Shelly McMahon (Metalsmithing ’18)
2017-18 Metalsmithing Department Newsletter
Visiting Artists and Alumni
Doris Betz WorshopAnja Eichler, A Perfect Day Brooch, 2011
Work by Adam Shirley at Simone De Sousa Gallery
At the Academy, students set their own course of study. Our studio-based, graduate-only program means we don’t have a standard curriculum or classes. Instead, we provide students with the resources to allow for individual exploration and growth in an intimate environment with their peers and Artist-in-Residence.
Our workshops and visiting artist program allow students to hear from a variety of voices in the world of art and design, and often establish connections that extend well beyond the two years of graduate school.
This year, we welcomed Sharon Church and her husband Phillip Johnson for a weekend of conversations in the studios, final critique of our students’ thesis work and an artist talk – all courtesy of a generous patron of our department.
Doris Betz spend a week with us conducting a drawing workshop and helped install the work in a group exhibition on campus.
Anja Eichler held a brooch-back making workshop, and held a public lecture where she discussed her time in China and her experience researching there.
Kristin Beeler spent a week with the department working with students in their studios and delivered a public lecture.
Student Life Inside, Outside and Around the Studio
Wax molds for iron pour
Metalsmithing students in critique
Our unique proximity to Detroit allows us to engage with galleries, festivals and events in the city of Detroit that help us gain a greater understanding of the current landscape.
In November, we travelled to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit to meet with students studying within the craft disciplines and review student work.
In the spring, we plan to host a weekend symposium with alumni from around the country who will travel to Cranbrook for conversations about work and research. The symposium is made possible by a gift from a patron of the department, and will consist of several presentations and panel discussions. Along with our own student body, we will be joined by undergraduate students from local metalsmithing and jewelry programs.
Also in the spring, we will head back to the College for Creative Studies to participate in our annual workshop where students will break down their own iron and cast wax molds.
Alumni Projects and Exhibitions
Tiff Massey. Credit: Alyssa Katherine Faoro for Art21.
Timothy Veske-McMahon, Glyph VIII, 2015
Tiff Massey (Metalsmithing ’11) was recently awarded a $200,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant for her tentatively titled “Spring” art installation at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Massey is the largest award recipient as an individual artist. Read about Massey’s practice and her relationship to the city of Detroit in Art21 or in an interview with Curator.
Timothy Veske-McMahon (Metalsmithing ’13) was recently featured on the cover of Metalsmithingmagazine. In fact, many of the issues in the past year have prominately featured Cranbrook Metalsmithing graduates!
Seth Papac (Metalsmithing ’09) participated in the group exhibition MEDUSA at the City of Paris’ Museum of Modern Art in May of 2017. Papac was also a finalist for a 2016 Art Jewelry Forum Artist Award.
Amy Weiks (Metalsmithing ’12) and her partner Gabrial Craig were featured in both The Detroit News and on CBS for their metalsmithing studio, the Smith Shop which they operate in the city of Detroit. Visit their website for a full look at their individual and collaborative projects.
And Emily Culver (Metalsmithing ’17) received a metalsmithing artist residency at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.
The department recently held a symposium on January 26 entitled “Gem Talks” which was a continuation of topics Artist-in-Residence Iris Eichenberg addressed during her keynote speech at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City. Twelve Metals alumni were invited to give talks focusing on reoccurring themes within the field of jewelry: memory, intimacy, labor, and utility. Talks focused on the way these are shaping contemporary discourse as well as how they align with their own personal practices. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion as well as an exhibition of past and current student work entitled “Line of Beauty: Cranbrook House Inhabitation” with help from the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Participating presenters included:
Kristine Bolhuis ’03
Aaron Decker ’15
Rebekah Frank ’12
Julia Heineccius ’12
Kathleen Janvier ’13
Yuni Kim Lang ’13
Tiff Massey ’11
Tim McMahon ’13
Edgar Mosa ’11
Jane Ritchie ’12
Adam Shirley ’10
Amy Weiks ’12
The Metalsmithing department in Bolivia’s salt flats
Last spring, the department traveled to Bolivia and over the course of two weeks, engaged deeply with the rich South American culture.
Also in the spring, a group of first-year students traveled to Munich, Germany, to attend the annual Schmuck conference, a world-renowned survey of contemporary jewelry where Iris Eichenberg was selected as a featured jeweller.
This year, the department will be traveling to Columbia to host a symposium that brings together art historians, curators, and students for a weekend of conversation and exchange of ideas.
While in Columbia, the department will also travel to a remote village where Iris Eichenberg will host a workshop with students and local community.
Iris Eichenberg, Untitled, 2017
Iris Eichenberg, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Metalsmithing Department, held a series of workshops and lectures over the course of the summer in South America, including stops at Taller Eloi Escuela de Joyeria in Argentina and Museo Do Objecto Brasileiro in Brazil.
Eichenberg opened the solo show I Do Not Wish at Platina Gallery in Stockholm alongside a group show curated by Jimena Rios that featured 24 artists from Argentina, Colombia, and Chile, and opened a solo exhibition at Galeria Alice Floriano in Sao Paulo, Brazil entitled “Rizoma”.
She also opened the solo exhibition Kein Ort Nirgends, featuring a new body of work, at Simone De Sousa Gallery in Detroit. The exhibition coincided with MoreLand, an additional exhibition at the gallery that Eichenberg co-organized with alumna Sarah Turner (Metalsmithing ’04).
Most recently Eichenberg gave the keynote address at the “Jewelry of Ideas Symposium” at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.