Monday, May 1, 2017

Marjorie Schick: 50 Years Innovating Art for the Body

During a half-century of mentoring students and creating art, Professor Marjorie Schick has fostered a legion of teachers and artists and earned an international reputation as evidenced by articles in numerous publications and artworks in collections of art museums around the world.

Her exhibition, “50 Years Innovating Art for the Body” features colorful body sculptures and large-scaled sculptural jewelry. See it in Porter Hall’s University Gallery from April 11 through May 6, 2017. Professor Schick will hold a public lecture May 6, at 3:00-4:00, in Room 109 Grubbs Hall with a reception to follow in the Harry Krug Gallery in Porter Hall from 4:00-5:30 pm. 

Dr. James B. M. Schick, Professor in the History Department, PSU, author, and for more than 30 years, editor of Midwest Quarterly, and Marjorie, started teaching at PSU in 1967. Together, their combined commitment to PSU is a remarkable 100 years. During that time, both achieved University Professor level and national and international recognition.

Calling herself “quietly rebellious,” Schick’s body sculptures and large-scaled jewelry cross
the boundaries separating jewelry, sculpture, and fashion. Her work came to the attention of an international audience in the 80s with a series of painted dowels that explored not only color and three-dimensional form but also the scale of the objects in relationship to the human body. She has continued an experimental approach and in 2004 was one of 100 contemporary craft artists interviewed for the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, Smithsonian Institution, as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America (find it online). As part of the project, her papers have been requested for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. 

In an interview in 2016, Schick stated “My work not only brings the wearer and the viewer to question what constitutes jewelry, but also how the wearer navigates life’s spaces and what adornment truly means. I am encouraging a reconsideration of what materials are suitable for jewelry as well. . . . In the past, of course, precious metals and stones were prevalent—though societies have defined precious variously—but I use . . . materials that aren’t precious . . . paper, wood, wire, canvas and paint.”

Schick received a B.S. in Art Education (with honors) from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. (with distinction) from Indiana University in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing. Her work has since been added to museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, Athens; the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan.

She has presented lectures at numerous conferences, universities, and museums worldwide
in places such as Helsinki, Finland; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Perth, Australia. Other locations include the Society of North American Goldsmiths Conferences in Toronto and Denver; Seoul National University, South Korea; the University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan, and the Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut. Schick was one of a handful of Americans who participated in the cultural events that are required for the Olympics, in her case making jewelry in a workshop/ exhibition sponsored by the Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, and making a BBC video funded as part of the Summer Games in London. A lavishly illustrated examination of her work, Sculpture to Wear: the Jewelry of Marjorie Schick was published in 2007 by Arnoldsche Art Publishers of Stuttgart, Germany.

Join with us to celebrate this amazing career. Teacher. Artist. Friend.