Metal Arts Students Recycle Castaway Jewelry into Brilliant, Sustainable New Designs

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Radical Jewelry Makeover Exhibit On View through November 9th

Academy of Art University School of Fine Art Sculpture students have joined forces with art students from across the Bay Area to participate in San Francisco's first-ever Radical Jewelry Makeover. After sifting through a rich supply of donated pieces from more than one hundred Bay Area residents, melting down precious metals, and forming creative new designs, the resulting fresh, unique, handmade, and mainly recycled jewelry are ready to be showcased at San Francisco's Velvet da Vinci Gallery.

Approximately twenty Academy of Art University students and alumni have created striking wearable metal arts creations for Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM). Each student was passionate about inventively reconstructing the materials donated during the RJM Bay Area Jewelry Drive this past fall. As a group, the AAU students created more than 70 pieces for juried selection into the RJM - San Francisco exhibit. "As an artist in metal arts, I think it is really important to be aware of where your metals are coming from," shares Academy of Art University School of Fine Art Sculpture student Tura Sugden. "Radical Jewelry Makeover is making it possible for more consumer demand in sustainable jewelry source materials."

The Academy of Art University is participating in the largest RJM to date along with artists from California College of the Arts, City College of San Francisco, the Crucible, Metal Arts Guild, Revere Academy, Richmond Art Center, and Scintillant Studio. "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, founded by Ethical Metalsmiths, 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, imaginative jewelry from recycled sources and proudly places responsible jewelry in the hands of consumers.

"American households are a clean and transparent source of previous metals and jewelry that is waiting to be recycled," says Christina Miller, Radical Jewelry Makeover Project Director. "Ethical Metalsmiths has brought together a skilled workforce of volunteer artists in San Francisco who have acted as miners, smelters, refiners, designers, silversmiths, goldsmiths, chainmakers, and stonesetters. These gifted artists have transformed abundant supplies of old jewelry into distinctive and innovative hand-made items."

All pieces created for Radical Jewelry Makeover-San Francisco will be exhibited and available for sale at Velvet da Vinci Gallery through Sunday, November 9, 2008. Sales will benefit Ethical Metalsmiths. Velvet da Vinci Gallery is located at 2015 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12PM to 6PM and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Further information is available at

About Ethical Metalsmiths
Ethical Metalsmiths is an artist run non-profit organization formed for the purpose of stimulating demand for responsibly sourced materials as an investment in the future. Standing for social responsibility, a healthy environment, and materials that are consistent with these values, the organization seeks to galvanize mining reform and promote ethical sourcing among jewelers, metalsmiths, and the public. Further information is available at

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco
With over 13,000 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 in 14 different majors, 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. Multimedia Communications is the school's newest major, offering BA and MA degrees. 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 or call 1-800-544-2787.


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Larissa Dozier

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