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‘Studs + Drops’ — Society of Arts + Crafts launches online model with jewelry exhibition

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
‘Studs + Drops’ — Society of Arts + Crafts launches online model with jewelry exhibition
Bessie Statement Earrings by Bobbi Brown-Mayo. COURTESY PHOTO

Boston’s Society of Arts + Crafts (SA+C) has launched an online gallery and a dynamic series of free programming throughout the month of May. After closing its Seaport retail location in early 2020 and later cancelling the CraftBoston spring event due to COVID-19, the online exhibitions represent a rebirth of this beloved arts organization.

The new SA+C experience features a year-round online gallery with exhibitions and concurrent programming and events. Each batch of programming is designed around one of SA+C’s new “CraftBoston” branded juried exhibitions. The May programming is shaped around a jewelry exhibition titled “Studs + Drops.” Events include live demonstrations with artists, conversations with leading jewelry experts on the contemporary and historical importance of earrings, and studio tours with artists featured in the exhibition.

“From the Ocean Mismatched Earring Set” by Angely PHOTO: Gabriella Lincoln Martinez.

Artists of all kinds are featured in “Studs + Drops.” Bobbi Brown-Mayo created bold, eye-catching designs out of polymer clay and other materials using bright colors, innovative shapes and enigmatic patterns. “I love using color and strong geometric silhouettes to incorporate art into everyday fashion. Primarily through the use of polymer clay, I am able to bring ideas to life that normally wouldn’t be worn on ears,” says Brown-Mayo. “I truly believe that color and art bring joy, and that is my hope for every piece I create.”

For Angely Martinez, art and jewelry are opportunities to explore a world of fantasy. “Nature and fairy tales have been key inspirations since I was a child. I love the idea of combining these two elements, creating outer worldly jewels that transform the body,” says Martinez. “With my work, I want the wearer to interpret the pieces into their own lives and use them as a form of escapism when staring at them.” Martinez pulls inspiration from her childhood in the Dominican Republic, from Baroque artworks and from fantasy films to make these fantastical creations.

For both of these artists and for the many other talents featured in the show, jewelry is an opportunity to bring art with you wherever you go. The pieces are designed to evoke a feeling in the wearer and in the viewers who witness these pieces during the day.

Jenelle Statement Earrings by Bobbi Brown-Mayo. COURTESY PHOTO

SA+C is the nation’s oldest nonprofit organization supporting fine crafts and craft artists. The transition from a semiannual in-person CraftBoston show into an online experience accessible 365 days a year represents an important turning point for the organization. A contemporary online model is more accessible for art appreciators and collectors and for participating artists.

Newly appointed SA+C board leader Gary Roberts says, “We will always work to educate the public that craft artists are professionals from all backgrounds and at all levels. Craft artists and the craft world needs every champion it can get.”