State College of Colorado with emphases in Art, English and Geology, he later began his artistic career as an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. During his studies, he researched pattern welded damascus steel. This research was published in a chapter written for Dona Meilach’s 1977 book Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork. His Master of Fine Arts degree led to a career that produced stunning examples of architectural ironwork.

fireplace-stand_James_Wallace


Jim Wallace dedicated his professional career to the advancement of the field of metalsmithing through his role as artist, teacher, mentor and advocate. But it was in his role as founder and director of the Metal Museum that his vision played such an important part in the evolution of our field. Through his decades of selfless toil and perseverance, Jim built from scratch the only U.S. museum of its kind focused exclusively on metalwork. Through his grit and personal sacrifice, the museum has grown to a world-class institution with exhibitions, collections, a library and research facility, foundry facilities, conservation and educational programs. Because of Jim’s vision, the museum expands opportunities for young metalsmiths through internships, residencies and apprenticeships; it preserves the history of metalsmithing and educates the public about metalsmithing as an art form. In this way, Jim’s contributions have reached the broadest spectrum of our artistic “metals” community and beyond. His contributions have impacted every sub-discipline of our broader field – from blacksmiths to art jewelers, from students to masters, from makers to collectors to writers, researchers, and so on.

     – Lifetime Achievement Committee

The 2019 SNAG conference, to be held in Chicago, will be dedicated to James. He will be given his award at the opening of the conference on May 23rd. Please join us in congratulating him.

above image: Fireplace Stand by James Wallace


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2004 SNAG Lifetime Achievement Award, Imogene “Tex” Gieling

In the spring of 1950, after finishing her formal studies, Imogene “Tex” Gieling moved to San Francisco where she worked as a scientific illustrator in order to support her jewelry making. She took night classes with the great Israeli goldsmith, Victor Reis who stressed technique and taught her everything she needed to know about hammering.

The art community in San Francisco in the ’50s was easily accessible and included painters, sculptors and craftsman, but also architects, photographers and industrial designers. It was not only an open society, it was also open handed. There was plenty of work to be had and any work that was offered to Tex, she always took, whether she knew how to do it or not. If it was something she was not comfortable with, she had a wide range of artist-friends to call upon for help.

She was hired to make the trademark for the Diamond National Company and executed it in bronze, copper and enamel for their corporate office building on Market Street in San Francisco.

In 1955 Tex was invited to join the faculty of at UC Berkeley to teach design in the Department of Decorative Art. She had never taught before and had no credentials to teach so was reluctant to take the job. The university saw this as a plus and felt this would be good for the students since she wouldn’t be inhibited. At the same time, Tex finished her graduate degree in metal arts.

This job lasted until 1962 when the university phased out the department. She then dedicated herself full time to her jewelry, developing some new techniques. These experiments lead to receiving a commission from Objects USA, as well as representation in the Lee Nordness Gallery in New York City. She also worked with local architects fabricating fireplaces and memorial plaques among other commissions.

In 1965 Tex was invited to set up a Metal Arts Program at San Francisco State College (now University).  She taught at SF State until her retirement in 1990.

But while teaching at SF State in the ’60s, sit-ins and demonstrations brought police to the campus, which made teaching very difficult (with armed police in riot gear in the classroom). Tex went out on strike to show her strong opposition to this police presence. This led to the formation of a co-op with her students, off campus, where they could work without fear.

In 1971, Tex was able to buy a complex of old buildings where artists could live and work and which would become a real home for the co-op. The co-op was name Truesilver Union.


Thank you to SNAG Board Member Elizabeth Shypertt for providing this information. Elizabeth curated “Tex Gieling: Sixty Years” at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, on view November 17, 2018 – February 24, 2019.


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Lifetime Achievement Award

LAA 400Nominations for SNAG’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award are due December 1, 2018. This is SNAG’s highest honor and is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of metalsmithing.

Any member of SNAG may nominate someone for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The nominees do not have to be SNAG members. Along with filling out the nomination form, there must be letters of support from 3 additional SNAG members.

Learn more and make a nomination

 


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2018 SNAG Lifetime Achievement Award, Sharon Church

Sharon ChurchSNAG is pleased to announce that the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Sharon Church.

Attuned to the power of adornment and its rituals, Sharon Church creates technically masterful jewels that address endurance and vulnerability. In her work, fragments of the natural world are rendered to address the beauty and impermanence within our own lives. A tireless champion of the potential and value of making, Church has enriched the contemporary practice of metalsmithing by welcoming and mentoring generations of makers to take risks and forge new connections through an ancient practice.

                           – 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Committee

Sharon Church received a B.S. in 1970 at Skidmore College and an M.F.A. in 1973 at the School for American Craftsmen, Rochester Institute of Technology.

Church grew up watching her mother doing craft work and wearing jewelry. She was inspired to take some jewelry courses in college. After working for a time as a secretary and making jewelry in the evenings at home, she pursued an M.F.A. at RIT.

She is known for her exquisite carved jewelry, which incorporates materials such as bone and wood. Her work has been included in over 70 exhibitions, represented by over 20 galleries across the United States, and is found in many private and public collections.

Church is now retired from teaching, having received the prestigious James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Educator Award. Between 1979 and 2014, she taught at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, formerly the Philadelphia College of Art. She has also been an instructor at Skidmore College, Arrowmont, Penland and Haystack.

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