ABOUT

Born in 1948 in Philadelphia, Jamie Bennett is an American artist and educator known for his enamel jewellery. He is Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York at New Paltz Metal/Jewellery Program, which he directed from 1986 to 2014.

AWARDS

Recognized in 2016 with the James Renwick Alliance’s Outstanding Educator Award, Bennett is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, and has been awarded three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships as well as the Aileen Osborn Webb Award for Fellow of the American Crafts Council. Bennett’s retrospective exhibition Edge of the Sublime: The Enamels of Jamie Bennett travelled throughout the US from 2007 to 2010, supported by grants from the Windgate Foundation and the Rotasa Foundation.

SEE HIS WORK

His work is in the permanent collection of over twenty-five museums internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

For some time I have been interested in how various cultures portray nature as an explanation of beauty. How nature is mediated by ornamentation and aestheticized continues to hold my interest. Particularly in jewelry, which is my primary format, interpretations of beauty seem to be intractable. My own interest in this subject has evolved and what I seek to characterize as beauty has shifted from an integrated ornamental condition to a more incidental bodily appearance, which I believe matters, thus the title for this series.  These works are intended as topographies of sorts, skin like, land like, amalgams that are taken from the body and brought back to the body. I use the word body here both as a euphemism and actually. The materials I choose are critical to the physical character of the work and the resulting experience for the viewer. How things appear to us are the result of our value systems, and I am interested in representing what I value.

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