Aric Verrastro

Timekeepers: Souvenir II Necklace

Materials:  Steel, sterling silver, brass, driftwood, polyester cord, thread, embroidery floss, ink

Dimensions: 24 x 3.5 x 1 inches

These souvenirs in the form of jewelry are meant to capture noteworthy places and events from the past and present of my hometown, Buffalo, New York. They are wearable testimonials to be sported with pride, to honor my roots, and inform the public of this unique city. Each piece in this body of work provides a glimpse into the surroundings and atmosphere the citizens encounter everyday.
Buffalo is a rust belt city with a rich and significant history in the context of the national and global setting and the remnants of its past have become the base for revitalization. The city has put in place an urban renewal plan to recover its past economic and cultural success it once held in the late 19th and early 20th century while simultaneously proudly clutching with humility to its rustic charm, which can be seen in the aesthetics of the work. The vibrant colors highlight the unwavering optimism and energy the people and I have during the city’s renaissance.

Historically, the economy of Buffalo was primarily dependent on steel production, grain mills, the use of the ports on Lake Erie and the Erie Canal. These once prosperous industries collapsed, leaving the ruins to be left and forgotten. These abandoned sites have recently been reintroduced in new light with potential for revenue. After reflecting on this topic I decided to memorialize my personal sentiment and pride through the preciousness and durability of metal as well as driftwood collected from Lake Erie.

About the Artist:

Aric Verrastro is an American based artist, graduated with an MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University at Bloomington. He is currently a Lecturer in Foundations at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Aric Verrastro is also a regular presence in national and international exhibitions and his work can be found in several publications.