Baltimore Jewelry Center End of Year Giving Campaign
What is the value or form of making by hand, or making at the pace of the body, when we live in this technologically extended time?
-Ann Hamilton, visual artist
As I sit and write this letter, I am aware of the many sounds of a metals studio right outside my office door: the light tapping of a riveting hammer, the whirring of a flexshaft, the chatter of a jeweler’s saw. A dozen artists are working in the studio, creating objects of great precision and imagination as I type away on my laptop. In a time when most Americans are overextended and perpetually preoccupied by our increasingly digital world, we at the Baltimore Jewelry Center have the wonderful gift of teaching others to create with their hands and providing a space where makers of all levels can engage in making art. That makes me immensely happy.
For over two years, the Baltimore Jewelry Center board, staff, and community have labored and lobbied to create an independent nonprofit to house our collective passion and to build a new home for our program. The result is finally here: a 3500 square foot studio with state-of-the-art ventilation, updated safety features, expanded teaching and bench rental space, and a gallery. Since opening the Baltimore Jewelry Center, we have educated over 275 students in metalsmithing and exposed over 500 patrons to art jewelry through exhibitions and free programming. In just the past six months in our new studio, we have reached over 100 students. It’s incredible to see years of hard work come to fruition in the form of our new studio and to know that new and established metal artists now have a premiere space to hone their craft and create compelling work.
In addition to our new studio, this year has seen many other successes: completing a $600,000 capital campaign, hosting two exhibitions in our new gallery, and promoting and selling the work of 20 artists. We could have never achieved so much without the support of our passionate and committed community, a community that has donated time, expertise, and funds to support the Baltimore Jewelry Center.
As 2015 comes to a close and we reflect on our many successes, I am inspired to extend our reach and expand our offerings to even more people in 2016. In the new year, we plan to expand our artistic outreach in four ways: through offering scholarships, hosting bi-monthly free workshops open to the public, hosting 4-6 artist talks, and developing pop-up exhibitions to exhibit the work of our community. To do this, I am asking for your help. We are seeking to raise $5,000 to implement our outreach program in 2016. I ask that you please consider investing in the Baltimore Jewelry Center’s continued success with a year-end gift. Your donation will directly support scholarships and free programming that will expose more people to metalsmithing and art jewelry.
We believe strongly in teaching hand skills and providing a space where artists of every level can create. We hope you will partner with us as we expose more people to metalsmithing and art jewelry and the value of the work of the hand.