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October 2011

Smith Galleries on Hilton Head Island, SC, Celebrates American Craft Week

This year’s American Craft Week celebration, to be held Oct. 7-16, 2011, will bring together individuals, small businesses and organizations from all fifty states in recognition of the countless ways handmade objects enrich our daily lives and contribute to our national aesthetic and economy.

In celebration of American Craft Week, Smith Galleries on Hilton Head Island, SC, will feature two special jewelry exhibitions on view through Oct. 31, 2011.

The first one features the jewelry of Victoria Varga, a longtime favorite at the gallery. From her early years in New York, Varga has crafted jewelry that combines precious metals with a variety of materials that are often discounted as ordinary. She has perfected a process of combining sterling silver, 23 karat gold leaf, resin, crushed stone and common artist pigments to create her signature line of jewelry. Instantly recognized for its timeless good looks, Varga jewelry delights both men and woman with its innovative combination of unexpected materials and whimsical design.

A second exhibition features the work of Mary+Lou Ann, newer exhibitors in the gallery. Mary Filapek and Lou Ann Townsend are both trained silversmiths who met while they were students at the University of New Mexico. Their work is truly collaborative and they share equally in all aspects of design and production. They design and produce jewelry in sterling silver, inlayed with polymers. They fabricate the metal framework of each piece in sterling or use a mixture of cast and fabricated sterling components. All cast components are created from masters that they have fabricated themselves in silver and copper or carved from wax. The color process is a mixture of both liquid and clay polymers. They create colors primarily through oil pigments and integrate both synthetic and organic materials, such as sugar or sand, to create texture.

Filapek and Townsend occasionally use semi-precious stones for contrast and accent colors. They utilize a surface finishing process of ultra-fine sanding grits to create a semi-gloss surface on the polymers. Each piece is oxidized and scratch finished by hand, creating texture and drama within the silver. Necklaces and pendants are strung on stainless steel cables, sterling cables or non-traditional materials.

Smith Galleries will further celebrate American Craft Week by offering special values on a specific craft medium each day. The gallery will begin with “Clay Day” on Oct. 7, followed by “Jewelry Day” on Oct. 8, “Kaleidoscope Day on Oct. 10, “Metal Day” Oct. 11, “Glass Day” on Oct. 12, “Sticks Day” on Oct. 13, “Ladies Accessories Day” on Oct. 14 and concluding with “Wood Day” on Oct. 15.

Smith Galleries is located on William Hilton Parkway in the Village at Wexford. Handmade refreshments will be served throughout American Craft Week.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 843/842-2280 or visit (

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