Last week my husband's alma mater, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, hosted an opening reception for Metals!12, a juried student exhibition running from April 19–May 9, 2012. Any UWM student that has produced a piece in a Jewelry or Metalsmithing class is eligible to enter their work. Not only was this the tenth annual exhibition, but this year was also the inauguration of the Herald A. Milbrath Memorial Jewelry and Metalsmithing prizes.
As my husband and I wandered past the displays, choosing our favorite pieces, we got a chance to speak briefly with some of the students. We were introduced to Rachel Kedinger who's enamel pieces, Memory Layer Brooches (left), earned her First Place with the Milbrath Memorial Jewelry and Metalsmithing prizes. Rachel was very enthusiastic about her classes and the lengths that the instructors go to help the students achieve their vision. She pointed out another of her brooch series, (Amplification Brooch 1, 2, 3 - shown below) and gave us a quick rundown on how her instructor, Frankie Flood, helped her use the laser cutter from the architecture department.
Ruby Jaeger's work appeared on this year's Metals! promotional pieces. The double major, (Printmaking, and Jewelry and Metalsmithing), told me a bit about the class that inspired her Lace Lion (right). "Special Topics" is a type of elective that all Jewelry and Metalsmithing majors must take. The topics will vary between industrial processes, collaboration, etc. When Ruby took the class pewter was a requirement for their project. "One of the great things about pewter is that you can make multiple castings very quickly because of its low melting temperature. It [Lace Lion] was the first project that I made in that class."
Luckily, you don't have to be a full-time student to benefit from all the UWM jewelry and metalsmithing classes have to offer. If you'll be in the Milwaukee area at all this summer, (perhaps consider extending your stay before or after the 2012 Bead&Button Show), UWM also offers outreach programs varying in length from a couple days to several weeks. After hearing all the positive remarks about the instructors, classes and curriculum from the current students, perhaps I'll have to look into some of these classes for myself! — Theresa D. Abelew
There were so many fantastic pieces on display, below is just a small sampling of what I could photograph during the exhibit.
Luke Barthen, Untitled #1, Untitled #7
Ivy Klarer, Adaptations of a Primper
Morgan Kempfer, Fake Up
Rachel Kedinger, Amplification Brooch 1,2,3
Zac Chandre, Untitled #1
Greg Kmieciak, Bone Ring Series
Jasmine Spender, Defensive Headware