I am a native Texan currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. I have a bachelors and masters degree in fine arts with an emphasis in metals and jewelry. I attended the University of Texas at Austin for my undergraduate degree, studying with Thelma Coles where I also minored in ceramics and art history. I studied with metalsmith and enamelist Harlan Butt for my graduate degree at the University of North Texas in Denton.
After graduate school, I was offered an Artist in Residency at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, TN. I assisted the professor, Bob Coogan, in the upkeep of the studio and helped students with their projects. In addition, I taught metals workshops in my specialties: fabrication, enameling and chainmaking. In 1997, I also began teaching art history, one of my passions, at a local community college and working on my own jewelry lines and one of a kind pieces in my home studio. Teaching, shows, community involvement with TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists), and working at the Craft Center Gallery kept me very busy.
In 2002, I went back to school to pursue another of my passions: computer arts and animation. I found a small college in Tempe, AZ that suited my needs and moved to the Valley of the Sun. After completing an associates degree in computer arts, I returned to metals as the Artist in Residence at the Phoenix Center for the Arts where for three years, I ran the metals program: scheduling classes and visiting artists, maintaining the studio, curating and installing shows in the gallery and teaching the bulk of the classes and workshops in metals and jewelry. As soon as I finished my tenure at the Phoenix Center, I was fortunate to be offered a residency in Metals at the Mesa Arts Center, where I currently have my studio and teach workshops.
From 2006- 2009 I was adjunct faculty at South Mountain Community College where I taught art history survey, drawing, 2d design and computer graphics. In November of 2009 I started working for the Heard Museum, the preeminent museum of Native arts and culture in the US. I ran the online shop for nearly 5 years, redesigning the shop website twice while doing all product photography, writing all copy and providing customer service for clients around the world. In October 2014, I assumed a new position as the Digital Technologies and Websites Manager for the Heard, overseeing the full digital presence including the main website, email templates, social media, and other aspects. I have deepened my understanding of Native cultures and continue to meet incredible artists, which has only given me more inspiration for my own work. I feel very privileged to work at such an amazing institution.
When not teaching, working in the studio, on the computer or spending time with my husband and stepson, I like to get out into the mountains and hike or sit in front of a good movie (or PBS) designing in my sketchbook or knitting. Alternately, I head for the local museums and botanical gardens. I can sometimes be found out with friends making a good-natured ruckus talking art, knitting (yes, knitting) or geeking out about computer programs, DSLRs and design. I run as often as I can and enjoy yoga and tai chi when my schedule permits. I am also a cat person.
And Jewel really is my given name.