- Pistachios Up to date Artwork Jewellery relies in Chicago
- The gallery has existed for greater than 30 years
- On this interview, present proprietor and director Jessica Armstrong describes the gallery’s methods to assist it thrive over the a long time
Pistachios Up to date Artwork Jewellery Gallery is a Chicago staple with regards to artwork jewellery. Since its institution in 1991, Pistachios has advanced and grown as a enterprise whereas persevering with to carry distinctive collections and specialised up to date artwork jewellery exhibitions to the Midwest. On this interview, present proprietor and gallery director Jessica Armstrong discusses how Pistachios has continued to thrive all through its 30-plus years of being in enterprise. She additionally talks in regards to the client- and community-focused initiatives which have been applied to make Pistachios a gem within the Windy Metropolis.
Melis Agabigum: Pistachios Up to date Artwork Jewellery has been round for greater than three a long time. Give us a quick overview of the gallery and the way it took place.
Jessica Armstrong: I’m proud to proceed the 30-year legacy of Pistachios, after founder Yann Woolley retired in 2018. As the brand new proprietor, I’ve had the chance to refresh the gallery whereas staying true to the unique mission assertion: to curate one of the best in up to date artwork jewellery whereas offering a retail expertise that’s inviting, accessible, and pleasant. Understanding that group is the spine of any profitable enterprise, I discovered it essential to take care of relationships with the artists and clientele who helped make Pistachios an internationally acknowledged identify.
I used to be first launched to Pistachios again in 2013 once I attended my first SOFA expo in Chicago. In actual fact, I bought my first official up to date jewellery piece out of your gallery; it was a magical expertise. Over time, your gallery has undergone so many modifications, but it surely one way or the other maintains a “younger” and trendy feeling. What’s it like making an attempt to remain true to your unique mission whereas additionally making an attempt to be progressive within the present local weather we dwell in?
Jessica Armstrong: With our artists’ work ever-changing and rising, we’ve grown with them. The gallery continues to really feel contemporary and thrilling because of our artists’ creativity and ingenuity. And since I maintain an MFA in jewellery and metalsmithing, I’ve an understanding and appreciation for design and craftsmanship. I attempt to curate the gallery with that eager sensibility. It’s evident when an artist pours a little bit little bit of themselves into their work, and that doesn’t go unnoticed.
Throughout the pandemic, there have been numerous questions on how galleries may survive the lockdowns. Pistachios made the selection to go utterly digital for some time earlier than transferring to a completely totally different location a number of blocks away from the unique storefront. Discuss that point and your experiences.
Jessica Armstrong: Undoubtedly, each gallery confronted hardships at the moment. However what stored us steadily persisting via any difficulties was the clear communication between myself and former supervisor Isabella Aimone. The 2 of us labored extremely laborious at staying energetic by sustaining the web site and internet hosting digital exhibitions, digital visits, and telephone calls with artists and purchasers, whereas managing Pistachios’s social media presence. The choice to maneuver the gallery coincided with the lease ending at our outdated location, compounded with the need to be located in a extra residential neighborhood. Pistachios is much from being a sequence, and we wished the small, native enterprise to be an energetic participant within the River North group.
One of the crucial hanging issues about your gallery is the inside décor and visible move of your area. Is there any correlation between the inside design vibes of your gallery and the sort of work the gallery represents?
Jessica Armstrong: We collaborated with inside designer Angela Maks to create an area that feels inviting, with a clear design sensibility. The gallery feels considerably harking back to our outdated location in regard to the structure, simply with some extra present updates. We knew with this new location our window shows could be prioritized, and have put extra power towards these concerns. However in the end, our aim was to create an area that’s accessible, which displays our mission.
Your gallery has applied totally different initiatives, like “sip n store!,” consultations, video chats, and trunk exhibits. Every of those occasions encourages totally different sorts of customer engagements, all distinctive in their very own manner. Inform us about while you began doing these occasions and the impression it has had on the group in addition to the artists you characterize.
Jessica Armstrong: By way of the artists, occasions like trunk exhibits have introduced extra consideration to their work and what they’ve to supply. Trunk exhibits are the proper alternative to satisfy the artist in particular person, which isn’t solely useful for our group, but it surely really humanizes the complete retail expertise for our clientele. It turns into a lot much less about simply making gross sales and extra about attending to know the one that has hand-crafted the work.
Our “sip n store!” occasions are aimed toward making a stress-free, stress-free surroundings for the group. Total we’re comfortable to host these occasions, as one technique to be an energetic participant in our neighborhood.
The gallery each represents artists and does personal consultations/stylings for purchasers. Give us some insights into the way you view accumulating jewellery. What sorts of issues do you search for while you seek for new artists to characterize? And the way does this work with, or distinction in opposition to, your method to hand-picking choices for purchasers?
Jessica Armstrong: Merely put, accumulating helps artists and galleries. It encourages artists to thrive, to proceed making, and it contributes to their total well-being. We see accumulating as extraordinarily private, and when an emotional attachment or bond is made to a bit of jewellery via the expertise of making an attempt it on and falling in love, that reminiscence lasts.
Each time that piece is worn, these fond reminiscences come flooding again. This type of emotional attachment to the work shapes how we discover new artists to characterize, and can be the rationale why we now have had long-standing relationships with a lot of our artists in addition to our clientele.
Everlasting Jewellery has develop into an enormous fad within the business. Pistachios now gives appointments for everlasting jewellery. How did you get entangled in this? How does it feed into your mission to “carry you one of the best in progressive design and high quality craftsmanship”?
Jessica Armstrong: Everlasting Jewellery is our manner of partaking a youthful viewers that is probably not acquainted with artwork jewellery. Finally, the goal is to supply a enjoyable, lasting expertise for our clientele. Having a welder within the gallery additionally means we are able to tackle repairs to be performed in-house.
We don’t see our resolution to supply Everlasting Jewellery as leaping on a development, however reasonably as staying true to our mission by not solely making certain the standard of supplies, but in addition in offering a pleasant expertise with considered one of our group members who’re skilled welders.
Inform us a little bit extra about your hopes for the way forward for the sector of up to date jewellery and the accessibility of works to youthful generations of collectors.
Jessica Armstrong: We have now hope that youthful generations will gather. Each collector has to begin someplace, and making small purchases has a higher impression than one would possibly assume. Slowly accumulating over an extended time frame continues to be accumulating nonetheless. Buying and selling items of jewellery can be an choice. And proclaiming your self as a collector doesn’t must be so intimidating. If you’re somebody who’s fascinated by an artist’s work and observe, and you’ve got made just one buy, you’re beginning your assortment.
What has been your favourite exhibition up to now? And have you ever seen a bit lately that you simply discover particularly thrilling?
Jessica Armstrong: Again in 2019, we had an exhibition titled Materials Revolution that showcased the work of seven jewellery artists positioned outdoors of the USA who have been all working with various supplies. There was an attractive steadiness between the jewellery’s performance or wearability, whereas remaining a singular, sculptural murals. This yr, we’re internet hosting Materials Revolution II, which might be on show September 14–November 12. The idea behind the exhibition stays the identical, however options three new worldwide artists. Eunseok Han, Asami Watanabe, and Naoko Yoshizawa will discover non-traditional supplies whereas using colour and texture.
So far as a bit of jewellery that’s significantly thrilling, that’s robust to slender down. There are such a lot of items by so many various artists that come to thoughts. But when we needed to, we genuinely really feel actually jazzed in regards to the three artists on this upcoming exhibition.
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