The Ethical Metalsmiths’ Emerging Artist Award is an annual award with the recipient chosen by the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee and exhibition jurors. This year’s jurors were Lucy Louise Derickson, Kelley Morrison, the current members of the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee as well as guest juror Stephanie Voegele.
The Emerging Artist is awarded $1,000, generously sponsored by Richline Group, and featured on a large poster along side the Juror’s Choice Award and Committee Choice Award winners. The poster is mailed to academic institutions and trade schools across the globe. We also highlight the Emerging Artist on the EMStudents.org website by updating images and content through out the year.
The Emerging Artist Award is made possible by Richline Group as lead sponsor, with Rio Grande and No Dirty Gold sponsoring the Juror’s Choice Award and the Committee’s Choice Award respectively.
The Emerging Artist is chosen from the the applicants for the Annual Student Exhibition. So look for the 2017 call for entries!
We are proud to present to you this years emerging artist Rebecca Lynn Hewitt
Rebecca Lynn Hewitt is a metalsmith and an emerging artist who recently graduated from The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Rebecca’s current work investigates environmental issues through wearable and handheld objects, as well as community engagement. She works with sustainable materials such as pressed and dried flora, wood, and silver. She was recently awarded the Harold A. Milbrath Award and the Mary E. Van Deven Scholarship. Her work was also recently exhibited at The 43rd Annual Juried Exhibition at the Union Art Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During her time at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Rebecca organized and participated in Object Contemporary Craft Jewelry Sales, attended Seared ’15 and the Yuma symposium, and was Program Manager for the Studio Arts and Craft Centre. In 2017, Rebecca will be one of the resident artists at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Plant, Protect and Preserve is a series of work that developed from research on the “special concern” category of the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Working list, which contains all of the plant species that are known or suspected to be rare in the Wisconsin. The “special concern” category is for species that may be in need of concentrated conservation actions, or that face some problem of abundance/distribution. This series is composed of three necklaces that approach the issue in a wearable and welcoming way that encourage reflection and education. The necklace series is paired with active community engagement through both public art workshops and giveaway plantable necklaces. In the community workshops, participants create recycled newspaper planters, biodegradable collection pouches, and flower presses.
I am aware and thoughtful of each of the materials I choose to work with. The pressed flora included in Preserve and Protect are from a Baptisia Tinctoria plant that I planted and pressed myself. By designing and milling the wooden components and purchasing locally sourced wood that is the correct the height of each piece, I’m able to cut back on waste. I also save all wooden scraps to use for my production line, Flora and Grain. The To Plant necklaces are made from recycled envelopes and cotton thread. Overall, I’m actively seeking to have a more ethical metalsmith and find that through simple awareness, I’m able to reuse materials, avoid harmful processes, and repurpose found materials.