LBCC Art Gallery: Plumbline

by Steven Matthews. Photo courtesy by the LBCC Art Gallery Facebook Page.

The Plumbline Art Exhibit is showing in the Art Gallery in the LAC K Building and is scheduled to be open until Thursday, March 8.

The collection has been curated by LBCC art professor and head of jewelry-smithing Kirsten Beeler. One of the goals of the exhibit is to introduce viewers to the idea of contemporary art jewelry in an area where one may not encounter it often as well as introduce them to a few artists in California who specialize in the art of jewelry and metal-working. Sandra Estrada, 25, a business administration major who has helmed the reception desk for the gallery likes the individual expression on display. “I like how these artists took objects from around them in their daily lives and crafted them into pieces that express who they are as artists and people. You can really see that as you look at each piece.”

The exhibit features four artists whose work is united partially by the themes on display in the gallery, but they stand apart in their style, materials and vision. Eric Silva is a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer who uses a combination of natural materials, such as elk or deer antlers, and he combines it with industrial metals like steel, titanium, or brass to make jewelry that has a distinct hand-crafted vibe.

Mary Donald is another Los Angeles-based designer who uses a range of many household materials, like latex, nylon, plastics and oxidized silver to make her jewelry. Her pieces stand out because they challenge the notion of traditional jewelry with exaggerated shapes and material, but yet never leaves one wondering if they could find a way to include a piece into a fashion ensemble.

Suzanne Pugh maintains a studio in Oakland and her work on display at LBCC stands apart because it isn’t distinctly jewelry, but it still boasts some of the strenuous manipulation of metal needed to create and appreciate this form of art. In addition to some water-color pieces, she also has brought fabricated and hand-engraved copper pieces.

Alex Hopp, another artist based in Southern California, displays work that is difficult for some to describe. Hopp herself describes it as an exploration into how Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder relates to the identity and practices of her profession. Many of her pieces consist of book pages pressed and sealed to form jewelry pieces, or other books with the pages painstakingly cut in increasing or decreasing discs (1000’s of them) and then arranged on a ribbon to form a necklace.  

The Plumbline Exhibit can be found in K100. A seminar related to the exhibit is planned for Monday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in K102. A closing reception is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 7-8:30 p.m. and is open to all.