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Art students offer unique jewelry at annual sale

It’s that time of the year again when Las Cruces residents and New Mexico State University students get the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces made by students in the metalsmithing program at the 41st Annual Jewelry Sale.  

Hundreds of items will be on display and available for purchase in the cafe area at the NMSU Bookstore at 1400 E. University Ave. from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30. With the holiday season afoot, this provides the perfect opportunity to get some unique gifts while supporting the metalsmithing program.

Profits from the sale will provide new equipment for the metalsmithing studio and allow artists to promote their work. Featured artist Whitney Husted is beginning her own jewelry business and hopes to gain traction at the event, she said.

NMSU student Whitney Husted created a copper pendant and chain for her Instagram business, Jade Serenity. (Photo by Whitney Husted)

According to Husted, her work is inspired by nature and is made from copper, brass, leather and silver wire. “I began in the art program studying photography, but now I love making jewelry,” Husted said. “I can be more creative working with my hands. I could be in the studio all day.”  

According to the artists, there was no thematic requirement for their pieces. Many of the artists, including NMSU student Elizabeth Swenson, were inspired by naturalistic elements.  

Swenson’s work depicts oceanic animals, and her brightly colored jellyfish earrings easily catch patrons’ eyes. Made from copper, brass and lace, the designs are hand-dyed to create a vibrant appearance. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” Swenson said.  

Religion, Mesoamerican culture, and astronomical patterns have reigned as inspirations for the artists, providing a variety of jewelry for customers to choose from. 

According to an article published in the Grant County Beat, NMSU associate professor in jewelry and metalsmithing, Motoko Furuhashi, said the event advances students’ skills in marketing, accounting, customer care and jewelry production. 

The event is open to the public, and anyone who is unable to attend the sale will get another opportunity to purchase the handcrafted treasures at the NMSU art department’s Open Studio Day on Saturday, Nov. 4. For more information, visit the NMSU metalsmithing program’s Facebook and Instagram page @nmsumetals. 

NMSU's 41st Annual Jewelry Sale

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Vibrant jellyfish earrings made by Elizabeth Swenson are on sale at NMSU's 41st Annual Jewelry Sale on Monday, Oct. 30. Materials include copper, brass and lace. (Photo by Azalea Hughes/Kokopelli).

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