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Hidden Treasures: Enveloped Metalwork

Exhibition Details

Hidden Treasures: Enveloped Metalwork
March 29 – May 12, 2019
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design’s Delmar Loop Gallery
Don Friedlich, Juror

OPENING RECEPTION | Friday, March 29, 6-8pm

LECTURE | Donald Friedlich: Jewelry, Art and Inspiration
Thursday, March 28, 2019 / 6:00pm
University City Public Library (6701 Delmar Blvd.)
Free and open to the public

Kathryn Bowman, Jack da Silva, Umut Demirguc Thurman, Kelly Draper, Jessica Erickson, Peg Fetter, Genevieve Flynn, Dawna Gillespie, Joanna Gollberg, Holland Houdek, Aimee Howard-Clinger, Allison Ice, Sherri Jaudés, Ellen Klamon, Melissa Lovingood, Airi Maeno, Kelly Miller, Robert Thomas Mullen, Michael Parrett, Nancy Pierson, Krystal Ragan, Leigh Roberts, Alejandra Salinas, Jina Seo, Lew Shieber, Billie Theide, Wendy Walsh, Razine Wenneker, Alexandra Wetherald

This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Midwest Metalsmiths

As a juror of many exhibitions, competitions and grants over the years, I’ve typically viewed projected images of the work alongside other jurors. The images tend to be shown quickly with only a short time to consider and score the art. In jurying Hidden Treasures, however, I enjoyed a different process. Here I was the lone juror and I viewed the images at home on my computer. The result was that I focused for as long as I wished on every submission, allowing me to give each careful evaluation. In the end I reviewed every image at least six times over several days.

The images that stood out to me often required multiple viewings due to their complexity and originality. For example, each time I looked at Billie Jean Theide’s brooches constructed out of an unusual conglomeration of found materials normally associated with the building trades, I was increasingly impressed by the sophistication of her abstract compositions and began finding them somewhat reminiscent of Picasso’s early collage work.

Other work that continued to speak to me each time I turned back to it included what I considered to be the most idiosyncratic work in the exhibition: the three intricate and skillfully fabricated hollow copper forms by Holland Houdek. Inspired by medical implants, this work establishes a dialog between the interior and exterior of the body, between the hidden and the visible, between the organic and the man-made.

I was also drawn to the work of Jina Seo, in which she has cut a finger from a dark red vintage leather glove and contrasted it with a heavily drilled silver structure to construct a brooch that brings to mind a sea creature. The two materials couldn’t be more alien from each other, but she is able make them work together visually and physically.

Jessica Erickson created a series of three delicious pictorial enamel brooches with beautifully rendered images of birds in settings of flowers, berries and leaves. The images appear softened with age as one would see in a well-worn antique illustration or vintage post card.

Alejandra Salinas necklace titled “Júrame que no me olvidas, si me olvidas, ellos ganan,” (“Swear to me that you do not forget me, if you forget me, they win”) combines 43 rectangular enamel panels strung on red yarn. Written on each panel is the name of a different Mexican student who was detained and disappeared in the custody of the Mexican police. Some names are clearly visible but others are disappearing both literally and metaphorically. It’s a poignant and haunting homage to people lost. Nothing could be more apt for the theme of Hidden Treasures.

Don Friedlich, Juror

Don Friedlich received his BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rhode Island School of Design in 1982 and served a term as President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths. His jewelry has been shown in galleries and museums all over the world and is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and many others. In 2016 he was the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and lectured at the Smithsonian as a James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist. In 2017 he received an award from SNAG in recognition of his extensive service to the organization and the field.

All items are for sale, please contact Stefanie Kirkland, Director of Exhibitions for purchase inquiries at