Jeweler and art critic to speak at Grand Valley

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Bruce Metcalf has long been regarded as a leading jeweler in the art field. He is also one of the pioneers of contemporary craft criticism. Metcalf's artwork is characterized by his interest in architecture, comics and the narrative voice. The work also examines the same social, moral and political issues raised in his essays.

Metcalf will give a lecture, “The Semiotics of Jewelry,” on Wednesday, January 25, 7:30 p.m. at Grand Valley State University, Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center, 401 W. Fulton St., on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Born in Massachusetts, Metcalf set his sights on becoming an architect even though he never took an art course in high school. While studying architecture at Syracuse University, he received a B.F.A in jewelry/metalsmithing. After several years of work in the field as an assistant to silversmith Kurt Matzdorf and as a bench worker for silver jewelers, Metcalf enrolled at Temple University, Tyler School of Art and received a M.F.A. He taught for 10 years at Kent State University before embarking on a career devoted to full-time studio work.

Metcalf has exhibited nationally and internationally. His work is found in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Chiwoo Craft Museum in Seoul Korea, The National Museums of Scotland and others. He has received a Visual Artists Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He has published numerous critical articles on the crafts and recently co-authored a book with Janet Koplos, Makers: A History of American Studio Crafts.

His lecture is sponsored by Grand Valley’s Department of Art and Design Visiting Artist Committee. For more information contact Hsiao-ping Chen, at (616) 331-3187.