AJF Board & Staff
I have taste for small, intimate artworks and jewelry fits that description. I tend to like jewelry that is a bit raw or honest to its materials and making techniques. I am often attracted to pieces that reflect my West Coast attachment to nature and things of the spirit. Oddly enough, I don't care about wearability at all since I rarely wear jewelry... I know it's weird. Many years ago I launched AJF and have an ongoing commitment to AJF because I believe that linking together AJF members--curators, gallerists and collectors--is critical to furthering a healthy and educated audience for jewelers.
After a career in corporate America, I am now “emancipated” and fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my passions, one of which is contemporary art jewelry. I have always been intrigued by this art form, especially jewelry made out of “non-traditional” materials. Unfortunately, I have no natural talent of my own to create it. However, my involvement with AFJ is providing me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge about the field and develop a whole new level of appreciation and fascination. Best of all, I no longer have to explain (or justify) my jewelry to anyone!
Marion Fulk describes herself as an art jewelry maniac. She has been collecting since the mid 1990s and cannot seem to quit. One of Marion’s quirks is that if she owns it, she will wear it. So, residents of Little Rock, Arkansas, regularly get to see great art jewelry - at the grocery store, in the office, at church, at art openings - every day. Wearability is one of the themes of her collection and one of the points she is insistent about. Marion’s day job is as senior vice president and senior financial consultant at Stephens Inc., a financial services company which is based in Little Rock. She is married, has one son and neither of the men in her life care much about art jewelry but they have learned to tolerate it.
AJF is my teacher. I have learned so much about studio artist jewelry -- discovered books and websites, galleries and exhibits and have been exposed to work by artists I would never have discovered on my own. My horizon and vision have been greatly expanded since joining AJF.I like to think that my work on the Board, particularly with the award program, helps bring attention to and helps to promote studio jewelry artists and their work to a broader audience. My collection doesn’t have a particular focus, although my husband feels it’s somewhat anthropomorphic. I collect what speaks to me and has the loudest voice at the moment.
As an art dealer that represents some of the major influences and artists in contemporary jewelry today I am proud to belong to AJF. I don’t make jewelry, I rarely wear it and yet . . . I love it. The story that it tells is a thread binding us all together, each artist finds their own way to pull this thread just a bit further. My background in non-profit work, otherwise known as owning a gallery, makes AJF an exciting place to assist in carving and building the future of contemporary jewelry. 'Finite to fail, infinite to venture.' (Emily Dickinson)
During my graduate school education, I never took a class on jewelry. My jewelry education came from my first post-graduate school job in a gallery that sold period jewelry. However I had not really been exposed to contemporary art jewelry until my first trip with the AJF to Munich for Schmuck. This experience opened my eyes to a world that I was not familiar with. The AJF community is a wonderful mix of artists, gallery owners, museum curators, and collectors who are all passionate about contemporary artist jewelry and who work very hard to promote the field. As a writer and gallery director, I am very proud to be a part of this group and hope that through my articles I can inspire someone the same way that the AJF community has inspired me.
During my study of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam, I became intrigued and tempted by contemporary jewellery. In the early 1980s it was like a ‘terra incognita’ for a young art historian. Today, in a growing global context, contemporary jewellery remains a weird small niche in the art world, but I have learned that small is beautiful, and small has power. I’m particularly interested in artists who cross borders and set new standards of appreciation. I see it as my mission to create a better understanding for contemporary jewellery through writing, lecturing, advising, curating, and teaching.
Jenni Sorkin is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and Critical Theory at the University of Houston. Her writing has appeared in the New Art Examiner, Art Journal, Art Monthly, NU: The Nordic Art Review, Frieze, The Journal of Modern Craft, Modern Painters, and Third Text. She has written numerous in-depth catalog essays on feminist art and material culture topics. She holds a PhD in the History of Art from Yale University and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
I am a jeweler, designer and educator, I am transfixed the connection between people and meaningful objects. My affinity toward jewelry began over twenty years ago with a passion for making. The AJF is a confluence of makers, collector, curators and I am honored to work closely with other dedicated professionals.