"Metalsmith EIP, Another Diaster?" is a recent discussion on Ganoskin's Orchid forum concerning the recently published Metalsmith Exhibition in Print "Equilibrium: Body as Site". It has been a heated debate concerning not only this issue of the magazine but the state of SNAG as a metals organization.
My first impression when the magazine arrived in my mailbox was "UGH!" I thumbed through the pages quickly and set the magazine down in mild disgust. A few days past before I picked it up again. After I recovered from my initial disappointment and really looked at the magazine, my feelings changed. I have accepted the fact that this is an exhibition...and as an exhibition the concept "Body as Site" is intriguing and very well curated. This exhibition blurs the line between sculpture, performance art and wearable object...actually many of the pieces step over the line. Meaning, they are sculpture or performance art NOT wearable object. With that said, Am I fond of all the work in this exhibition? No...but I do like many of them and I don't have to like all of the items to believe that the exhibition is successful.
The next question is: Do the members of SNAG believe the organization, it's programs and it's publications honestly represent them regular basis? According to the discussion on Ganoskin's Orchid forum, many DO NOT. And I have to admit, that I let my membership to SNAG drop several years ago because I felt unrepresented. With that said, my husband still is a member and believes strongly in the organization, so Metalsmith is always in my home.
This is the statement you will find on SNAG's website: "Who is SNAG? The Society of North American Goldsmiths stands for passion, innovation and excellence in jewelry, design and metalsmithing. SNAG creates community, professional connections, and the unfettered exchange of information." And this is the statement you will find on the editor's page of every Metalsmith magazine: "Metalsmith's mission is to document, analyze, and promote excellence in jewelry and metalworking" Perhaps with these lively Orchid debates and SNAG's current financial crisis, they will listen to their members (and X-members) concerns/needs and try something new and look at things in a new way...even if it upsets them.