Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Celebrating 28 years of creativity by Joan Z. Horn at Smith Galleries

Joan Z. Horn at her jeweler's bench
Artists are keen observers. It’s an undisputed fact they observe more closely than most of us do. They see ordinary objects as if through a microscope. They see detail in mundane items that make them extraordinary and worthy of attention. The result is reflected in their art. Joan Z Horn is such an artist. In speaking about her childhood, Joan says, "As an artist, I grew up influenced by the wonderful industrial design found in the objects of daily life. The beautiful lines, curves and shapes of kitchen appliances, sleek in chrome, stood proud on the counter. Our family waited for turns with the perfectly shaped heavy black telephone, with its coiled snake of a cord. Valued objects from our recent past so quickly disappear, and then exist only in their new incarnation as icons." In her collection of pieces for our anniversary one person show, Joan Horn reflects upon objects from everyday life, both past and present.Joan has captured the essence of some of these objects and brought them  to us in a sort of cartoon. Joan says,” In this series of one of a kind pieces I explore the line, or cartoon of items from daily life."

We’ve known Joan Horn and carried her jewelry for 28 of the 29 years Smith Galleries has existed.
Necklace from "Birds & Bees" - 2012
We’ve seen the influences of her travels on her jewelry. We’ve witnessed how her observation of architecture has influenced her; and in recent years how her growing love for gardening  (pun intended) has shown itself in a series she titled “Birds and Bees”. We have been fortunate to be guests in her home and have seen her at work in her studio. Not only is Joan a talented designer, she is an expert artisan, especially with a welding torch! It’s a delight to hear her talk about inspecting tools of  craftsmen who have done work in her home and how a trip to the hardware store can turn into a mental exercise of how unrelated tools can be used to create her silver and gold jewelry.

As I look at the 25 necklaces, 3 bracelets, and 14 pairs of earrings Joan created for this special show, I am again struck by her powers of observation and her reflection on life through her work. Using sterling silver with touches of 14k gold, she creates the line of the objects. She achieves bursts of color with iolite, amethyst, citrine, blue topaz, garnet, jade, agates and pearls. The necklaces “incorporate iconic images of everyday objects, worn around the neck to manipulate and play with to bring happiness.” And it does make me happy to look at them. Some of them bring back memories of childhood, others remembrances of days when Wally and I were just getting our first business going and starting a family. Others speak to the world around us and make me appreciate where I am now.
"Reflections..." opens at 5 pm on May 12, 2017
You may see the entire show here.

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (second level) of the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870

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