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The jewelry I build is intended to empower the wearer. Each piece of jewelry in this exhibition is inspired by my own personal experiences as a woman, but the attempt is to develop a piece that can empower anyone connecting to the message. Choosing to make wearable and empowering jewelry is an act of defiance because wearing my work gives me strength to push against existing societal gender barriers. Growing up as the youngest girl in a male dominated household and being taught a lot of gender expectations, there is an existing struggle to feel strong. Wanting to find a way out of the realm of gender norms, while simultaneously deciding to major in education really felt like I was failing at escaping that box. While working as a metalsmith, I feel as though I am able to defy the boundaries and stereotypes that were set in the past and feel as strong as the men in my life. Kristel Bechara’s artwork focuses on women’s empowerment. Bechara captures a diverse group of women and empowers them by showing off a side of them that is hidden or unexpected. I am empowered by metalwork in the same way these women have been empowered.
Ayesha Mayadas is someone I look to for inspiration when planning out the construction of a piece of jewelry. Her work is very intentional, clean and is able to capture your eye through the employment of unexpected structure. My ring, Better Than Brass Knuckles, stemmed from walking at night and having a need to protect myself. Better Than Brass Knuckles could actually be used as a weapon if need be, therefore offering a source of protection to the wearer. Women should not feel the need to carry a defense weapon when walking home or to their car; However, it is still necessary today. Better Than Brass Knuckles not only offers safety to the wearer, it also draws attention to this exhausting issue.
The artwork I create stems from personal experiences that connect to these overarching fears that a lot of people have. The arm cuff, Does this cuff make me look fat?, is one of the more personal pieces in my show. It was inspired by a time I was wearing a piece of clothing that hugged my body wrong and caused me to be in my head the whole time rather than enjoying an experience. Does this cuff make me look fat? allows me to take the power back from a time of insecurity, while continuing the conversation that some women don’t feel comfortable in their skin because of retired societal standards. The goal of my work is to empower others, be it through sharing my experiences or through their own personal experiences with the jewelry I have created.
Rebecca Williams, Jeanne Beaver, Mike Martin
The theme of my portion of the group show is empowerment. All of the Jewelry presented was inspired by my own fears or opinions on issues surrounding women empowerment. The materials used in this show were different metals and stones and one piece included pearl cotton.
The stones in this show each have different qualities to empower the wearer, like confidence, protection, or strength. Along with this, the different constructive decisions are all meant to add an emphasis to this overall meaning of empowerment and its different forms.
Jamie Myres made the flyer for this show.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.
Salger, Emma, "Unique Perspectives" (2022). B.A./B.S. Practicum Group Exhibit (ART 499). 55.