Academy of Art University Accepting Jewelry Donations for Ethical Metalsmiths' Radical Jewelry Makeover -- Through September 11th

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Don't know what to do with your old, unwanted jewelry? How about Radical Jewelry Makeover!

American households are a clean and transparent source of precious metals and jewelry that is waiting to be recycled. Ethical Metalsmiths is bringing together a skilled workforce of volunteer artists who will act as miners, smelters, refiners, designers, silversmiths, goldsmiths, chainmakers and stonesetters to transform your hoard of old jewelry into unique and innovative hand-made items

Those tangled chains, unmatched earrings and gold bands from past relationships sitting at the bottom of jewelry boxes around the Bay Area are exactly what jewelry artists participating in Radical Jewelry Makeover - San Francisco want to get their creative hands on. For the next month the non-profit Ethical Metalsmiths is accepting donations of old, unwanted jewelry at several Bay Area locations, including the Academy of Art University.

"American households are a clean and transparent source of precious metals and jewelry that is waiting to be recycled. Ethical Metalsmiths is bringing together a skilled workforce of volunteer artists who will act as miners, smelters, refiners, designers, silversmiths, goldsmiths, chainmakers and stonesetters to transform your hoard of old jewelry into unique and innovative hand-made items," says Christina Miller, Radical Jewelry Makeover Project Director.

The Academy of Art University's School of Fine Art Sculpture is honored to have its metal arts BFA and MFA students participating in the 2008 Radical Jewelry Makeover. "This event is an exciting and spectacular way to make all artists deeply aware of the vital importance and responsibility of recycling in our profession," says Academy of Art University Director of Graduate Fine Art Sculpture Charlene Modena.

Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) offers its host communities a fun, informed, and creative alternative to traditional mining practices and jewelry production. As a traveling awareness project for community mining, creative art education, and recycling, RJM teaches artists how to produce contemporary, innovative jewelry from recycled sources and proudly places responsible jewelry in the hands of consumers. The overall project raises awareness of the complicated connection between mining and metalsmithing, as well as showcasing innovative artistry.

This is how it works: The public is asked to "mine" their homes, "uncovering" gold, silver, and other jewelry, that is no longer used and deposits their "lode" at designated places in the Bay Area. Teams of volunteer jewelers and metalsmiths working at schools and studios in several locations will reconstruct and transform the donations into exciting new jewelry designs. The resulting fresh, unique, handmade, 100 percent recycled jewelry will be exhibited and sold at San Francisco's renowned Velvet da Vinci Gallery. Donors will receive discount coupons, which will be available and redeemable at the gallery during the exhibition. Sale of "makeover" jewelry will benefit Ethical Metalsmiths' efforts to educate and connect people with responsibly sourced materials.

San Francisco knows the consequences of mining. As a result of gold mining that took place more than a century ago, the San Francisco Bay is lined with several feet of sediment from hydraulic mining while its waters are contaminated with dangerous levels of mercury. Today, mining is this nation's most toxic industry according to the EPA. Earthworks reports that an estimated 80% of the gold mined each year is used for jewelry, and a single gold ring leaves 20 tons of mine waste. Ethical Metalsmiths, an artist run non-profit organization seeks to galvanize mining reform efforts by staging this "alternative supply chain."

Participants from several organizations, studios and schools are lined up to transform donations into inspiring new work. Coming together for the largest Radical Jewelry Makeover to date are the Academy of Art University, California College of Art, City College, the Crucible, Metal Arts Guild - San Francisco, Revere Academy, Richmond Art Center and Scintillant Studio. The "makeover" jewelry will be exhibited and sold at Velvet da Vinci Gallery.

Jewelry donations will be accepted from now through September 11, 2008 at all of the participating schools. Donors will receive a dollar discount for their donation (based on material and quantity), which can be used toward the purchase of a "Makeover" piece. Donation forms are available online here. One completed donation form must accompany each donation (not each object, but what a particular individual is giving as a whole). Place your donation in a bag along with the completed form at the collection box located at the Academy of Art University School of Fine Art Sculpture, 410 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.

EVENT DETAILS:
General Timeline:

  • Drop off donations will be accepted from August 11 to September 11, 2008 at each school (except the Richmond Art Center, which is a MAIL IN site only).
  • Schools will transform the donations between September 22 and October 15, 2008.
  • The Academy of Art University will be hosting an Open House while Radical Jewelry Makeover is in progress on Saturday and Sunday, September 27th and 28th, from 1:00 to 4:00PM. It will take place at the AAU School of Fine Art Sculpture, 410 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.
  • The exhibition at the Velvet da Vinci Gallery in San Francisco (on Polk between Broadway and Pacific) will take place October 22 through November 9. There will be a reception on Friday October 24, 2008.

CONTACT:
Academy of Art University
School of Fine Art Sculpture
410 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
AAU Radical Jewelry Makeover Coordinator:
Charlene Modena, Director of Graduate Fine Art Sculpture, (415) 618-3631
Brandy Esparza, Administrative Assistant, (415) 618-3636

About Ethical Metalsmiths
Ethical Metalsmiths is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of stimulating demand for responsibly sourced materials as an investment in the future. We stand for social responsibility, a healthy environment and materials that are consistent with these values. Our website http://www.EthicalMetalsmiths.org describes our goals, activities, and accomplishments, as we raise awareness, provide information and promote ethical sourcing among jewelers, metalsmiths and the public.

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco
With nearly 12,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation's largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BFA, M.Arch and MFA programs, as well as continuing art education with classes in copywriting, fashion merchandising, interior design, new media, computer animation, sculpture, graphic design, cinematography, industrial design, digital photography and car design. Students can also enroll in a flexible online degree program in art and design.

Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA-IAD) and NAAB (M-ARCH).

For more information visit http://www.academyart.edu or call 1-800-544-2787.

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Larissa Dozier
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