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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kent State Exhibits Sandy Baker’s Art in American Jewelry Design Council Show

— Sandy Baker is a jewelry design phenom, and was the first African American designer to start participating at national trade shows. —

Sandy Baker

Sandy Baker

Kent, OH — Kent State University, Midwestern bastion of higher education, is getting a lesson in high style. The institution is hosting the American Jewelry Design Council’s exhibit, “Variations on a Theme: 25 Years of Design,” starting Oct. 24, 2014. It highlights, among others, key points in the development of artist Sandy Baker’s signature jewelry style. Baker’s work was a popular draw when New York City’s prestigious Forbes Galleries showcased “Variations” for six months, ending in February 2014. Now academics, artists and everyday people can get an overview of Baker’s career, minus the East Coast trip.

Baker is a jewelry design phenom with decades of experience in the industry. The trained gold and silversmith is respected in both fine jewelry and fashion jewelry circles for her warm yet modern aesthetic. A long-time retailer in Michigan once told Baker she didn’t look like her designs, with her smooth-shaven head and personal style that ranges from hand-dyed batik to edgy upscale funk. This is in contrast to the almost delicate lines and conservative sizing of her jewelry, which make the pieces versatile enough for corporate to creative settings. Still, Sandy Baker Jewelry shows a flair for marrying artistry and contemporary elegance with a broad palette of rich, organic materials. The result is clean, crisp pieces that are feminine without being frilly.

Baker enjoys sharing her stories and skills, and hopes to visit the Kent State exhibit herself. She has been a guest speaker at F.I.T, consulted at Gemological Institute of America Career fairs, and has participated as a panel member at jewelry seminars conducted by the Jewelers Resource Bureau.

She also likes giving back. When she started there were just three known female designers, and no other Black designers participating at national trade shows. Baker went served on the board of the Woman’s Jewelry Association, and encouraged other women to enter the industry. Retailers and museum stores around the country seek out her collections, and she also designs exclusive product for major e-tailers like the jewelry division of Lenox China. She is passionate about what she does.

“When you are busy doing what you love, you don’t know you are making history until other folks start imitating your work,” she says with a smile.

Catch Baker’s collection as part of “Variations on a Theme: 25 Years of Design” at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Opening reception is Oct. 24th.

For more information about Sandy Baker’s jewelry, visit www.sandybakerjewelry.com

Sandy Baker,