The newest exhibition at UNT on the Square shows jewelry from artists who do more than put beads on a string – alongside the work of the people who inspired them.
The Metalsmithing and Jewelry Lineage exhibition will run from Feb. 9 (Friday) to March 17 (Saturday). Opening reception is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 (Friday).
The exhibition will feature the work of metalsmithing and jewelry graduate students in the College of Visual Arts and Design program at the University of North Texas next to the pieces of the mentors.
“It will reveal unique connections from participating artists about how generations inspire one another,” said Umut Demirgüç Thurman, an alumna and adjunct professor at UNT.
Thurman’s enamel pieces will be featured alongside the work of her mentor, Harlan W. Butt, the retired UNT Regents professor of art whose work often features images of nature.
Graduate student Keela Dooley is excited about the concept.
“We call our mentors our metal mom or dad,” she said. “We wanted to see where we came from.”
In Dooley’s case, she was a drawing student at Radford University in Virginia when she took a metalsmithing and jewelry course from Alison Pack, associate professor of metalsmithing/jewelry design.
“The way she teaches metalsmithing, she hooks you,” Dooley said. “She has a great sense of humor, and the way she teaches metalsmithing was fun.”
Dooley switched majors because of that class. Now Dooley will feature her works – a motif of hunting steel traps recreated in sterling silver – with Pack’s copper and sterling silver sculptures of food morphed with female anatomy.
Both of their works explore the themes of women’s rights, with Dooley using a male-dominated tool to describe women’s rights being trapped, and Pack’s work representing women’s struggles with body image.
Pack also led Dooley to UNT. Pack had invited James Thurman, associate professor of metals and jewelry for a workshop, and his leadership prompted Dooley to come to UNT for graduate school.
“It’s really an exciting family tree to see where everyone comes from,” Dooley said.