PATRICIA NELSON & ANDREA JACKSON
Bank of old friends
Copper, Bronze, Silver, Cubic Zirconia, Canadian and American Currency
4 x 3.25 x 1 inches
Photography and video by Andrea Jackson
Among the found objects we examined, as we were brainstorming for this competition, were some old pieces of currency both American and foreign. We each selected an object we found to be imbued with a kind of pride - both pride of design and pride in the ideals exemplified. The U S 1944 Walking Liberty half dollar represented a World War Two determination to prevail over unimaginable horrors and to come out on top. The somewhat later Canadian dollar featured an idealized portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, much as she looked in the post WWII era of prosperity and acknowledgement of the US and UK teamwork that helped win the war. Alas, comes the 21st century and its rethinking global friendship, in favor of an “us first” mentality. As we allowed the objects to “speak” to one another, a story unfolded.
We bank on old friends, but what happens when we cool our friendships and concentrate on doubts and troubles within? We can bank on old friendships, but our piece shows some potential conflict within those enduring bonds. Lady Liberty is picketing that bank with her sign. She moves back and forth on her track making us hesitate to go into the bank. But what greets us when we push her aside and finally breach the lock? At the first tellers desk we spot the queen, complete with jeweled crown, exclaiming, in essence, “we too can play that game!” All she says is “Brexit”!! We get the point.
Patricia Mork Nelson was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, in the time of late modernism. Her education in metalsmithing and enameling began in Seattle at the University of Washington and continued at the State University of New York at New Paltz where she received her MFA. She began her teaching career in Muncie Indiana, and throughout the three plus decades that she was at Ball State University, she taught all aspects of metals and foundation design. As an artist and educator, she has been active in SNAG and in the Enamelist Society where she is currently the President. She has been exhibiting metal work and enamel work throughout the US for over three decades as well as presenting lectures and workshops nationwide. Awards and grants have included BSU Outstanding Creative Endeavor and Outstanding Professor Awards, College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Creative Endeavor Awards and numerous university and Indiana Arts Commission grants. In 2014 she was named as the first George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Art.
Andrea has been teaching metalsmithing at Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis for 15 years. She has held a studio practice at the historic Stutz Arts building for 16 years where she makes jewelry for art fairs and galleries. A love of teaching has led to teaching classes at her studio, the Indianapolis Art Center and Ball State University. It was a pleasure to work with my undergraduate metals professor on this project. Patrica Nelson and I have a great method of working together. We have already discussed what we will work on next. A great experience.