Archived entries for Events

The Opulent Project + Loupe Holiday Party

Meg Drinkwater and Erin Gardner of The Opulent Project will also be speaking about their work at the Brooklyn Metal Works
Friday evening, Dec. 7th at 7 pm.
Brooklyn Metal Works is located at 640 Dean Street  Brooklyn, NY 11238

To see more from The Opulent Project visit our Facebook page.

The Opulent Project is a conceptual jewelry and design studio based in Portland, Oregon. 
We investigate opulence within the context of our society’s obsession with owning objects. We seek to subvert mainstream preconceptions regarding value in material culture. To do so we are constantly questioning and considering where these ideologies originate and examining ways to intervene with the established visual language.

Meg Drinkwater and Erin Rose Gardner founded T.O.P. in 2007.

Moss Holiday Party Photos

We just posted photos from Moss’ Holiday Party on our Facebook page….

Click here to view them.

Gallery Loupe at Moss Bureau

Gallery Loupe at Moss Bureau is a program that features a series of highly curated exhibitions of unique masterworks in Contemporary Studio Jewelry. These exhibitions, selective and very considered, will be open to the public for a period of four to six weeks only, and will for the most part feature definitive, prime examples of advanced works by a single international jewelry artist currently represented by Gallery Loupe, Montclair, New Jersey.

Through this collaboration, which will include intimate evening ‘salons’ at the Bureau for more intense personal discussion and artist presentations, we hope to provide a venue for illuminating the best in contemporary art jewelry.

Moss Bureau is the next iteration of Moss, the renowned SoHo design gallery. The Bureau, located in Manhattan’s historic Fashion District, provides an extensive menu of Design Advisory Services in addition to showcasing small selling exhibitions of important contemporary studio works as well as industrial design, against a backdrop of a live working office environment.

Nicole Polentas at Brooklyn Metal Works

Nicole spoke beautifully about her most recent body of work called Psychomanteum at Brooklyn Metal Works Friday night. Nicole’s jewelry is autobiographical and to hear her talk about what inspired each piece and point out the historical significance of the imagery was incredibly interesting. Not only was it a fascinating lesson in Cretan history but also an insightful look at the work of an artist who is thoughtful about her roots and chooses to express her feelings about Cretan culture,which is very different from other Greek regions, through her jewelry. And while it appears that Nicole’s work is a valentine to Crete, each piece is layered with meaning. Some of which is equal parts critique and tribute.

An unusual aspect of Nicole’s work is her fascination with mantinades, which are short poems, and rizitikas, or folk songs, both of which are specific to Crete. Nicole knowledge of these is encyclopedic and she incorporates the text of these songs and poems into the jewelry in the form of script that she has fused onto the silver scrolls of all of her pieces. The text is meant to be illegible, as Nicole explains, because it is not supposed to provide us with answers but rather raise more questions about the work. Some of the titles that she has given to her work also reference the rizitikas.

Nicole, who was born in Australia, travels yearly to Crete and is inspired but its landscape as much as she is by the culture. Sometimes these inspirations are translated literally and at other times symbolically. Some of the images, or gems as Nicole calls them, that she sets into her brooches or neck pieces are scenes of the island that the artist has manipulated. Recently, while traveling through the region, Nicole has started to notice how closely the billboards that are located throughout the island also resemble the images found in her work. Most of these billboards, which Crete has no made illegal as part of an island-wide beautification project, have been abandoned and now only have an amalgam of glued old posters scraps. And of course her use of bright colors is another reference to the gorgeous landscape of Crete, whether it is the blue of the sea or the white of its world-famous sandy beaches.

Nor does Nicole shy away from incorporating her feelings about Greece’s historic past, like the Battle of Crete, or its painful present financial situation, like the riots in Athens. Another fixture in Nicole’s work is a cartoonish middle-aged man with wavy brown hair and a large crooked nose. This is Karagiozis, a popular folk character who is cast as the underdog in Greek and Turkish stories. By referencing all of this idea in her work, Nicole is embracing all aspects of homeland and making her own “manifestations” as she calls them.

While there are many different threads running through Nicole’s work that make it so rich with meaning, because she is such a gifted jeweler, the beauty and the sophisticated construction of each piece is never overshadowed by the stories. The group was thrilled to get a chance to examine several of Nicole’s pieces. After hearing her speak, holding the work in our hands was a treat because we were already familiar with its story and had a new appreciation for it.

This brings us to the psychomanteums which are naturally occurring rock pools of myth where ancient Greeks would go to consult the oracles. The psychomanteum is Nicole’s way of taking all of the different references in her work and uniting them. She has also chosen to use these reflecting pools, which she made and shipped over from Melbourne, as a stage for her work. Reflections of the jewelry appear in the pools as apparitions. Or as Robert Baines, Nicole’s former professor at RMIT and a world renowned jewelry, has written “these artifacts return to the rock pool as a physical presence of what was one a phantom vision.”

Nicole Polentas and Patti Bleicher

The Mathilda Fund

Last weekend Gallery Loupe hosted the Mathilda Fund, an annual event that supports the fight against ovarian cancer. This year internationally recognized contemporary jeweler Pat Flynn created a commemorative brooch to help us raise awareness and money to help find a cure for this horrible disease.  Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Pat for his hard work and dedication. Renowned jewelry historian Toni Greenbaum gave a beautiful introduction in honor of Pat and we wanted to share it with you.

“In his catalog essay for Pat’s 1998 solo exhibition at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, fellow jeweler Bruce Metcalf called Pat “a really good goldsmith.” Indeed, most contemporary metalsmiths rarely achieve Pat’s standard. His unusual combination of materials – steel or iron with gold,    platinum, opal, and diamonds – is edgy, and unexpected, full of contradictions between medium and process. The jewelry, along with his gracious hollowware, manifests an underlying tension between, as Pat states, the “wildness of forging” and the “elegance of goldsmithing.”

Bracelets, brooches, neckpieces, and rings appear rough and rusted, recalling ancient artifacts buried for millennia. Pat’s objects display a colorfully corroded presence, a visual poetry usually reserved for the natural patina of time. Nonetheless, Pat manages to alter metal so that his surfaces fairly explode with all the hues and tonal variations possible within the material; he files, sands, burnishes, and otherwise manipulates those surfaces, revealing layer upon layer of texture that often changes subtly, even within the same piece.

Pat’s attention to detail is mind-boggling. Each hinge, closure, and stone-mounting is completely handmade – commercial findings would never enter Pat’s technical vocabulary. His craftsmanship is impeccable. Nevertheless, Pat is a truly modern maker; his designs reveal a contemporary organic abstraction, but with a sensibility rooted in the archeology of the past.

Pat’s jewels are made to be worn; in fact, he regards them as incomplete until mounted upon a body, communing with the owner in a personal way, as well as communicating with others, within the wearer’s arena.

His consummate skill has earned Pat many awards; including 3 National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman’s Fellowships, a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and designation as a Master Metalsmith by the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

Pat’s work is included in numerous museum collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; the Yale University Art Gallery, where a beaker by Pat is on permanent view; and Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim, Norway.

One of Pat’s signature series is his heart pins. As Metcalf stated in a 1996 article for Metalsmith magazine, entitled “Heart and Art:” “Since the heart is the standard symbol for affection in this culture, and since jewelry remains one of the most permanent and intimate of objects, it’s no wonder that Flynn’s heart pins have proven so popular over the years….symboliz[ing] and condens[ing] powerful emotions…close to the sight of those feelings.”

Pat has created a special limited edition heart pin in honor of the Mathilda Fund, with all proceeds going directly to support Ovarian Cancer research. The pin, available with either a ribbon of sterling silver or 18K gold, can only be purchased here at Gallery Loupe, where an exhibition of Pat’s jewelry may be viewed through this weekend, with a percentage of those sales being donated to the Mathilda Fund as well.”



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