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, Jane Barton, and Brian Fleetwood, the founding members of the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee.
The Emerging Artist is awarded $1,000, generously sponsored by Richline Group, and featured on a large poster along side the 2nd and 3rd place 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, Rio Grande second place award and No Dirty Gold third place award. Jewelspan – websites for jewelers, is providing one year of free website hosting and support for the awarded. Ethical Metalsmiths will use its channels to celebrate and promote the Emerging Artist.
We are proud to present to you this years emerging artist Joshua Kosker.
I am an artist, designer and metalsmith from Western Pennsylvania. I received my BFA in Studio Art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011 with concentrations in Jewelry/Metals and Painting. My work has been exhibited both regionally and nationally. Most recently, I was named recipient of the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths 2014 Merit Scholarship. I am currently completing my MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing (May 2015) at Bowling Green State University where I am Instructor of Record for the First Year Program 3D Workshop.
My studio practice is not unlike my ability to overcome personal addiction – I take it one day at a time. Even if I don’t accomplish anything aside from sweeping the floor today, at least I have a clean basis to start from tomorrow. I am much more interested in the physical worth of a material and how it relates to applications within my work as opposed to projected extrinsic value. Metal carries a certain amount of history where scratches, dents and dings are scars and signs of use (oftentimes misuse), and polished fragile surfaces become witnesses to change and reformation. These are the foundations for my studio practice and the undertones that define my work.
In my recent work, I aim to distort the preconceptions of form and function in the conventional sense, both to subvert utility and construct new meaning. I think and communicate through creative visual understanding of structures and symbols from a playful sensibility of material and meaning making. Built on satirical, somewhat absurd notions of what craft is and what it means, the work becomes a visual conversation that questions validity and intent.
In my most recent series of brooches, I combine memory foam with repurposed silver-plated brass holloware. I am interested in the symbolic (associative and suggestive) nature of hollowware and its ability to both reveal and conceal, while giving structure to the shapeless. The salver, historically a symbol of dignity and high society, is dismantled and then reconstructed with familiar elements and forms to create new narratives of personal value and self-worth through body adornment. By salvaging and encasing the memories of the past between layers of metaphorical cultural consumption, I am laying those former abusive practices to rest while simultaneously breathing new life into wearable objects.