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Museum of Art and Design Presents LOOT 2012, 9/11-15

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LOOT 2012: MAD About Jewelry, the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary art and studio jewelry, whose proceeds benefit the Exhibition and Education programs of the Museum of Arts and Design, will run from Tuesday through Saturday, September 11 – 15, 2012.

Unlike any other jewelry event in the country, LOOT 2012 gives jewelry lovers the opportunity to meet some of the most innovative creators in the field and acquire work directly from them. This 12th edition of LOOT will be the largest and most international ever, with jewelry by more than 50 emerging and acclaimed artists, hailing from 12 countries. It will also showcase the work of jewelry students from New York's own Fashion Institute of Technology.

Accessibility has long been one of LOOT's attractions, and this year will be no exception: prices for its unique artist-made jewelry will range from $200 to $12,000, with $1000 the average. Another attraction has been the panels and programs it sponsors on contemporary art jewelry, and this year LOOT will offer a Jewelry Study Day on Saturday afternoon, September 15. Like last year, the exhibition and sale has been curated by Bryna Pomp, a jewelry specialist, and Nancy Olnick, a noted collector; they selected the artists for their originality, use of materials, and expert craftsmanship. Much effort was also made to find distinguished artists from around the world.

Among those in this year's roster will be the acclaimed German bead artist Axel Russmeyer, who in addition to participating in the exhibition and sale will be awarded the inaugural LOOT Award for Contemporary Art Jewelry. This annual prize is in keeping with the long-standing commitment of the Museum of Arts and Design to presenting jewelry as an art form. MAD is the only American museum to possess a gallery dedicated to the display of both temporary jewelry exhibits and its own collection of contemporary and modern studio and art jewelry, which it began assembling soon after its founding in 1956.

"Axel Russmeyer is an artist whose outstanding achievement in crafting highly original and exceptionally beautiful jewelry sets the standard of excellence for all in this medium," says Michele Cohen, the Chair of LOOT 2012. "His color and texture combinations and his sense of design take beaded jewelry to another level of the imagination. You have only to see and touch his pieces to understand why his work is coveted by the most prestigious museums and private collectors around the world." Other notable jewelry artists participating in LOOT 2012 are:

Eimear Conyard, This Irish artist views jewelry as object as much as adornment. In addition to producing splendid, yet spare pendants, brooches, and rings, she also makes limited-edition timepieces. For LOOT 2012, she will offer a new collection of timepieces, specifically designed for the exhibition.

Eva Eisler, In Europe, this Czech artist is as well known for her tabletop, lighting, and furniture designs, as for her minimalist art jewelry. The chair of the metals department at Prague's Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design, she will bring along the work of six of her top students, two of whom will be in attendance.

Emmeline Hastings, A sculptor as well as a jeweler, this British artist works in Perspex and a variety of metals to create wearable objects that evoke the motion and pattern of waves.

Dominique Labordery, Working in agate, oxidized silver, and gold, this Belgian-born, Dusseldorf-based artist uses minimalist details to the maximum effect.

Jeremy May, This British artist makes jewelry from carved out book pages, which he laminates and polishes. The excavated tome then serves as the jewelry container.

Kazumi Nagano, The Tokyo-based Nagano brings the sensibilities of traditional Japanese painting to jewelry making. Woven out of strands of silver and gold, silk, nylon, and Japanese paper thread, her jewelry is subtle, yet sumptuous, and gossamerlike in weight.

Linda van Niekerk, Rare Tasmanian wood and tidal stones, ribbons of sterling silver, chunky discs of African amber, and oxidized Turkomen beads are among the materials from which this master artist, born in South Africa, now based in Tasmania, makes striking wearable sculpture.

Joe Pillari, This Philadelphia-based artist makes enigmatic hand-painted enamel brooches inspired by old photographs.

Nikolay Sardamov, This Bulgarian artist jeweler creates a rigid meshwork out of clusters and layers of circles in silver and gold. While the geometry is simple, the effect is rich in pattern and density.

Work by all the artists, along with their bios, and further information about the opening gala on September 11 and Jewelry Study Day on September 15, will be posted on madaboutjewelry.tumblr.com on July 9.

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