Art Jewelry Forum (AJF) is a nonprofit international organization founded in 1997 that advocates for the field of contemporary art jewelry through education, discourse, publications, grants, and awards.
Art Jewelry Forum publishes online articles as well as in print books. AJF’s online articles cover historical pieces and movements, theoretical interpretations of work, and exhibition reviews. Contributors for the online articles include staff writers as well as professionals in the field. Printed books from Art Jewelry Forum include Geography (exhibition catalog), AJF Best of Interviews, and Show and Tales. Art jewelry Forum also initiated and funded the publication of Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective by Lark Crafts.
The exhibition catalog Geography was Art Jewelry Forum's first publication in 2011. Geography was printed in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name that was presented at SOFA Chicago 2011 and at the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in Seattle of 2011.
Art Jewelry Forum worked with Lark Crafts, a subsidiary of Sterling Publishing, in 2013 to publish Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective. Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective is broken into three sections "the first exploring what kind of thing contemporary jewelry is, the second exploring its history, and the third exploring opportunities and challenges for the field". Bruce Metcalf reviews that within these sections "There are two themes that run throughout the book. One is that studio jewelry should be critical. The other is that the most fertile territory for the present-day practitioner is in the realm of the hybrid."
AJF Best of Interviews was published in 2014 by Art Jewelry Forum. AJF Best of Interviews "corrals some of the site’s most interesting content: interviews with jewelry makers and others central to the field. Taking part in the 20 lively conversations are makers such as Lola Brooks, Tanel Veenre, and Jamie Bennett; dealers such as Sienna Patti; curators such as Bruce Pepich and Ursula Ilse-Neuman; and jewelry aficionados such as Madeleine Albright... The focus is on intelligent questions and the voices of the interviewees – captured in fresh, informal exchanges that will captivate lovers of art jewelry" writes Monica Moses, editor in chief at the American Craft Magazine published by the American Craft Council.
Show and Tales published by Art Jewelry Forum in 2015 and was released in Munich in conjunction with the annual Schmuck fair. Show and Tales focuses on exhibition making in regards to jewelry, making it the first ever publication on the topic. Show and Tales is broken into three sections that cover historical landmark exhibitions of jewelry, challenges in curating craft and jewelry, and exhibition reviews. It contains essays by Glenn Adamson (USA), David Beytelmann (AR), Susan Cummins (USA), Liesbeth den Besten (nl) (NL), Monica Gaspar (ES), Toni Greenbaum (USA), Marthe Le Van (USA), Benjamin Lignel (FR), Kellie Riggs (USA), Damian Skinner (NZ), Jorunn Veiteberg (no) (NO), Namita Wiggers (USA), among others.
To date, Art Jewelry Forum has produced one exhibition titled Geography, which was shown in 2011 at SOFA Chicago and at the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in Seattle in 2011. Geography was a thematic exhibition focusing on the scientific view of physical geography, the relational cultural geography, and the effects of natural surroundings on artists. Geography was curated by Susan Cummins and Mike Holmes and features over seventy pieces of jewelry from a wide array of international artists:
Fran Allison, Talya Baharal, Agelio Batle, Suzanne Beautyman, David Bielander (nl), Alexander Blank, Iris Bodemer (nl), Angela Bubash, Eric Burris, Suzanne Carlsen, Attai Chen, Jim Cotter, Willemijn de Greef (nl), Bettina Dittlmann, Georg Dobler, Iris Eichenberg (nl), Jantje Fleischhut (nl), Karen Gilbert, Gabrielle Gould, Mielle Harvey, Stefan Heuser, Rory Hooper, Marian Hosking, Sergey Jiventin, Soyeon Kim, Jenny Klemming, Brooke Marks Swanson, Sharon Massey, Christine Matthias, Fritz Maierhofer (de), Malaika Najem, Annelies Planteydt, Alan Preston, Ramon Puig i Cuyàs (ca), Tina Rath, Miriam Rowe, Deborah Rudolph, Estela Saez, Dana Seachuga, Nolia Shakti, Deganit Stern Schocken, Joyce Scott, Helen Shirk, Despo Sophocleous, Cynthia Toops, Julia Turner, Tarja Tuupanen, Sally von Bargen, Lisa Walker, Areta Wilkinson, Francis Willemstijn, Andrea Williams, Nancy Worden
Art Jewelry Forum awards grants in three categories; Emerging Artist Award, Exhibition Award, and Speakers and Writers Awards.
The Emerging Artist Award is a prestigious annual juried award of emerging artists who make wearable art jewelry with a prize of $7,500USD.
Past winners include:
The Exhibition Award aims to financially assist with exhibitions and catalogs that focus on art jewelry. Unlike the annual Artist Award, the Exhibition Award applications are rolling; the Exhibition Award is based on merit of the proposed project, and Art Jewelry Forums annual funds.
Past support of the Exhibition Award has gone to:
Art Jewelry Forum awards the Speaker and Writers Award to individuals who are critically engaged in the field. Most often the award is granted to help cover expenses of speakers and panelists at the annual Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) NY and the SOFA Chicago fairs, and the annual Society of North American Goldsmiths conference.
Past recipients of the Speakers and Writers Award are:
Susan Cummins is the founder and current board chair of AJF. She is also the director for the Rotasa Foundation, and previously owned and operated Susan Cummins Gallery for eighteen years until its closing in 2002.
Liesbeth den Besten (nl) is a board member and contributing writer for AJF. Besten graduated with a PhD in Art History from the University of Amsterdam in 1985. Besten's research and writing focuses on jewelry. Along with writing articles for AJF, Besten has written On Jewellery, A Compendium of International Contemporary Art Jewelery, numerous catalogs, and essays in Show and Tales, Art Jewelry Forum's Best of Interviews, and Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective.
Tanel Veenre is a board member of AJF. Veere graduated from the Estonian Academy of the Arts in Metal in 2005 where he is currently a professor.
Benjamin Lignel is the editor and writer for AJF. Lignel studied Philosophy and Art History at New York University. He later went on to study Furniture Design in London. Lignel is also a co-founder of la garantie, association pour le bijou, and a member of Think Tank since 2009.
Other board members and staff include: Linda Peshkin, Marion Fulk, Sienna Patti, Raissa Bump, Bonnie Levine, Doug Bucci, Sharon Berman, Susan Kempkin, Bella Neyman, Sofia Björkman, Jorge Manilla, Rebekah Frank, Nathalie Mornu, Kevin Murray, and Dina Noto