Reception tonight

The Earring Challenge 2011

For the past year, Julie Brooks, Megan Clark, Suzanne Krill, Lillian Jones and Betty McKim have challenged themselves to create a pair of earrings every week. The 2011 Earring Challenge exhibit showcases the 260 pairs of earrings and the design development process that evolved from this commitment. The exhibition will be on display at the Pullen Arts Center from January 15th – February 28th with a reception on Thursday, February 9th, from 6 – 8pm.

Brooks attended NCSU in Raleigh, NC for 3 years studying zoology before deciding to explore her passion for the arts. This moved her to Greenville, NC where she graduated in 2002 with a BFA in Metal Design from ECU. After 3 years of working for Atlanta based enamelist Ricky Frank as a bench jeweler, she attended graduate school and received an MFA in Artisanry, with a concentration in Jewelry/Metal design, from UMASS Dartmouth in 2008. Currently, Brooks is a studio artist creating one of a kind sculpture and jewelry. She also teaches beginning to advanced metalsmithing courses and has exhibited nationally. Her work can be seen in the books: 1000 Rings, 500 Wedding Rings, The Art of Enameling, and upcoming this year Humor in Craft.

McKim uses predominantly silver interlaced with accents of gold and colorful gemstones. The surfaces are oxidized, satin finished and, or high polished. Each piece is hand fabricated combining various metalsmithing techniques. She particularly enjoys the process of making a series of parts and then composing them in a harmonious way, sometimes injecting an oddity or dissimilar point of interest.

Clark grew up in Durham, North Carolina where she became interested in visual arts at an early age. This interest led her to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2001 where she pursued a degree in Metals and Jewelry. After graduating in 2005, Clark relocated to Raleigh, NC, where she began her career as a jewelry artist and craftsman.

Since 2009, Clark has been working independently on her own designs and participating in art shows and exhibitions along the East Coast. She has developed a unique style that is both contemporary and timeless.

Krill came to jewelry primarily from a printmaking background, with an interest in printmaking techniques on clay, some of which she uses on the metal in her jewelry. 
She has been making jewelry for about 7 years. Krill has taken advantage of numerous classes and workshops taught by jewelry artists well known in the field which were offered both at Pullen Art Center and the Craft Center at NC State . She has also attended some sessions at Penland School of Crafts in Penland North Carolina.

Jones received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the the

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, followed by a two year scholarship in metals at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. She also earned a Masters Degree in Industrial Design at North Carolina State University.

She has almost 40 years experience as a jewelry maker, enamelist and illustrator.