Laima Kėrienė. It must be so, plaque. silver, gold. 2004

Digital catalogue The platform of conceptual jewellery

The Telšiai Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Art is the only school in Lithuania to teach university level programmes in the art of jewellery. Several schools and studios in the country provide the basics of jewellery craft and design. However, only the programmes in Metal Art and Jewellery and in Applied Art in Telšiai offer a comprehensive curriculum inclusive of the art disciplines, creative development, technological knowledge and practice, and the understanding of the jewellery and metal art. Established artists with diverse creative experience staff the programmes. The students benefit from their knowledge, build their skills, and start developing an individual artistic sen - sibility and creative idiom. Each artist included in the catalogue has an individual perspective and uses the language of jewellery to tell the world how they feel about it.

For the past several decades, the art of jewellery has been limited by the function of a personal ornament or decorative artefact, as artists load their works with meanings or independent of function. Creators of conceptual jewellery pursue themes from the hottest actualities to timeless existential questions. At the same time, they do not stop being jewellers, as their art greatly depends on the understanding and feeling of the properties of their material and remains anchored to the concept of a piece of jewellery as an artefact. 

PhD in Humanities, researcher Pillė Veljataga

Conceptual jewelry in the context of contemporary art is evolving in various directions and becoming more and more visible. The public is interested in the new expression of jewelry, the authors who create it. Development processes take place differently in different countries, and Lithuanian creators, and especially the creative core of the Metal Art and Jewelry study program of the Telšiai Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts, strive to be at the peak of the latest trends. Teachers and students present their work in personal and group exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad, rich archives of artists 'and students' works have been accumulated, so the need to review them has matured. The project promoters emphasize that such a professional systematic review has not been done and so far these unique works are not visible to the public in an accessible way.

The digital catalog presents about 100 works of the best lecturers and students of the Telšiai Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts. This catalogue presents jewellery artwork by the artists who deliver the BA degree programme in Metal Art and Jewellery and the MA degree programme of Applied Art for the Telšiai Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Art: Beata Zdramytė, Laima Kėrienė, Mindaugas Šimkevičius, Neringa Poškutė-Jukumienė, Remigija Vaitkutė and Romualdas Inčirauskas. 

Each of us has an individual perception of jewellery. Quite many wear wedding rings, earrings or some other piece of significance. Others acquire jewellery articles as a form of investment and perceive them as symbols of the wearer’s wealth, status, even power. The term conceptual jewellery involves something different. Individual artists across diverse branches of arts and crafts may design jewellery-scale pie-ces meant to beautify our surroundings, their articles may be decorative and contemporary in character, yet do not necessarily become conceptual art. Today the professional art of jewellery rests on two pillars: the academy-level education in art and creditable skills of the craft. It is of significance in the case of conceptual jewellery too when a functional piece of jewellery or an object of a jewellery-scale becomes a vehicle for a message.

 Teacher The Telšiai faculty of Vilnius academy art , project manager Laima Kėrienė

This catalogue presents conceptual jewellery. The terms ‘con - ceptual’ and ‘jewellery’ strike as being in contradiction: ‘con - ceptual’ refers to mental constructs, while jewellery belongs in the material world. Yet, indeed, a worthy piece of jewellery is born from an interesting idea, and is an exquisitely fashioned minute thing. An idea rendered material. 

The project was funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture