The first lecture event at SOFA is almost always the SNAG Emerging Artists Series. It is worth getting up early, before the regular SOFA show opens, to see this series of three short lectures. Most likely the names and work will be unfamiliar, literally an "introduction" to three emerging artists new to the art jewelry scene, just like the title says.
My biggest "take away" from these three lectures is the importance and lasting impact of an innovative Powerpoint.
The works of all three clearly deserve recognition, but, Adam Grinovich gave a fabulous PowerPoint!!!! This was 15 minutes that flew right by. Grinovich asked provocative questions about the role of jewelry and did not toss out pat answers. He defended his question after question format because "answers are premature so early" in his career.
Questions were asked one word at a time, overlayed on top of images. This was a very stylized technique, but I appreaciated his unique and fast paced approach. This was NOT a death by PowerPoint, but a great WAKE UP for the morning.
"Who the F#@% are we?"
"Who is wearing Jewelry?"
"What difference do we make?"
"How do we use jewelry to express a feeling?"
I loved, loved, loved that Grinovich was bold enough to give his lecture with such a unique appearance and style. His voiceover was crisp and rapid fire. You HAD to pay attention! You WANTED to pay attention! His Web presence hasn't quite caught up to his live performance, but take a look at the work of Adam Grinovich on Klint02 (which does not allow images to be "picked up").
The other presentors showed very interesting work, but in the standard PowerPoint artist monologue.
Image #1 [... I like ... blah, blah, blah]
Image #2 [. . .then I . . .chatter, chatter]
next [ . . . so then I . . . prattle, prattle]
Their work was interesting and I even took notes on their commentary, but the contrast in styles struck me as an important lesson. These other lecture performances were not as memorable and (right or wrong) this impacts how I remember their work. Why?
A picture is worth a 1,000 words. So don't just tell us, show us. For example, if your inspiration or influence came from your grandfather who made shoes....show us a picture. This picture on the right was found on life.com. A picture of your grandfather (or someone like your grandfather) making shoes would be so much more memorable, emotional, connected.
Pick up the pace, bring visuals that reinforce your statements, and share your passion.
Be Unique! Separate yourself from the podium and step into the limelight with an exciting lecture as memorable as your work.