BLING: Jewelry Invitational at Blue Spiral 1

Mod Pendant Necklace. Matthew Smith, artist

Mod Pendant Necklace. Matthew Smith, artist

Blue Spiral 1 (BS1) presents BLING: Jewelry Invitational, a wide-ranging collection of studio jewelry created by a diverse group of artists, on display in the BS1 Main Gallery through January 3. A related panel discussion moderated by Luiza deCamargo from Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, takes place Friday, December 6, from 6–7 p.m.

“Studio jewelry is a form of art, and many of our gallery staff and affiliates have a passion for wearing it and collecting it,” says BS1 assistant director and exhibit curator Candace Reilly. “Holiday season is upon us, and we thought it would be fun to exhibit jewelry, support our many friends in the field and also inspire some holiday shopping.”

Pieces on exhibit are crafted using a variety of materials including fossils, gemstones, fabric, metalwork, woven nylon, powder-coated steel, sculpted paper pulp, and carved, painted and weathered wood. Inspiration for the artists’ work is equally diverse. Morgan Hill pulls shapes and symbols from everyday life, combining various colors and textures found on anything from a tombstone to a neon sign to create visual phrases.

“My jewelry pieces are traces of attention I’m paying to what I’m seeing, but they also act as miniature doors to creative liberation,” says Hill. “Making these model abstractions is a way for me to explore color, texture and form in all of my work, not just jewelry.”

Matthew Smith draws from his graphic design background and love of the mid-twentieth century aesthetic to produce modern pieces that incorporate rosewood and semi-precious gems.

“I find the scale for jewelry appealing to work in, as well as the nearly unlimited directions you can take the pieces,” says Smith. “I hope people appreciate that work which, on first glance, may appear understated and simple, actually contains a subtle complexity.”

Other exhibiting artists are Anne Fiala, Brie Flora, Vada Jane, Michal Lando, Brooke Marks-Swanson, Laurie Marshall, Marian Miller, Robert Thomas Mullen and Myung Urso.

The jewelry panel held on December 6 is a BS1 collaboration with Bellagio Art to Wear and Mora Jewelry and coincides with Asheville’s First Friday Art Walk. Moderator de Camargo will lead panelists Anne Fiala, Anna Johnson, Matthew Smith, Biba Schutz and Laura Wood in a discussion focused on experimentation, mentorship, marketing, process and materials, and gallery representation versus independent selling. The event is free and open to the public.

Blue Spiral 1 Gallery is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit or call 828.251.0202.

Leave a Comment