The Box

CCCD Exhibition Invites Jewelers to Think Outside the Box


March 15, 2016


Asheville, NC – The Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design presents The Box: A Contemporary Jewelry Challenge, on view at Benchspace Gallery & Workshop from April 8 – May 21, 2016. The exhibition is curated by Platforma, a contemporary jewelry initiative conceived by New York City-based curators Bella Neyman and Ruta Reifen.

Today, many contemporary jewelry artists are using non-precious materials to create unique wearable works of art. The curators of The Box sought to highlight this phenomenon by posing a design challenge to eight American artists.

They chose five materials commonly found at the dollar store and shipped them to the artists, who in turn had to create at least three unique works of wearable art from them. The materials included a towel, an envelope, a CD-ROM, an eraser, and an aluminum Coca-Cola can. Each material is white in color, representing a metaphorical blank page or canvas for the artists to work on.

“For us this project was unlike anything that we have undertaken before. As curators we always get to choose work that we are familiar with. This project was built on trust- the artists did not know what the materials would be and we did not know what type of work they would make. We were all out of our comfort zone and it was thrilling” the curators admitted.

The materials in The Box posed a unique challenge to the artists – some chose to work with all the materials provided, others chose to use just one. With little time for experimentation, the artists were challenged to learn new techniques and decide whether to incorporate other materials, both foreign and familiar to them with a resulting body of work that is unexpected and strong. While all eight artists were given the same “blank page,” they all produced pieces reflecting their distinct style of work.

“CCCD is excited to bring The Box to an Asheville audience,” said Assistant Director Marilyn Zapf. “The innovation and creativity apparent in how each artist approached the challenge is inspiring.”

Featured artists: Joshua Kosker, Bruce Metcalf, Timothy Veske-McMahon, Mary Hallam-Pearse, Biba Schutz, Demitra Thomloudis, Vincent Pontillo- Verrastro, and Aric Verrastro.

The Box originated in Munich, Germany where it was part of Munich Jewelery Week from February 25 – February 28, 2016. The exhibition included the work of Bruce Metcalf (USA), Timothy Veske-McMahon (USA), Demi Thomloudis (USA), Réka Lörinz (HU), Sofia Björkman (SE), and Gisbert Stach (DE) and was a collaboration with Munich-based Galerie Biro Junior.

Benchspace will be open late on Thursday, May 19 for The Society of North American Goldsmiths’ annual Gallery Crawl during SNAGNext conference. Explore metals-inspired and craft exhibitions while walking around the heart of Asheville, enjoying the vibrant arts community this Southern city is known for. All are welcome.


SNAGNext Gallery Crawl: Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6 – 10 pm

Location: Benchspace Gallery & Workshop at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Admission: Free
Exhibition Dates: April 8 – May 21, 2016
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

For more information, call 828-785-1357 or visit:


Founded in 1996, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design is a national 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the field of craft through fostering new ideas, funding craft scholarship, and backing the next generation of makers, curators and critics. CCCD has developed a strong national reputation as a significant resource for artists, museums, academic researchers, university students and arts organizations. Each year, CCCD administers over a quarter million dollars in grants to those working in the craft field.


Founded in 2014, Platforma is a curatorial initiative focused on promoting art jewelry and providing artists with an opportunity to show their work in exhibitions and pop-ups both in the United States and abroad. Previous exhibitions and projects include, “F-1” Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY (May 2014), “Wear It Loud”, R|R Gallery, New York, NY (September 2014), “The Grass is Always Greener Overseas”, 56th edition of Schmuck, at the International Trade Fair in Munich (March 2015), “#thisisnotabrooch”, SNAG Conference, Boston (May 2015). Platforma is the brainchild of Bella Neyman, a gallery director, curator and writer, and Ruta Reifen, a jewelry artist and educator.



For further information and high-resolution images, please contact:

Lauren Pelletier

Marketing and Development Coordinator

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

828-785-1357 x103


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