So Fresh + So Clean, Ethical Metalsmiths’ first annual student exhibition, and Emerging Artist Award mark a new era for our community. EM is grateful for the tireless work of the volunteer student committee and thankful for all the students that became members and submitted work for the exhibition this year. Thank you also to our sponsors of So Fresh + So Clean.
Students are innovators, always trying new things, managing fears and failure – prerequisites for learning – and exposing their ideas to critique. It is their duty to be “So Fresh”. Ethical Metalsmiths is inspired by the students and recent graduates located around the world that took the risk and shared their work and ideas for public exhibition. The statements, a mandatory aspect of the application process, include a range of “So Clean” approaches that reveal the personal values informing best practices.
Ethical Metalsmiths believe that independent jewelers and artists are the pioneers of the ethical jewelry movement. If made from a point of awareness of mining issues and respect for people and the planet jewelry and metalsmithed objects can generate good and decrease harm in the world. By working together and sharing ideas about responsibility, environmental protections and human rights, we will continue to develop innovative solutions for the future.
Both the So Fresh + So Clean exhibition and the Emerging Artist Award act as transparent benchmarks for the ethical jewelry and metalsmithing movement. The pieces and statements inspire an optimism for the future as well as challenge what has already been accomplished. Benchmark measurements necessitate re-evaluation and inquiry. Some questions Ethical Metalsmiths is asking include whether or not students have enough opportunities to contribute their ideas to the movement and whether or not the purveyors of the movement are doing enough to educate students. The goal: responsibility is the norm.
Ethical Metalsmiths is committed to student makers – their ideas and their futures (our future). The works and statements of So Fresh + So Clean engage, inspire curiosity and stimulate a constant re-evaluation of our habits and beliefs.
Christina Miller, Executive Director