It is hard to believe that Ombré Gallery has reached our one-year anniversary! We are so excited to introduce Contemporary Art Jewelry to the Cincinnati community and beyond. Starting January 2018 we will begin to feature innovative and noteworthy artists and their contemporary art jewelry by spotlighting them in a monthly feature.
Our January featured artist is Ana Lopez. She is a metalsmith, educator and decorative arts scholar. Her creative work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, receiving a juror’s award from the 2016 Refined exhibition. Other recent exhibitions include Celebrating Women in Art Education, the 49th annual Clay Fiber Glass Metal Wood and the solo show Industrial Arts at the Terminal 136 Gallery at the Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the reference book Metalworking Through History: An Encyclopedia, published by Greenwood Press, as well as numerous other scholarly articles. Three of her pieces are featured in the Society of North American Goldsmith’s inaugural Jewelry and Metals Survey (JAMS) annual publication. She served as juror for the 2015 Materials Hard & Soft national craft exhibition and has lectured extensively on her own work including as a presenter at the 2015 East Carolina University Material Topics Symposium and 2017 Society of North American Goldsmiths conference. She holds an BFA in Sculpture; Metalsmithin & Jewelry from Miami University, an MFA in Metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and an MA in the History of American Decorative Arts from The Smithsonian Associates and Parsons School of Design. She is currently Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Metalsmithing & Jewelry at the University of North Texas where she also teaches The History of Craft.
My work utilizes disparate forms of metalworking in order to address a variety of relationships including those of the contemporary constructed body to industry, that of the individual to one’s beliefs and also to the places we inhabit. An underlying narrative tendency and self-reference to the materials and processes of metalworking serve as unifying elements.
You Are (the) Here
The format of jewelry is defined in its presumed relationship to human anatomy and is at once both personal and public. It is dependent on the body for context and interpretation but at the same time brings meanings of its own to bear on the understanding of that body. You Are (the) Here, addresses issues of cultural geography, the relationship of jewelry to identity and the idea of the souvenir. The “places” of cultural geography are the embodiment of location, locale and sense of place. This series comments on our relationships with everyday objects within increasingly homogenized urban surroundings. These otherwise mundane elements of the landscape, such as wastewater covers and metro air vents, are those that became particular and familiar through repeated contact and therefore became personal signifiers of these places. These are rendered in miniature in painstaking detail and precious materials to become body adornment that may be used by the wearer to take on the constructed identities of these personal/public spaces. The effect is to render tangible the personal experience of another place which then may be used by others to take on the constructed identities of those personal/public spaces through the process of consumption.
You Are (the) Here, Ana Lopez
1st Row: Hydrant and Bollards, Vienna, Austria and Vienna Hydrant and Bollards (necklace)
2nd Row: Exterior Wall, Grand Trianon, Versailles, France and Grand Trianon Vent (brooch)
3rd Row: Industrial Gas Meter, Fort Worth, Texas and Fort Worth Gas Meter (necklace)
4th Row: Trash Can, Vienna, Austria and Viennese Trash Pod (brooch)
5th Row: The Artist's Neighbor's Roof with Attic Turbine Vent and Artist and Attic Turbine Brooch
You See AC
Most recently I have focused on the metalwork associated with air conditioning as the subject of enameled steel panels. Incorporated into the fabric of the rooms we inhabit, they are part of a larger story of our relationship to the natural environment. Living in Texas, one becomes acutely aware of our dependence on artificial cooling each summer. The availability of affordable “man-made weather” has affected the political landscape as well as the physical one in myriad ways, which I continue to explore. I am particularly interested in its expression as a form of invisible industrial craft that is woven into the fabric of domestic and professional spaces in the guise of louvered vents and diffusers. While designed to be homogeneous and discreet, what these details represent politically and environmentally are extreme. It is my hope that this body of work will bring that complicated relationship to the fore.
You See AC, Ana Lopez:
(From Left to Right) Air Register Pink Palm Tree Brooch, Air Register Four Winds Brooch, Air Register Blue Background Hand Fan