Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Week at Smith Galleries - 2017

As we move into the heart of this Thanksgiving week, we are cognizant of the many reasons we have to be thankful. We are hosting our 30th annual Open House this Friday and Saturday, the first celebration in honor of our 30 years at Smith Galleries. As we think back on all those years, a kaleidoscope of memories and impressions stream across our consciousness.

We first think of all the hundreds of artists whose work we have shown the last three decades. Many of them have been with us nearly the entire time!
Our cats are all decked out in their
Small Business Saturday kerchiefs
and ready for SBS on Saturday,
November 25.
That is a long relationship; one that has blessed us with many friendships. Many of those artists are no longer with us; some have passed away while others have retired or changed professions; but their work remains a part of our memory. Often a customer will come in and talk about this artist or that piece of art they bought years ago and still enjoy. Each year we try to make new friends and show their work, hoping to develop more new and lasting relationships.

Next we think of all the wonderful people who have crossed the threshold into the gallery and what they have brought us. We do not get to travel much because we are here every day but Sunday. (Wally says we are like dairy farmers who have to be at the barn everyday.) But we have met people from many states and several different continents and had conversations with them about their homes. We have watched families celebrate milestones; we watched their children grow into adults. We’ve rejoiced with them in the happy times and mourned in the sad times. And through it all we are thankful that you continue to make us a part of your lives.
Of course we remember good years and the not so good years, but through it all we have remained true to what we set out to go. We celebrate American craft, the people who make it and those who appreciate it; and we get to do it together. Yes, we have a many things to celebrate this Thanksgiving. And may it be so with you and yours.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Judith Neugebauer Holiday Exhibition 2018

There are some professions that have a longer life span than others. Athletes, gymnasts, and dancers are among those who complete their careers at a fairly early age and then have to reinvent themselves. So what do they do other than teach or become commentators? Some begin an entirely new career in another creative field. Judith Neugebauer is one such person. After a 10 year career with the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company in New York City and the New Jersey Ballet Company as well as the Actors Equity musical theater, Judith decided to explore other areas of the arts.

Judith studied at Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ ; studied
Bracelet and earrings in
oxidized sterling and 23K leaf
jewelry at Kean University in Union, NJ, and both jewelry and ceramics at Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, NJ.  Combining a deep awareness and appreciation for movement, line, and balance as a dancer with a Japanese aesthetic from her study of ceramics, Judith has developed a recognizable style of jewelry that is both simple and elegant.

Necklace and earrings in
sterling silver and 14K leaf
Every piece of Judith Neugebauer jewelry is made by hand in her studio using sterling silver with an overlay of 23k gold leaf. Fold formed as well as die formed hollow techniques create visual depth while maintaining a lightness and sense of movement that is an integral part of her work. After a complicated series of processes, she finishes the pieces with 10 coats of lacquer to preserve the satin finish and to protect the gold leaf.  More recently she began oxidizing the sterling silver to create a rich charcoal black patina which contrasts dramatically with the 23k gold leaf. This process
Necklace and earrings in
sterling silver and 14K leaf
lengthens the production time of each piece, but has become very popular with many of Judith’s collectors.

Whether you prefer the original sterling silver or the oxidized finish, the Judith Neugebauer jewelry is feminine and elegant, strong and graceful, much like those characteristics of  ballerinas, all strengths she developed in her first career.

See the 2018 Holiday Collection showing at Smith Galleries here.

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 of The Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 843.842.2280

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Christmas Ornaments

The sun, the moon, and the stars; all are sources of illumination and guidance in the heavens. It is no wonder that globes and stars are two of the most popular shapes for Christmas ornaments.

Glass Eye
2017 Signature Ornament
Hand blown glass ornaments are a wonder in themselves. Beginning with a mixture that is mostly sand to which intense heat has been added and placed on the end of a blow pipe one watches the skilled glassblower blow a bubble, shape it, add color to it, and then cut it loose. That is a very simplified description of a very complex process that takes immense skill and specialized equipment.

Glass Eye Studio is the premier hand blown glass ornament studio in this country. Begun in 1978 by Robert Adamson, it has grown and flourished for nearly 40 years, becoming a training ground for many young glass artists in the Pacific Northwest. No other studio has the variety and quality of ornaments that we see in Glass Eye products.  A special treat is the annual limited edition ornament that has become a collectible for many. Another shape that has significance for many is the heart, and Glass Eye gives us an impressive selection from which to choose. See ornament being made here.

Friendship Ornament
By Kurt Meyer
Kurt Meyer, a woodworker in the northeast, creates the most beautiful wooden star ornaments. The short video shows his complicated andprecise process much easier and clearer than I could explain it. The result is a beautifully crafted star that reminds us of the star the shepherds saw in the night sky that led them to Bethlehem.

Pewter Starfish Ornament
By Trimdin
Pewter ornaments in the shape of sand dollars and starfish are brought to us from Trimdin. They represent gifts from the sea that in their simplicity remind us of light and its source.

Whether you place ornaments on a tree with lots of lights that add sparkle, or use them in bowls, in windows, or in arrangements; these handmade ornaments, made with skill and heart, represent the best in hand made ornaments found anywhere in this country.

Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 of The Village at Wexford. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. 843.842.2280