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LOOT 2016: MAD’s Annual Exhibition and Sale of Contemporary Art Jewelry Moves to Spring

LOOT: MAD ABOUT JEWELRY, April 11–16, 2016

Opening Benefit Dinner Honors Joan Hornig and Kay Unger
Angela Cummings, Honorary Chair

LOOT Acquisition Prize Announcement April 11, 2016

New York, NY (March 15, 2016)

LOOT: MAD About Jewelry, the Museum of Arts and Design's annual exhibition and sale featuring designs from international emerging and acclaimed jewelry artists, takes place from April 11–16, 2016. Now in its sixteenth edition, LOOT presents a cross-section of the most exciting, cutting-edge art jewelry designs, and offers the public a rare opportunity to meet and acquire pieces directly from some of the most skilled creators in the field. A striking example of the evolving possibilities of jewelry as an art form, LOOT: MAD About Jewelry champions the vision and craftsmanship of outstanding studio and art jewelers—many of whom have never before shown work in the United States.

A press preview and walkthrough for the exhibition will be held on Monday April 11, 2016, at 2:30 pm.

"LOOT has grown to be one of MAD's most popular, best attended annual events. It provides an unparalleled opportunity for the public to acquire pieces directly from the best emerging and established artists in contemporary art jewelry today," says Michele Cohen, LOOT Chair for the seventh year. "It's been an honor to work alongside artists who are pushing the field forward, all while supporting the Museum's exhibition and education programs."

Forty-four artists from seventeen countries—Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (the first time artists from this nation have participated), the United Kingdom, and the United States—have been invited to participate in this year's edition of LOOT by curator Bryna Pomp after months of travel and research. The exhibition features an extraordinary array of new materials, techniques, and innovations in studio and art jewelry.

"LOOT is the only event in America that presents jewelry at the intersection of art, design and fashion," says Pomp. "By moving LOOT to the spring, we hope to broaden awareness of both this largely underexposed area of jewelry and our invited LOOT artists. Retailers and galleries regularly attend; we've launched many careers. Our mission is to continue to provide increased visibility for emerging artists and a platform for a new generation of jewelry designers."

This year's LOOT also features a new logo design, generously donated by artist Ruben Toledo.

LOOT has become America's premier pop-up shop for contemporary art jewelry. Each year, collectors and jewelry enthusiasts flock to MAD's galleries for the rare opportunity to learn about jewelers' processes, materials, and concepts, and purchase works directly from their makers. With all the designers on-site throughout the exhibition and sale, LOOToffers one of New York's most unique shopping experiences. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Museum's exhibition and education programs.

LOOT: MAD About Jewelry is in keeping with the MAD's commitment to the exploration of materials and process, as well as its long-standing presentation of jewelry as an art form. MAD is the only American museum with a gallery dedicated to the display of both temporary jewelry exhibits and its own collection of contemporary and modern studio and art jewelry.

Highlights from LOOT 2016include the work of the following artists:

Anne Sophie Baillet and Matthias Lavaux: Focusing on simplicity, meaning, and craftsmanship, Baillet and Lavaux, from Atelier Paulin, will custom-make bracelets and fibula brooches on-site during the run of LOOT. Recently featured at the iconic Parisian store Colette, Atelier Paulin works precious metal wire into words, phrases, or names chosen by customers.

Myriam Bottazzi: Bottazzi's designs incorporate yarns, fabrics, sequins, rough semiprecious stones, and metals, as well as feathers and other elements of nature. Each piece in the "Nonspecific Sequins" collection she will present at LOOT is handcrafted, exaggerated in shape and volume, and completely individual.

Alice Clarke: Inspired by the Yorkshire countryside, Clarke incorporates the muted tones, rich textures, and shapes of her rural surroundings into her jewelry practice, sourcing seasonal materials—such as goose feathers and sheep's wool in winter or raspberries to create dyes in summer—from the farm on which she lives.

Emmeline Hastings: Translating natural phenomena, such as sound-wave patterns, into carvings, Hastings combines contrasting materials in Perspex acrylic to create crystalline forms that recall miniature wearable landscapes.

Genevieve Howard: An accomplished and classically trained pianist, Howard works with scores, and laser cuts Japanese linen cards to mirror musical sequences into wearable statements.

Elena Kapompasopoulou: An architect and urban designer by training, Kapompasopoulou creates handmade limited edition jewelry out of concrete, crafting her pieces in bold shapes, but in soft pink, lavender, and blue colors that contrast with the raw materials and geometry of her designs.

S.J. Paik: In keeping with LOOT's mission to provide increased visibility for emerging artists and a platform for a new generation of jewelry designers to meet collectors, LOOT 2016 will feature art jewelry from the spectacular senior thesis collection of S.J. Paik, a graduate student from the Savannah College of Art and Design jewelry program.

Thomas Raschke: A sculptor, filmmaker and a master goldsmith, Raschke is creating a jewelry collection specifically for LOOT that continues his exploration of wire frames and their airy dimensional possibilities. Raschke likens his process to "drawing in space." The resulting black steel jewelry pieces are stunning in their complex construction, yet striking in their simplicity.

Carmen Scarnecchia: A former biologist who studied painting and ceramics, Scarnecchia will present trompe l'oeil jewels painted on canvas for the Carmen Scar "paintings to wear" collection that explores the boundaries of wearable art.

Christopher Thompson Royds: Inspired by the format of ancient Thracian gold laurel-leaf crowns, Thompson Royds presents "Natura Morta," a series exploring the tradition of flowers as a decorative motif in jewelry. The permanence of jewelry and the impermanence of flora influenced this collection of hand-pierced and hand-painted flower necklaces and earrings in silver, gold, and platinum.

Hervé Van der Straeten: The lauded lighting and furniture designer Van der Straeten presents an entire collection of bold geometric forms, entirely hand-hammered in twenty-four-carat gilded brass. Each piece is handcrafted in his Paris atelier.

Cai-Xuan Wu: Through knitting, Wu creates gorgeously fluid organic forms reminiscent of sea life out of the basic industrial material of acrylic. Wu's use of non-textile elements transitions the traditional craft of knitting into a contemporary art technique, pushing the boundaries of both materials and processes.

MAD has historically acquired works for its permanent collection from LOOT jewelry artists. This year the Museum will formalize this practice with the first LOOT Acquisition Prize. The juried prize will recognize a LOOT jewelry artist whose work reflects a maturity in artistry and concept, exhibits  superior and experimental understanding of materials and form, and demonstrates expertise in technique and execution. Chaired by Chief Curator Shannon R. Stratton, the jury—Michele Cohen, Angela Cummings, Barbara P. Gifford, Joan Hornig, Bryna Pomp and Kay Unger—will select the 2016 LOOT Acquisition Prize from a shortlist selected by Stratton and Assistant Curator, Barbara Paris Gifford. The prize will be awarded on April 11, 2016, at the opening benefit dinner.

MAD's jewelry collection is comprised of more than 900 pieces of art jewelry from the mid-century to the present. The Museum's goal is to further enhance its collection by acquiring jewelry from artists who have made significant contributions to the field and whose work provides historical context for its mid- to late-twentieth-century pieces, as well as from emerging artists who are an important force in the contemporary art jewelry scene.

Past LOOT Artists that have had works acquired by the Museum include well-established art jeweler Iris Nieuwenburg and emerging jewelry artist Casey Sobel.

Each year, the LOOT Award is presented to luminaries in the field of jewelry, including artists, collectors, and designers. This year's honorees are jewelry designer and arts patron Joan Hornig and fashion designer and philanthropist Kay Unger. Internationally renowned fine jewelry designer Angela Cummings is the Honorary Chair, and will travel from Utah to participate in this year's events.

Previous recipients of the LOOT Award include Iris Apfel, collector Barbara Berger, and artists Joyce Scott and Axel Russmeyer. 

The LOOT 2016 Opening Benefit takes place on Monday, April 11, 2016. The evening's events include first access to the 2016 LOOT artists and their designs, a cocktail reception, and a dinner honoring the 2016 LOOT Award recipients. Exhibition and cocktails are from 4:30 until 8 pm. The dinner, at MAD's ROBERT restaurant, begins at 7:30 pm.

To purchase tickets to the LOOT 2016 Opening Benefit, click here.

For questions regarding LOOT 2016, please call Rebekka Grossman at 212.299.7712 or email her at

A full list of artists is included below. Bios and images of their work can be found at

Melanie Ankers

Anne-Sophie Baillet and Matthias Lavaux, for Atelier Paulin

Gian Luca Bartellone

Doris Berner

Kristine Bolhuis

Cecilia Borghi

Myriam Bottazzi

Andreina Brengola

Nuria Carulla

Alice Clarke

Ylenia Deriu

Maria Diana

Rosa Topputo and Alessio Tommasetti, for .bijouets

Hervé Van der Straeten

Niklas Ejve

Danielle Gori-Montanelli

Jed Green

Tzuri Gueta

Wendolyn Hammer

Emmeline Hastings

Jo Hawley

Tomoyo Hiraiwa

Genevieve Howard

Pawel Kaczyński

Elena Kapompasopoulou

Gilly Langton

Katheryn Leopoldseder

Madina Visconti di Modrone

Alena Willroth

Ching-Chih Wu

Alexandra Lozier

Jennifer Merchant

Gerda and Nikolai Monies

S.J. Paik

Celia Pascaud

Anna Porcu

Uli Rapp

Thomas Raschke

Amy Ridyard

Karin Roy Andersson

Helena Sandström

Carmen Scarnecchia

Christopher Thompson Royds

Cai-Xuan Wu

Media Partner: Avenue Magazine

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields, presenting artists, designers and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. Since the Museum's founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum's curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.

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