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NMSU jewelry students to participate in Radical Jewelry Makeover in Santa Fe

New Mexico State University Department of Art jewelry students are seeking donations of old, unwanted jewelry until Oct. 20 for Radical Jewelry Makeover VI, the community jewelry mining and recycling project happening in Santa Fe from Oct. 23-27.


A photo of the hands of jewelry students sorting through jewelry.
NMSU Department of Art jewelry students work to separate donated jewelry items in preparation for the Radical Jewelry Makeover, the community jewelry mining and recycling project happening in Santa Fe in October. (Submitted photo)

Jewelry students from NMSU, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe Community College, and University of Texas - El Paso, and professional jewelers from the regional community, will repurpose donations into new, "radical" pieces of jewelry during the event. The project will culminate in an exhibition of these wearable creations, which will be displayed at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.

"NMSU students are participating in this event, which is centered in Santa Fe, because it provides a relevant educational experience in sustainability in their chosen discipline," said Julia Barello, professor of art at NMSU. "Their work also will be on display so their creativity can be shared with others."

Radical Jewelry Makeover has been traveling nationally and internationally to communities since 2007, educating jewelers of all levels about mining and material sourcing issues involved in jewelry making through a fun, fast-paced, week-long project. The event, Radical Jewelry Makeover VI, will offer an informed and creative alternative to traditional mining practices and jewelry production.

Materials used in jewelry production are sourced from some of the poorest countries in the world, sacred lands and disputed territories. This sourcing often comes at a great cost to the environment.

The nonprofit organization Ethical Metalsmiths works to educate and connect people with responsibly-sourced materials. Sales from the event will support Ethical Metalsmiths' ongoing efforts in this area.

"Ethical Metalsmiths' mission of educating the public about the underlying human and environmental costs of the jewelry industry is a relevant effort and warrants our support," Barello said. "This community can help us by donating used, broken and unwanted pieces of jewelry or silver to the students for their work materials. We are also looking for professional jewelers who wish to participate as makers for this week-long event."

Ethical Metalsmiths will accept jewelry donations until Oct. 20. Donors will receive discount coupons to apply toward the purchase of a new piece of jewelry.

Donations can be dropped off in D.W. Williams Hall Room 100, located at 1390 East University Ave. on the NMSU campus. Donations can also be mailed to Cheri Falkenstien-Doyle, curator of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, at P.O. Box 5153, 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, N.M. 87502.

A donation form can be downloaded at http://s3.amazonaws.com/ethicalmetalsmiths/20110805222616.pdf.

For more information, contact Barello at 575-646-5329 or jbarello@nmsu.edu. For more information about Ethical Metalsmiths, visit www.ethicalmetalsmiths.org.