|Alma mater||BFA: SUNY New Paltz|
Lola Brooks is an American artist and educator specializing in jewelry. Brooks' work has been shown nationally and internationally at such prestigious venues as National Ornamental Metal Museum, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, and Talente and held in the permanent collection of The Museum of Art and Design, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
Brooks’ studio jewelry combines seemingly disparate influences such as Victorian sentimental jewelry, Berlin Iron Jewelry, twentieth century costume jewelry, hip hop “bling” culture, tattoos, American road trip culture, and teeth achingly sweet cultural signifiers of love and femininity like bows and hearts. Through this post-modern amalgam of influences, Brooks creates work that is luxurious, playful, heart achingly tender, while maintaining a rebellious spirit. Ashley Callahan for Ornament Magazine describes:
Brooks' jewelry is luxurious excess. The scale is often large, though always unquestionably wearable. Brooches, necklaces, rings, and bracelets feature multitudes of glittering stones, hordes of antique ivory roses or tarnished steel bows, and mounds of faceted steel balls. She mixes high and low, setting diamonds next to quartz, and upends expected uses of materials, soldering steel with gold. She is devoted to the traditions of metalsmithing and relishes the technical challenges that each new object presents.
Brooks’ adherence to the format of jewelry is important in her studio practice. She explains her interest in the format of jewelry in an interview for the American Craft Council as “I believe in the power of jewelry’s intimate scale and symbiotic reliance on the body, and the fact that its beauty and materiality have always been poisoned by a shameless celebration of wealth, excess, and debaucheries. I love that it becomes inextricably tied into how we cultivate identity.”
Along with her high end Art Jewelry, Brooks also maintains a more traditional jewelry line that has received wide representation and recognition.
Brooks received her Bachelors in Fine Arts from SUNY New Paltz where she studied with Jamie Bennett and Myra Mimlitsch-Gray. Brooks is currently visiting faculty at Cranbrook Academy of Art for 2015-2016 in Metalsmithing. Brooks was previously the Lamar Dodd Professorial Chair at the University of Georgia, and has also taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of the Arts, and SUNY New Paltz, as well as the 92nd St Y in New York City, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Penland School of Crafts.