Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TAM Docents:[TacomaArt] Unusual Jewelry at Tacoma Art Museum

Hello Docents-

I wanted to forward the press release for the upcoming jewelry shows to you.

There is another special opportunity featured below the press release.

Finally, in response to a question regarding the choice of Wrecking Ball Cloud for the stone courtyard, Rock suggested I refer you to an exhibition titled Unmonumental that took place at the New Museum. Here is the link:

While it may not answer any specific question, I found it interesting. There are several exhibitions that fall under this title so take a look around the website. There are also audio files available that I plan to listen to. If you find something valuable to share with fellow docents, please send it my way.

Thank you,



Jana Wennstrom
Volunteer Programs Coordinator
T: 253.272.4258 x3030




From: [] On Behalf Of Phoebe Keleman
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 5:27 PM
Subject: [TacomaArt] Unusual Jewelry at Tacoma Art Museum



1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402



March 10, 2009


Contact: Diane Schuirman-Hagedorn, JayRay, 253.284.2537,



Two Exhibitions at Tacoma Art Museum

Revolutionize the Way People Think About Jewelry

Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection

June 6 – September 12, 2009

Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden

June 26 – September 20, 2009



Tacoma, Wash. – Two exhibitionseach challenging mainstream definitions of jewelrywill be on view this summer at Tacoma Art Museum. Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection comes to Tacoma on the only West Coast stop of its national tour of this internationally renowned collection, and Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden, organized by Tacoma Art Museum, showcases the storytelling-through-jewelry talents of Seattle-based artist Nancy Worden.  


Instead of display cases filled with gemstones and precious metals, audiences will see hundreds of sculptural works of wearable art, such as a colorful bracelet made of PVC and acrylic; necklaces made of pencils and bronze or book pages and steel wire; and other wearable items made of a variety of found and recycled objects.


Ornament as Art provides an extraordinary look at the global innovations in contemporary jewelry over the past four decades, when a dramatic shift occurred in how ornament and jewelry were perceived. Helen Williams Drutt collected outstanding examples by leading artists, often spanning the entirety of their career,” said Cindi Strauss, Curator at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The MFAH acquired the Drutt Collection in 2002 and has organized the nationally traveling exhibition.


Ornament as Art presents a chronological overview of studio art jewelry featuring key works from the 1960s to the present by artists from 15 countries. The exhibition also explores three distinct themes: jewelry as a means of telling a narrative; the influence of 20th-century art movements such as Bauhaus, constructivism, minimalism, and conceptualism on jewelry artists; and the interaction between jewelry and the body as an act of performance. All of these ideas challenge viewers to look beyond traditional definitions of jewelry and to view these objects as art in their own right.


The exhibition features a slate of international and national jewelry artists, as well as works by several Northwest artists, such as Ken Cory, Laurie Hall, Ron Ho, Mary Lee Hu, Keith Lewis, Kiff Slemmons, Ramona Solberg, Don Tompkins, Merrily Tompkins, and Nancy Worden. In addition to jewelry, Ornament as Art showcases drawings, watercolors, sketchbooks, and sculptural constructions. Audiences can observe relationships between artists and geographic regions and how various aspects of the field grew in opposition or in response to others.


“By pairing Ornament as Art with Loud Bones, we hope to help visitors form connections between regional artistic practices and their broader international context,” said Stephanie Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “What Tacoma Art Museum does well is present the best of Northwest artin this case Nancy Worden’s workin the context of national and international art.”


Worden’s studio art jewelry marks life’s stages and societal phenomena using found objects that conjure audiences’ memories of particular points in time or resonate with their life experiences. Among the many found objects she uses are eyeglass lenses, plastic hair curlers, wishbones, shaving brushes, watches, shoes, and fortune cookie fortunes.


“Nancy’s jewelry is forceful, unapologetic, demanding, and gripping,” said Rock Hushka, Tacoma Art Museum’s Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art. “She has a vast knowledge of jewelry’s traditions and forms, and she plays with the rules. Her jewelry is intellectual and complex, but also aesthetically engaging. And, she remains a central figure in the Northwest jewelry community.”


Worden said of her work, “Every piece has a story. In that story, the audience usually recognizes something of themselves.” Worden regularly explores themes including social and political agendas and the female experience in the United States. Loud Bones includes works of art that tell stories of surviving a home remodel, the politics of housework in a modern marriage, expressions of femininity, and coming of age in the 1970s.


Worden has been making jewelry since 1972. Her work is included in major private and public collections throughout the world.


Loud Bones is organized by Tacoma Art Museum and is part of the museum’s Northwest Perspective Series. The exhibition is accompanied by a 128-page catalogue with essays by Dr. Susan Noyes Platt and Professor Michelle LeBaron, as well as a foreword by Helen Williams Drutt English.



Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection has been organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


Tacoma Art Museum connects people and builds community through art. To learn more, visit




HOURS: TuesdaySaturday 10 am5 pm; Third Thursday 10 am8 pm; Sunday noon5 pm

ADMISSION: Adults: $7.50; Students/Military/Seniors (65+): $6.50; Family: $25 (two adults and up to four children under 18). Children five and under free. Third Thursdays free. Members free.

CONTACT: 253.272.4258;;



Heide thought you all might want to know about this happening at UPS too:

Tibetan Monks Create Sand Mandala in Collins Library, April 9-11, 2009!

Monk Painting a Sand MandalaThe Tibetan monks will arrive on April 9, 2009 to begin construction of the 10 x 10 sand mandala in the Collins Library reading room. They will dismantle the mandala April 11 and disperse the sand into Commencement Bay. During this creation of the mandala, the monks will be selling merchandise to raise funds for their home monastery in India. To learn more, see: Mandala Sand Painting.



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