The Baltimore Jewelry Center is seeking donations of old, unwanted, and broken jewelry for Radical Jewelry Makeover, an international community jewelry mining and recycling project that draws attention to the creativity and skills of local jewelry designers, reveals the stories behind personal collections, and encourages re-consideration of habits of consumption. The 8- month long project will engage over 75 artists, hundreds of donors, and feature three exhibitions with the production of at least 50 new works.
A project of Ethical Metalsmiths, Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) was founded in 2007 and has been iterated 12 times. In each makeover, the broader community is mobilized to donate jewelry (costume or fine jewelry, intact or broken) and “mine” their own narratives connected to that jewelry. The donated jewelry is then utilized by a team of jewelers, students and professionals alike, in the creation of new work. The project culminates with an exhibition of the newly produced work.
Radical Jewelry Makeover: Baltimore is built on the belief that all jewelry has intrinsic value and that jewelry is a powerful means of collecting and transmuting memories and narratives. The project will create an egalitarian space around jewelry, and increase connection, empathy, and understanding between participants and patrons of the project. The Baltimore Jewelry Center will partner with Towson University and Montgomery College to host several community building and educational events to draw interest and support for the project, engage over 75 artists including professional jewelers and student artists, and reach an audience of over 700 people.
Donations are currently being gathered from around the city and region with partner organizations featuring drop-off sites. Donors are asked to both donate a piece of jewelry (from Mardi Gras beads to heirloom pieces) and a narrative story or anecdote that connects to the jewelry. Donors will receive a coupon that can be used to purchase jewelry from the final exhibition. During the donation period, the BJC will host information sessions, happy hours, and events to engage the public with hands-on making and interactive adornment experiences, including a free one-day symposium on Sunday, September 17.
Donation drop sites are: Baltimore Jewelry Center, Towson University Center for the Arts, School 33 Art Center, Montgomery College, the Walters Art Museum, Towson Branch/Baltimore County Public Library, MICA School Store, the Station North Tool Library, and VisArts in Rockville, MD.
Radical Jewelry Makeover: Baltimore is supported in part by a grant from the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.
ABOUT THE BALTIMORE JEWELRY CENTER:
Founded in June 2014, the Baltimore Jewelry Center is the successor organization to the MICA Jewelry Center. Located in Baltimore’s Station North Arts & Entertainment District, the 501c3 educational nonprofit is dedicated to building a vibrant creative community for the study and practice of metalworking for new and established artists, offering classes, workshops, and studio space access. The Baltimore Jewelry Center’s offerings are open to anyone regardless of educational or artistic background, and the program provides affordable educational opportunities by subsidizing class, workshop, and studio
rental costs. In addition to its education program, the Baltimore Jewelry Center helps metal and jewelry artists grow sustainable business practices by offering professional development, sales opportunities, and a promotional platform. For more information, visit baltimorejewelrycenter.org.
About Ethical Metalsmiths
Ethical Metalsmiths is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage social change that values jewelry made with ethically sourced materials. They do this by educating people about irresponsible mining, promoting transparency in jewelry supply chains and highlighting the collective efforts of jewelers actively changing their practices. Ethical Metalsmiths’ vision is a world in which people can create and enjoy jewelry made with materials from responsible sources that protect and sustain the earth, its peoples and cultures. www.EthicalMetalsmiths.org