May 10 – September 2, 2024

Thirty-Six Brooches

Exhibition

Ontario

Black and white brooch pin

Isocurve 1 by Annie Tung. Photo by the artist.

Event Info At A Glance

Price Overview: Free

Venue Overview: East Vitrines

Overview

Curated by Melanie Egan, the Director of Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studio, this new jewellery exhibition features 36 hand-selected brooches designed by some of Canada’s most talented contemporary jewellers. The exhibition explores the story and symbolism behind one of jewellery’s most storied pieces and how brooches communicate messages of love, social critique, politics, status and wealth.  

Join us for the Opening Reception on Thursday, May 30 from 6-10pm.

Curatorial Statement

“Jewellery is significant for its direct associations with the body and ability to convey meaning at an intimate level. Brooches are special, as they require a mediator – clothing – to function. They accentuate the boundary between wearer and viewer and occupy both a private and public space. 

Brooches used to be utilitarian – they secured clothing in place on the body. Something as simple as a twig or piece of flint could do. As civilizations discovered smelting metal, brooches flourished. Over and above the basic function of keeping garments in place, they symbolized status, affiliation and wealth depending on their design and material.  With the development of the conventional buttonhole, brooches lost that primary purpose, but their symbolism never wavered; and rare exceptions can still be seen today as fasteners for traditional or ceremonial wear.  

Unseen and only truly considered by those who make brooches are the mechanisms devised to fasten them in place. The front does not work without the back and this endearing fact, tied to utility, has not changed for thousands of years. Thus, all brooches must be functional. 

The symbolism of brooches has not altered dramatically over time.  They continue to communicate messages of love, fealty, social critique, politics, status, remembrance and wealth. At the core of every brooch is a distinct expression – of both maker and wearer.  

In the mainstream the popularity of brooches comes and goes, but the contemporary jewellery community keeps them front and centre as a compelling way to express concepts and identity.”

– Melanie Egan, Director Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre

About Sylvie Alusitz

Sylvie Lissa Alusitz is a metalsmith, curator and educator based in Arizona who explores the relationship we have to people and place. Influenced by the basketry and textile communities, she translates processes into metal to create objects that become physical representations of things untouchable. She received her Masters in Fine Arts from State University of New York at New Paltz in Metal in 2019. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, as well as participated in multiple residencies, including at Penland School of Crafts, and taught at institutions such as Harbourfront Centre.   

About Marina Babic

With a background in sculpture and a passion for nature, Marina Babic creates miniature pieces of art for the body. She enjoys the tactile aspect of jewellery-making and with this approach, she truly understands the feel of each piece and how they compliment the body. Every angle tells a story. The design process for Babic starts by forming a copper model or carving a block of jeweller’s wax. It delights her to see a flat sheet of metal emerge into its three-dimensional form and become a piece of jewellery. Babic uses both traditional and cutting-edge goldsmithing techniques to fabricate her pieces in sterling silver and high karat gold. The clean design and fluid lines in Babic’s work have a classic beauty with a contemporary twist. Her mission is to help the wearer express their individual style by putting on a unique piece of jewellery. She provides versatility in her pieces, serving both as staple accessories or a statement at a red carpet event. Babic’s attention to detail, exceptional craftsmanship and timeless design make her jewellery easy to wear and easy to love wearing. 

About Leif Benner

Leif Benner is a designer and goldsmith specializing in high-karat gold custom jewellery based in Toronto. He graduated from the Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College in 2000, then spent three years as an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre from 2000-2003. He had a retail studio in the Distillery District for 20 years and now enjoys a private, by-appointment practice in a shared studio with good friends.   

About Lena Binnington

Lena Binnington is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus in contemporary jewellery design. She is an alumni Artist-in-Residence from Harbourfront Centre and 2019 graduate from the Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College. Lena previously earned her B.A. from the University of Toronto where she studied fine art, environmental studies and Buddhist psychology and mental health. Her work is influenced by these subjects, a keen interest in avant-garde fashion and the observed world around her. With years of experience as a modern dance choreographer, Lena also nurtures a unique relationship with costume and the moving body. 

About Jess Bischoff

Jess Bischoff is a jewellery artist from Toronto, Ontario. She holds a BFA from OCADU in Drawing & Painting and is a 2021 graduate of the Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College. Her work is represented by L.A. Pai Gallery in Ottawa and has been included in exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Belgium, Spain and China. She has received several awards and other such recognition for her work, including the Milano Jewellery Tour Communication Award at Brussels Jewellery Week and the Lacy West Supplies Ltd. Jewellery Supply Grant from Craft Ontario. Jess was accepted as a full-time Artist-in-Residence in Metal at Harbourfront Centre in 2022, and was also the recipient of their one-year scholarship. 

About Jaymie Campbell

Jaymie Campbell is a multi-faceted practitioner who works in community development, visual arts and storytelling. She is of Anishnaabe and European ancestry and a member of Curve Lake First Nation, and resides on unceded Sinixt territory in New Denver, British Columbia.  Jaymie is the designer behind White Otter Design Co, which incorporates traditional artistry techniques with contemporary and personal style. She aims to explore connection to land and culture through beadwork, writing, fashion and visual arts. Her work is inspired by her Anishnaabe roots, the land and her family. Chi miigwech.  

About Marie-Eve G. Castonguay

Marie-Eve G. Castonguay is a jewellery artist, writer and independent curator based in Montreal. She holds a diploma from the École de joaillerie de Québec in 2011 as well as a BFA from NSCAD University in 2013, after which she completed a four-year residency at Harbourfront Centre. She is currently pursuing her MA in Art History at Concordia University, where she focuses her research on contemporary craft in Quebec. She has received numerous grants and awards, notably the Jean-Cartier Award in 2020 and the Joya Award in 2015. Her work has been included in many exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally.  

About Bridget Catchpole

Bridget Catchpole lives on the unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation of Hornby Island, British Columbia. She studied Fine Art at Concordia University in 1998 in Montreal, QC and Jewellery Art and Design at Vancouver Community College in Vancouver, BC in 1993. Catchpole acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and is a recipient of the BC Achievement Foundation 2023 Applied Art and Design Award. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally and she is a member of the Craft Council of British Columbia and Vancouver Metal Arts Association. She is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montreal, QC.

About Saydee Chandler

Saydee Chandler is a multidisciplinary maker living and working in Toronto. She specialized in textile design and sculpture, obtaining her BDes from the Material Art & Design program at OCAD University. She is also a graduate of the Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College, having graduated from the Jewellery Arts Program where she studied goldsmithing. Her work has been featured in shows and exhibitions across Canada, as well as the United States, Austria, France, Romania and China. Saydee was accepted as an Artist-in-Residence in Metal at Harbourfront Centre in 2021. 

About Gabrielle Desmarais

Gabrielle Desmarais is a jeweller artist who lives and works between Chambly and Montreal. Graduating from the École de joaillerie de Montréal in 2010, Gabrielle stands out for her artistic and aesthetic vision. Following her graduation, she took part in Le Labo in 2010, Noel Guyomarc’h’s research workshop in Montreal. She continued at the Alchimia jewellery school in Italy in 2011 and then explored the many possibilities of textiles at Concordia University in Montreal in 2017. She has received various distinctions, prizes and support for her research and experiments. Gabrielle has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and her jewellery is part of the permanent collections of the Montreal Fine Arts Museum and the Musée des métiers d’art du Quebec. In addition to her practice, she teaches at the Montreal Jewellery school workshops where she shares her passion for jewellery. Gabrielle invites students to explore the artistic boundaries in crafts and promotes free and uncensored creativity in the field of jewellery in Quebec. Among other things, she acts as a mentor for emerging artisans, in addition to participating as a jury for major exhibitions in Quebec. She is also the founder/designer for the brand Atelier Gabrielle Desmarais, which designs celebrate femininity in all its strength, singularity, uniqueness, originality and independence. 

About Sarah Dobranowski

Sarah Dobranowski is a designer and goldsmith living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Sarah studied Art Education at Concordia University in Montreal from 2000-2005, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a teaching certificate. Sarah entered the one-year George Brown College Jewellery Essentials program in 2006. After falling in love with making and designing, she switched to the three-year program, graduating from the Jewellery Arts program in 2009.  Sarah was honoured to have a residency in the Metal studio at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto from 2010-2014. As an Artist-in-Residence, she was able to hone her jewellery design skills and develop her business. Sarah splits her time between her shared studio in Leslieville and George Brown College where she is a part-time professor in the School of Fashion and Jewellery.   

About Martha Glenny

Martha Glenny has been professionally active since 1974. She holds a Diploma from George Brown College and a BFA from NSCAD University. She has worked as a goldsmith in Toronto, Norway and Halifax and has taught jewellery and design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Nunavut Arctic College and George Brown College. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Nova Scotia Art Bank and the Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim Norway and in numerous private collections. She has received awards for her work from the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, the Metal Arts Guild and Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studio. 

About Andrew Goss

Andrew Goss creates jewellery in metals such as silver, bronze, brass and alternate materials. He has been practicing his craft since 1973 after the Jewellery program at George Brown College in Toronto and Hornsey College of Art in London, England. He lived and worked in the Owen Sound area for more than 30 years before moving to Guelph in 2016, where he shared a studio with the late jewellery artist Sandra Noble Goss. His work often explores materials and simple forms along with value and preciousness. He was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) in 2005.  

About Aurélie Guillaume

Aurélie Guillaume is a jeweller and enamellist based in Montreal. She first received her training in jewellery at the École de joaillerie de Montréal in 2012 and then at NSCAD University in Halifax in 2015. Since then, Aurélie has participated in an impressive number of exhibitions in North America, Europe and Asia. Her works are included in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Art and Design in New York and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h since 2015, she is currently living and working in Montréal.  

About Alan Guzman 

Alan Guzman is an emerging, multidisciplinary artist specializing in jewellery and engraving. His journey began with lino carving, leading him to discover the intricate art of engraving and ignited his passion for goldsmithing. Alan is a graduate of the Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College. His inspiration comes from Art Deco, contemporary engraving and relief sculpting so he can create pieces that exude elegance and craftsmanship. Committed to artistic and professional growth, Alan is eager to pursue further education focused on engraving, sculpting and microsetting, continuously shaping the art of his jewellery.  

About Amanda Henderson 

Amanda Henderson is a Toronto-based jewellery artist. She finds inspiration in nature and moments of beauty in the everyday world around us, from the graceful arch silhouetted against the blue sky or the way sunlight falls across rippled fabric. She attended George Brown College for Jewellery Arts and has been a practicing goldsmith for over a decade. The owner and designer of Jewelust, she designs creative jewellery collections and custom work from her studio in Toronto.  

About Jay Joo

Originally from South Korea, Jay Joo received his BFA from the Jewellery and Metalsmithing program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. During his years at OCAD University, he has acquired a diverse skill set that includes traditional fabrication, chasing and repousse and computer aided design. He was accepted into the Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program and was awarded a scholarship in 2012.  After his residency, he established JJSTUDIO in October 2015. His studio is located in downtown Toronto, where he promotes local art and craft and teaches and continues his practice as a jeweller. 

About Alex Kinsley

Alex Kinsley Vey is from Hamilton, Ontario where he received jewellery training from his parents. Moving to Toronto in 2010, Alex studied at George Brown College, receiving an Adv. Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 2013. Alex has shown work in Canada, Europe and the United States. He has been a member of Craft Ontario since 2012, Klimt02 since 2017, and was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program in 2015. Alex is currently a sessional instructor at OCAD University and has previously taught at George Brown College and NSCAD University.  

About Suki Hoi Yi Lai

Hoi Yi Lai is a Toronto-based jeweller originally from Hong Kong. She graduated from OCAD University and was accepted as an Artist-in-Residence in Metal at Harbourfront Centre in 2018.  “Like words of a written language, my jewellery is my language; it is like the words of stories I want to share. Like a book, each piece of jewellery is a page or a chapter; It is my inspiration to make jewellery into pieces of wearable art that can be worn daily and as an everyday vehicle for self-expression.”

About Paul Leathers

Born in Winnipeg, Leathers pursued his undergraduate studies at Sheridan College’s School of Crafts and Design and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA) and his graduate studies at the University of Calgary (MFA). Paul has taught, led workshops, attended artist residencies, written articles and exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. He has received numerous awards and grants and in 2006, was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Leathers has served on the Boards of Directors of the Manitoba Crafts Council from 1986-1988, the Manitoba Jewellers Association and the Governing Council of the RCA.  

About Kayla Lim 

Kayla Lim obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design in South Korea, where she was born and raised, and she continued her passion for design in Jewellery and graduated from the George Brown College Jewellery Art Program in 2017. She has continued practicing jewellery at Harbourfront Centre as an Artist-in-Residence since 2019. Kayla’s work exudes strength in creating movement and contrast by mixing different materials, textures and colours. She also strongly believes in the power of infinite possibilities by combining traditional ways of making jewellery with new technology.   

About Margaret Lim

Margaret graduated from Toronto’s OCAD University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Material Art and Design with a focus in metal arts. Upon graduation, she had the honour of being an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre’s Jewellery studio until 2010. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally and has received grants and awards from OCAD University, the Ontario Craft Council and the Ontario Arts council. 

About Paul McClure 

Paul McClure is an Irish Canadian artist and designer of contemporary jewellery. His work is represented in public museum collections throughout North America and Europe. He graduated from NSCAD University, Halifax, Canada (BFA); Escola Massana, Barcelona, Spain; and National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland (MA). McClure is a leader in the Canadian contemporary craft and design community and an avid educator and professor in the renowned School of Jewellery at George Brown College in Toronto. In 2015, McClure received the Saidye Bronfman Award and a Governor General’s Award, Canada’s foremost distinction for excellence in the visual arts. Paul McClure is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h in Montréal, Canada.

About Robert Mitchell 

Robert Mitchell is a Toronto-based designer, maker and educator. He has created wearable art for over 30 years generating exhibition work and custom one-of-a-kind pieces that are included in private and gallery collections.  He has exhibited both nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibitions and has won numerous awards. Robert got his start in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre and is current a tenured faculty and the Chair of Material Art & Design at OCAD University.   

About Pasha Moezzi

Pasha Moezzi is a material artist residing in Toronto. Intimately working with materials, more specifically with metal, Pasha developed his skills at his father’s furniture studio in Tehran where he tangibly honed his craft. Later, he obtained his Fine Arts diploma from Langara College in Vancouver, completed his BFA in Design Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and has also completed his goldsmith training at George Brown College in Toronto, where he graduated from the Jewellery Arts program in 2015. His work has been recognized by several awards and competitions and showcased at solo and group exhibitions in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, London and Tehran. Pasha was accepted as an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre in 2015. Today, he is back at George Brown College teaching the new generation of goldsmiths.   

About Yalda Mohajer

Yalda Mohajer is a Toronto-based emerging jewellery artist. She received her Master of Architecture from Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran and gained global experience in Iran, Australia and Canada.  Yalda followed her passion for jewellery design and fabrication by joining the George Brown College Jewellery Arts program in 2020. She is a full-time Artist-in-Residence in Metal/Jewellery at Harbourfront Centre and a part-time faculty at George Brown College. Yalda has a multidisciplinary approach intertwining architectural elements to create innovative jewellery. This is reflected in her recent body of work which uses the unique architectural style of Parametricism.   

About Kim Paquet

Kim Paquet, a Quebec-based contemporary jeweller and educational business owner, transitioned from social intervention to jewellery in 2014 at Ecole de Joaillerie de Montreal. Graduating from NSCAD University in 2020 with a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing, she earned the prestigious Starfish Award, recognizing her as a top talent. Awarded the Harbourfront Centre Scholarship post-graduation, she served as a full-time Artist-in-Residence in Toronto. In many groups’ shows, her work has been showcased in Canada, Portugal, France, the USA, Romania and Rome. 

About Emma Piirtoniemi

Originally from Bawating/Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Emma Piirtoniemi is a practicing jewellery artist, freelance writer/editor and curator who serves as an editor for MetalAid Canadian Art Jewellery Network. Emma is based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Novia Scotia where she works as Studio Technician in the Jewellery Department of NSCAD University. Her latest work reflects on the environmental impacts of her own studio practice: how process and design can be dictated by material usage, stretching and reusing resources with minimal to no waste. 

About Heather Rathbun

Heather Rathbun creates each piece of jewellery by hand in her studio in Toronto’s east end. She fell in love with making jewellery while studying fine art in her hometown, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Heather founded her brand in 2008, after completing her goldsmithing training and moved to Toronto shortly after. As an active member of the Canadian art and jewellery community, Heather’s works have been awarded by organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. She is an alumni of Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program.  

About Pam Ritchie

Pamela Ritchie combines intellectual energy, a fierce love of beauty and precise selection of shapes and materials to create pieces evoking the poetic and emotive side of jewellery. The Canadian Museum of History, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum and the Nova Scotia Art Bank are among the collectors of her work. Winner of the Governor General’s 2017 Saidye Bronfman Award and Professor Emerita at NSCAD University, Pamela Ritchie’s jewellery brings together traditional and contemporary craft practices. Her work celebrates the concentrating effect of detail and the paradox that an abundance of ideas, form and pattern can be encapsulated in very small objects. 

About Catherine Sheedy

Catherine Sheedy is based in Lévis, Québec and was trained in jewellery at the École de joaillerie de Québec (2000). She received a Bachelor in 2003 and a Master in 2007 in visual arts from Université Laval. The contemporary jewellery field led her to participate in experimental workshops, artist residencies and exhibitions in Canada and internationally. She has received grants and awards, including the Jean-Marie Gauvreau prize in 2017, the highest distinction given by the Quebec Craft Council. Her work is in the collections of the Musée des métiers d’art du Québec and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. She is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h.  

About Amir Sheikvhand

Amir Sheikhvand, a Canadian artist born in Tehran, brings a rich blend of diverse influences to his craft. Initially trained in biology and graphic design, he later pursued his passion for jewellery, graduating from Tehran’s Gold Institute in 1994. Amir’s journey is marked by a deep immersion in traditional Iranian techniques such as Malileh-kary (Filigree work) and Minakary (miniature enameling), alongside a lifelong pursuit of music. Notably, Amir’s contemporary practice focuses on fine jewellery, with an emphasis on unconventional materials and innovative techniques. His creations are intricate, multidisciplinary works of art that redefine the boundaries of modern jewellery design. 

About Annie Tung

Annie Tung received her BDes in Jewellery from OCAD University in 2007 and MAS Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship, École Cantonale d’arts de Lausanne (ÉCAL) in 2015. She has been a faculty member of the MAAD Jewellery Program at OCADU since 2018 and is currently an Assistant Professor, tenure-track. Tung has exhibited nationally and abroad, including design weeks in Dubai, Milan and London at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Beijing World Art Museum, the Centre for Craft, Creativity & Design in North Carolina and the Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario. She has received over 20 awards and grants.   

About Anneke van Bommel

Working from a studio in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia in a house older than Canada, artist Anneke van Bommel has an active studio practice where she creates limited edition and exhibition jewellery work. An artist and educator, Anneke is a graduate of NSCAD University completing a BFA in 2001 and former Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre from 2001-2004. Anneke is the recipient of various grants including the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Crafts Council, Arts Nova Scotia and the Canada Council of the Arts. Anneke’s exhibition work explores the intersections between memory, symbols, mourning and ritual. 

About Alice Yujing Yan

Alice Yujing Yan holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Animation and Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing. In 2014, she was selected for Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program, a pivotal experience in her artistic journey. Yan has exhibited her work across Europe, North America and Asia. As a co-founder of JJStudio, Yan has been working as an independent jeweller. 

About Patrycja Zwierzynska

Patrycja Zwierzynska is a Toronto-based artist working in contemporary jewellery. An enduring interest in the arts and a desire to make things led her to pursue an education at NSCAD University, where she was first introduced to metalworking. She graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing. Upon graduating, she completed three years at the Artist-in-Residence program in the Metal studio at Harbourfront Centre. She was one of the founding members of Studio HUDDLE, a co-operative, artist-run studio and gallery space in Toronto. Her work examines the boundaries and definitions of jewellery, and displays strong craftsmanship and innovation in design and process. Her pieces have been exhibited throughout Canada as well as internationally.  

Venue

East Vitrines

A series of display cases located within the Craft & Design corridor

Indoors

Wheelchair Accessible

235 Queens Quay W

Toronto ON M5J 2G8

Keywords Free Event