The genre of jewelry is defined in its presumed relationship to human anatomy and is a highly mobile form of interactive art at once both personal and public in meaning and manifestation. It is dependent on the body for context and interpretation but at the same time brings meanings of its own to bear on the understanding of that body. The “places” of cultural geography are the embodiment of location, locale and sense of place. The social construction of “place” requires both meaning and materiality. This talk will consider examples of historic and contemporary works that exemplify the cultural construction of identity through personal adornment in relationship to the idea of place, including pilgrimage badges of the middle ages, cameos in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte, nineteenth century micro-mosaic jewelry and the work of a global selection of contemporary makers.
Ana M. Lopez is a metalsmith, educator and decorative arts scholar. Her creative work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She has lectured extensively on her metal work and led creative workshops at numerous institutions. She is the author of the reference book Metalworking Through History: An Encyclopedia, published in the Spring of 2009 by Greenwood Press, as well as many other scholarly articles. She organized the 2007 international biennial exhibition of the Enamelist Society, chaired the 2010 Education Dialogue for the Society of North American Goldsmiths annual conference, served as a Beta Site Testing Faculty for the textbook Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, and is the juror for the 2015 “Materials Hard & Soft” national exhibition. She holds an MFA in Metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art as well as an MA in the History of American Decorative Arts from The Smithsonian Associates and Parsons School of Design. Ana is currently Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Metalsmithing & Jewelry at the University of North Texas where she also teaches The History of Craft.