Jesse Bert holds a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from RIT, and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from ECU. 3 years spent as a tool and die maker’s apprentice before univeristy gave him a strong interest and appreciation for creating fine hand made tools. After graduate school Jesse moved to central Mexico. There he spent the first 14 years of his professional career in San Miguel de Allende teaching metalsmithing and jewelry techniques to students of all skill levels at his own studio, as well as making annual trips to teach in cities around the world. Now re-located back to Seattle, Washington, he maintains ties with the Metalsmithing community in Latin America as a guest professor at the Technological Institute of Monterrey in the city of Guadalajara. Some prestigious venues where his work has shown include the Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City, and the Museum of Art and Design in NYC. In 2014 he was a fellow at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts residency program, and in 2019 he participated in a 2 month residency working with a world renowned German instrument builder near Frankfurt.
I usually start my paintings with large washes of watercolor, pouring and dripping the paint, taking full advantage of the “wet on wet” technique favored by many watercolorists. Later I use textures and collage materials in a layering process.
I think of collaging as keeping a visual art diary and I often incorporate into my paintings handmade paper, strings, found objects, or scraps of memorabilia that have personal meaning. I use items such as pieces of antique lace that my grandmother made, material from a favorite dress of my mother’s, a tie from my father, or a ribbon from one of my daughters. I incorporate objects connected to my own memories in the paintings, thereby transforming the past into something new. By doing so, I try to represent the passage of time.
I include dark spaces in my work to acknowledge the existence of negative aspects of life, such as struggle or pain. But I want my paintings to be ultimately hopeful and beautiful. I want the people looking at my work to be drawn into it. I want them to take a moment from their day to enjoy the interplay between color, line, and texture, and hope that they find this brief respite rewarding.
Native Baltimorean Shana Kroiz is known for her experimental enamels and as jewelry educator. Throughout her career Kroiz has been involved in teaching and promoting the growth of jewelry as a recognizable art form. Kroiz is currently working as a full time studio artist, while teaching classes and workshops at the Baltimore Jewelry Center a non-profit she help found. She was the founder and former director of the Maryland Institute College of Art Jewelry Center, where she also taught for 22 years. Kroiz is the former director of the 92nd Street Y’s Jewelry Center. She received her BFA with Honors from Parsons School of Design and her MFA from Towson University.
Kroiz exhibits her one-of-a-kind sculptural enamel and metalwork nationally and internationally. Her work exhibited in the permanent collections in museums and galleries across the country and she has also been published in numerous books and articles.