For over fifty years, artist and Skidmore College alumna Arline Fisch has been celebrating: as Fisch explains, “To make jewelry is to celebrate.” Playful and dramatic, The Art of Arline Fisch features almost thirty metal objects and works of jewelry from the artist’s abundant and varied oeuvre, ranging from necklaces and brooches to torso-length body ornaments. Fisch’s decorative objects and wearable art are informed by her fascination with the craftwork of ancient cultures, her knowledge of textile production, and her acute attention to what she considers “the psychological and physical enhancement” of the body. Fisch works with a variety of metals to create necklaces, bracelets, collars, hats, and torso wraps, exploring diverse ways of manipulating her materials to tease the imagination.
In her forty-five year career as an artist in metals, Fisch helped pioneer the body-jewelry movement of the 1960s and invented a new medium by crossing metalsmithing with textile techniques. A founding member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, she has been declared a “living treasure” by the California State Legislature and was honored in 2001 with the American Craft Council’s Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship. In addition to honoring the career of a celebrated member of the Skidmore community, this exhibition provides an opportunity to explore Fisch’s work as something worn, something seen, and something contemplated.