Inside the Jewel Box - Solo Show

Inside the Jewel Box - Solo Show

When I visited The Fine Arts Building in DTLA for the first time, memories from my childhood came rushing back to me. Growing up in Grinnell, Iowa, we had a great deal of civic pride over an architectural gem that we felt lucky to have in our small hometown. It was common knowledge that a famous architect, Louis Sullivan, had designed the Jewel Box Bank. As a farm girl with Quaker parents, the opulence of the space was enchanting and quite a contrast from my simple life. For the first time, I experienced architecture as an artistic experience. I loved the intricate terracotta carvings on the façade, the griffins that stood guard over the entrance, the soaring ceilings, the gleaming brass cages where we cashed checks, and the stained glass windows that filled the space with a rainbow of colors. When I saw The LA Fine Arts Building for the first time, I was immediately struck by how many of the architectural components were reminiscent of the ones in the building that I loved as a child. When I got home, the first thing I told my husband was, “It’s a jewel box, just like the Sullivan bank in Grinnell.”

With the help of my manager/art angel, Nancy Larrew, we proposed a show of sculptures called “Inside the Jewel Box”. My sculptures are encrusted with vintage jewelry that is collected over a period of several years to fit the theme of each piece. Placement under the lights in the cabinets caused the pieces to bling and sparkle. I also included a large jewel box that showcased jewelry as the raw materials of my work. The jewel box itself is art furniture that I made from vintage objects for storage in my studio. It helps explain the process of the long term collecting, complicated organization and detailed/ labor intensive work that is part of my creative process.