Walker Art Center

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Press Releases Walker Art Center Welcomes Spring with Local Jewelry Artist Mart and Rectangle Designs Trunk Show May 5

Minneapolis, March 1, 2012— Just in time for Mother’s Day, more than 20 local artists gather in the Walker Art Center’s Gallery 8 to show and sell their designs at this signature Walker Shop event on Saturday, May 5, 11am–5 pm. New this year, Walker members are invited to a Mimosa Preview, 10am–11am. Sip mimosas while you enjoy a sneak peek at this fantastic selection of artisan jewelry—an exclusive treat for Walker members. RSVP required for the members preview: 612.375.7655 or membership@walkerart.org The Jewelry Artist Mart also includes complimentary tastings by Minneapolis-based Craftmade Toffee.

The same day, Saturday, May 5, 10 am–6 pm, the Walker Shop presents a trunk show with Sarah Nassif of Rectangle Designs. The artist debuts her spring collection featuring botanically-inspired prints on t-shirts, tote bags, and scarves. Her products are made by hand in Minneapolis using upcycled materials and non-toxic, water-based inks. Walker members receive a 10% discount and all proceeds support the Walker’s artistic and educational programs. Shop online at: shop.walkerart.org

Jewelry Artist Mart

Saturday, May 5, 11 am–5 pm

Gallery 8

Member’s Mimosa Preview, 10am–11am

Featured Artists

Yen Chee, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, quartz, and onyx

As the daughter of a world-renowned watercolor artist Chee traveled to many art galleries as a young girl and was always drawn to the work of jewelry designers. Each clean, yet elegant design has a unique story and source of inspiration ranging from the hand-carved moldings of Italy’s Uffizi Museum, to her grandmother’s exotic gardens in Malaysia.

Chris Chookiatsirichai, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: leather, beads and natural stones

With a background in ceramics, printmaking, languages and music, Chookiatsirichai’s inspiration to create adornment began at an early age. She has always been fascinated by culture and the rich history of beads and their role in creating textures and symbols. Jewelry has been an unconscious, yet very deep, love for its source of identity and its link to the past and the natural world. Each creation is unique and handmade.

Bridget Clark, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, gold, pearls, and gemstones

Clark has been designing and creating jewelry since 1986. She hand crafts each piece of her jewelry line using traditional jewelry techniques including fabrication, casting, forging, stone setting, and soldering. Her works are both fine jewelry as well as being contemporary at the same time.

Susan Crow, Northfield, MN

Materials: recycled gold and silver, lab created or reclaimed diamonds and gemstones

Crow is the founder of East Fourth Street Jewelry where she creates a new perspective on fashion by combining low impact metalsmithing practices with recycled materials to assure that the jewelry is sustainable and original. Crow holds a BS in Design and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design.

Brittany Foster, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver

With innumerable influences, from cephalopods to industrial debris and munitions, Foster makes things, because she has always made things. As a youngster, she was drawn to working with her hands. Jewelry seemed mysterious, which led her to wonder, “How people could possibly do that with simple, manual tools?” When she discovered there were also hammers and fire involved, it sealed the deal. Having once been told that the human eye and brain can see a wiggle in a line to .03” Brittany took it as a challenge. She uses a standard jeweler’s saw to cut all the swirly lines by hand. Her work is not fueled by electricity, but, much like Popeye, by spinach and beer. She also deploys the classic “hit it with a hammer” technique on her wrought pieces which balances well with the meticulous work of cutting those curlicues.

Gia Gifford, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, vintage and found objects

Gifford creates jewelry inspired by modern art and design, elements found in nature, and architecture. Creating jewelry that is simple in design and free of complication is one of the most rewarding, yet challenging aspects of making jewelry for Gifford. Her loves of both natural and urban landscapes also compel her to create much of her work. She hopes to create jewelry that is unique, unconventional, and playful.

Monica Hansmeyer, Turtle River, MN

Materials: sterling silver and stones

Hansmeyer is the youngest sister of seven and therefore named her jewelry line Seven Sister Design. She lives in northern Minnesota, Turtle River, a quiet strange spot surrounded by lakes, rivers and pines. Designs are etched on the metal’s surface then Hansmeyer creates and solders, adding stones for color and beauty. She loves jewelry that has a combination of age-old metal techniques, creative expression, and adornment.

Laura Heiden, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, gold and natural stones

In 2009 Heiden took a leap of faith and chased her creative dreams, she left her corporate job in the Midwest to go to a six-month jewelry production program in San Francisco. After completing the intensive jewelry production program, she returned to the Midwest and got to work, setting up a studio in the Casket Arts Building. Heiden’s work is a reflection of her daily inspiration; rural landscapes, urban architecture and the fence lines between them.

Grace Hogan, Bayfield, WI

Materials: sterling silver, hand-picked rocks, and beach glass

Inspired by the things “we stomp over in our everyday lives,” Hogan creates wearable objects that combine sheet metal with elements and ideas from nature such as hand-picked rocks and beach glass.

Karin Jacobson, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, palladium, lab-grown gems

Play is a central theme in Jacobson’s futuristic and fun work, which is inspired by science fiction, comic books, mechanical toys, and Japanese animation. Making bold statements, her designs incorporate big shapes, clean lines, and bright colors.

Betty Jäeger, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, 18 karat, 22 karat and 24 karat gold

Jäeger was born and raised on the shores of the misty Puget Sound. Her current line of handmade jewelry finds inspiration in the interesting and organic textures of her past. Reflections of the simple curve of a wave and the bark on evergreen trees can be found in her organically crafted jewelry. The strength of a hand-fabricated piece of jewelry is robustly highlighted with the softness of hammered texture and smooth satin finish. These pieces exude the consistency of natural elements, imitating the deep texture and bold, voluminous forms, and finally relayed onto metal.

Annika Kaplan, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones

After studying jewelry design and fabrication at the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Kaplan set up shop in a small south Minneapolis studio. Influenced by nature and folk traditions, she produces jewelry made mostly from blackened sterling silver and semi-precious gems. She strives to create pieces which are both highly wearable and highly unique, in hopes of offering wearers a new way to adorn themselves.

Britta Kauppila, St. Paul

Materials: sterling silver, stone, gold and pearls

Kauppila hand forms each piece of jewelry she makes by manipulating and shaping metal into pieces that are extremely soft and delicate, but substantial. Often inspired by nature, she combines form, line, and texture to produce movement, rhythm, and harmony and is drawn to the contradiction of the hard immovable structure that metal offers to create her unique jewelry line.

Tia Keobounpheng, Minneapolis

Materials: wood, acrylic, various metals

Keobounpheng has always been fascinated with “things” and how they are made. Making things with her hands and designing jewelry contrasts the time and scale involved in working through the architectural design process, adding considerable balance to her own creative process and drive. Color, texture, repetition, variation, light, and tactile quality are important considerations in her work.

Penny Larsen, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver and semi-precious stones

Creative director Larsen loves jewelry of all kinds. Her enjoyment and love of creating are obvious in her attention to hand-crafted detail. Her BFA in printmaking is evident in the clean, organic lines of her designs. Her love of travel and nature can be seen in her latest line simply titled “penny” which consists of silver pendant charm choices

Marisa Martinez, St. Paul, MN

Materials: handmade glass beads, sterling and fine silver, semi-precious stones, and ancient findings

Martinez works with a wide variety of materials to create collages of wearable art. To create beads from Moretti glass she uses a mini cc torch followed by a kiln to anneal and fuse the glass. Designing unique pieces of jewelry allows her to combine her love for color, cultural history, and artmaking.

Jennifer Merchant, Eden Prairie, MN

Materials: corian, acrylic and gemstones

Merchant has been a creator since birth. She strives to blur the line between art and fashion with her unique designs. She has been making jewelry for over 11 years, and studied metalsmithing at the Savannah College of Art and Design, receiving a BFA in metals and jewelry in 2005. Upon graduating from college, Merchant moved back to the Twin Cities and set out to create jewelry in her modest home studio. Lacking many of the tools and equipment needed to work in metals as per her training, she started working with corian and acrylic. Her work is handcrafted using techniques that she has developed after many years of experimenting with these materials.

Lauren Nicole, Minneapolis, MN

Materials: sterling silver, gemstones, acrylic, stainless steel, and organic elements

Nicole is a graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Over the last 10 years she has been working professionally as a graphic designer and making jewelry on the side for the past five years. Her current collection embraces an old world meets new flavor by combining a unique media mix with a touch of modernism and new technology.

Courtney Nielsen, Inner Grove Heights, MN

Materials: sterling silver, wood, pearls and agates

Nielsen is a graduate of Iowa State University and has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and art & design. Her love for jewelry design started with a college class in metalsmithing. What she thought would be just a fun class turned into so much more-a passion for making jewelry. Nielsen, a graphic designer, utilizes her computer illustration skills to create the designs for her hand pierced sterling silver elements. Nature’s organic forms and the cities’ modern buildings inspire her work. She pairs natural elements such as wood, pearls and agates with structured sterling silver to create modern but whimsical pieces.

Elizabeth Oie, Burnsville, MN

Materials: stones, pearls, leather, and sterling silver

Each of Oie’s pieces is handmade with fine attention to detail and quality. She gives traditional stones and pearls a contemporary feel by pairing them with leather or combining them in a way that is fresh and beautiful.

Helen Wang, Edina, MN

Materials: semi-precious stones and mixed precious metals

Wang creates each deftly designed one-of-a kind or limited edition piece with the person who will eventually wear it in mind. Whether it’s a druzy quartz marquis earring or the vintage luxury feel of a genuine Swarovski crystal bridal choker, Wang’s hands create the jewelry to reflect her vision of you.

Rebecca Wicklund, Edina, MN

Materials: sterling silver, copper, glass and semi-precious stones

Wicklund has been creating jewelry since 2008 as a creative balance to her day job in the health care field. Her pieces are contemporary and express easy wearability. Color, clean lines and simplicity drive her creative process.

Craftmade Toffee Sampling: 11am–3pm, Gallery 8

Ever since learning his mother’s recipe at her side in the 1950’s, Steve Kippels of Minneapolis-based Craftmade Toffee has been refining his toffee crafting skills through study, experimentation, and sampling.

Initially, the toffee was a much-anticipated holiday gift for friends, coworkers, business associates and extended family members, but as the list of recipients grew past several hundred, it became necessary to move the process into commercial kitchen space and Craftmade Toffee LLC was formed.

Kippels is passionate about sourcing and blending quality ingredients while remaining true to the handmade technique he learned early on. He is still found over the stove on most days, crafting a truly unique small batch artisinal product for toffee lovers everywhere.

Trunk Show with Sarah Nassif of Rectangle Designs

Saturday, May 5, 10 am–6 pm

Walker Shop

The artist debuts her spring collection featuring botanically-inspired prints on t-shirts, tote bags, and scarves. Rectangle Designs offers handscreenprinted apparel and accessories produced by hand in Minneapolis, MN. Each piece in the line combines original botanical motifs with beautiful offbeat color. The line includes t-shirts, dresses and accessories.

In 2004 Sarah Nassif launched Rectangle out of her desire to bring the natural world into everyday life. Trained in both botany and fine art, Nassif has united the two in her original motifs: a modern take on leaves, prairie flora, and trees developed directly from her photographs taken throughout the Midwest and on her travels.

Nassif is committed to producing her designs in a socially and environmentally sensible manner. She sews some products herself and also works with local craftspeople to create her accessories. Only phthalate-free and PVC-free waterbased inks are used for printing.

Nassif was born in Alaska, grew up in Oregon and has lived in the Twin Cities since 2000. She has studied art and photography in Colorado and botany in Ireland and the Pacific Northwest. Textiles have always been her medium of choice, and environmental themes have featured strongly in all of her work.


Tuesday–Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

Open late Thursday, 11 am–9 pm

Closed Monday



Rings by Betty Jäeger