Kye-Yeon Son. Untitled brooch no. 6, 2017. Steel, enamel. Image courtesy fo the artist.

Face à Face: An Exhibition of Canadian Contemporary Jewellery

Micah Adams, Marie-Eve G. Castonguay, Alex Kinsley, Amir Sheikhvand, Jan Smith, Kye-Yeon Son, Devon Thom, Lawrence Woodford, Alice Yujing Yan, and Patrycja Zwierzynska

June 24–June 24, 2021

Curated by Organized by MaDe Collective and curated by Melanie Egan and Paul McClure



January 13 – April 22, 2018

This exhibition presents a selection of contemporary jewellery in Canada, with works by 10 artists from across the country. These bold and explorative jewels represent a national cross-section of a practice that values objects made by hand. While not a full representation of ongoing activity within Canada, the works epitomize a vibrant diversity that is a hallmark of the country.

Canada as a nation is young compared to the many nations that occupy this country. Geographically, Canada is expansive with sprawling landscapes, three coasts, cosmopolitan cities, small towns and vast unpopulated areas. We also have a tiny population relative to landmass. These realities mean the jewellery activity in Canada cannot be easily defined or regionalized. No one voice can define us. We are a many-voiced country and embrace this as our strength.

The jewellery pieces included were carefully considered to reflect this strength and represent a wide array of artistic practices employed by Canadian artists. Not only does each artist’s work display a balance of idea development, they are each committed to intriguing material exploration creating works that speak to place and time. Material exploration and high calibre craftsmanship are in the service of concept realization and presentation. These artists see themselves as part of the global art jewellery continuum and create works that expand our views of this field, ourselves, and society.

– Melanie Egan and Paul McClure

Part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival (January 15-21, 2018)


MaDe Collective was formed in 2016 by Marie-Eve G. Castonguay and Devon Thom. Face à Face was their first major project and was first exhibited Parcours Bijoux, a major international event dedicated to contemporary jewellery held in Paris, France, in the fall of 2017.


Micah Adams

Originally from Nova Scotia, Micah Adams began his formal art training at CÉGEP John Abbott College in Montréal and received his BFA from NSCAD University. Upon graduation, he participated in the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre. In 2013, he applied his jewellery-making skills to a printmaking residency at Toronto’s Open Studio. Also in 2013, during a residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, he translated drawings into sculptures. This combination of work won the 2016 Toronto Design Offsite Festival award for Best in Festival. Since 2004 his drawings have been held in the Pierogi Flat Files (New York). He is represented by MKG127 (Toronto) and L.A. Pai Gallery (Ottawa). His works are held in many private and public collections. Adams currently lives and works in Toronto.


Marie-Eve G. Castonguay

Originally from Quebec City, Marie-Eve G. Castonguay is a jewellery artist currently based in Toronto. She holds a diploma from the École de Joaillerie de Québec as well as a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing from NSCAD University in Halifax. She is currently part of the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre, where she was awarded a scholarship in 2014. Her work has been showcased in various exhibitions throughout Canada, as well as in various countries in Europe, including France, Romania, Spain, Austria and Greece. Creating her pieces like miniature sculptures that one can wear, she is interested in the close relationship we have with jewellery. Her work explores notions of belonging and intimacy.


Alex Kinsley

Alex Kinsley grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, where he received jewellery training from his parents. Moving to Toronto in 2010, Alex studied jewellery at George Brown College, receiving an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 2013. Alex has shown work in Canada, Europe, and the US. He has been a member of Craft Ontario since 2012 and was accepted into the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre in 2015. Alex is currently a sessional instructor at OCAD University in Toronto, and has previously taught at George Brown College in Toronto, and NSCAD University in Halifax.


Amir Sheikhvand

Born in Tehran, artist Amir Sheikhvand currently lives and works in Toronto. After completing academic studies in biology and graphic design and learning music, he went on to study Jewellery, and graduated from Tehran’s Gold Institute in 1994. He has done apprenticeships with some of Iran’s masters in the field of Malileh-kary (filigree work) and Minakary (miniature enameling). He is the pioneer in the education of women in the field of jewellery in Iran.

Amir resumed his practice in Canada in 1999, after presenting several solo exhibitions in Iranian galleries. His contemporary practice combines his academic knowledge, traditional skills and modern techniques. His multidisciplinary approach, with eclectic use of media within his conceptual art work, makes him recognizable.

Amir’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in both juried and invitational exhibitions, in galleries such as Valley Art Gallery, McMaster Museum of Art, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Arta Gallery, Tehran Contemporary Museum of Art and Harbourfront Centre. Amir has volunteered for several years at Harbourfront Centre as an advisor to the Craft & Design Studio.


Jan Smith

Jan Smith is a BC-based artist working in the fields of jewellery and printmaking. She holds a BFA NSCAD University. She recently had a solo exhibition Memoria at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Smith was part of the 2016 Summer Artist Series at NSCAD University, and guest artist in the printmaking department at Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC, 1988. Her works are in the collections of Canada Council Art Bank, Burnaby Art Gallery, and Simon Fraser University. Jan’s work is in publications including New Earrings: 500+ Designs from Around the World, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor and Amulets and Exhibition in Print: Metalsmith Magazine 2003. Jan Smith is the recipient of awards from the Enamelist Society, Northern California Enamel Guild and Vancouver Foundation. She co-founded the Vancouver Metal Arts Association and has served on its board of directors. Jan has also served on the board of directors of the Seattle Metals Guild, Malaspina Printmaker’s Society and Salt Spring Arts Council.


Kye-Yeon Son

Kye-Yeon Son was born in South Korea and earned a BFA degree in Applied Art at Seoul National University, Korea, and a MFA in Jewellery Design and Silversmithing at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Kye-Yeon started full-time teaching in 1995, and she contributed to the development of the current NSCAD University Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing program. She has also been invited as a visiting artist for lectures and workshops, nationally and internationally.

As a recipient of the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, she has exhibited her works in numerous solo and group exhibitions in public and commercial galleries across Canada, the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, and Korea. In addition, her work has also garnered numerous awards from multiple organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Metal Arts Guild and NICHE, a leading publication promoting fine craft art and galleries. Since 2000, she has also been a member of the Royal Academy of Arts.


Devon Thom

Devon Thom was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2015 she graduated with honours from the Jewellery Arts Program at George Brown College in Toronto. Upon graduation she was accepted as an Artist-in-Residence in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre and awarded an entrance scholarship.

Devon’s work is greatly inspired by geometric formations that surround us – from microscopic crystalline structures to classically proportioned architecture. Jewellery has provided her with an intimate outlet to explore these forms, and her work exhibits a balance between fine goldsmithing, digital technology and classical design principals.

Devon has exhibited her work in Canada, the US and Spain. She currently resides in Washington, DC.


Lawrence Woodford

Lawrence Woodford received his college degree in jewellery and metal arts at the École de Joaillerie de Montréal, and his MFA from NSCAD University. He has maintained a professional studio practice while teaching at three visual arts institutions, receiving several awards and research grants.

Lawrence has taught different levels of jewellery, focusing on fabrication, metal forming and new methods and materials in jewellery. Participating in international exhibitions and being published in numerous anthologies on contemporary jewellery art, Lawrence Woodford’s contribution to this art form is significant.

He has participated in artist residencies around the world and was invited to Sydney College of the Arts as a guest artist and lecturer as well as a teacher at Penland School of Crafts. Woodford is currently building an off-grid eco-home / studio in rural British Columbia where he continues to make work for exhibitions and re-evaluate the aesthetics of the worn object.


 Alice Yujing Yan

Alice Yujing Yan is originally from China, where she received a BFA in animation. In Canada she decided to study jewellery and began metalsmithing at NSCAD University, receiving a BFA in Jewellery Design in 2014. Alice has shown her work throughout North America and Asia, and recently in France. She participated in the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre from 2014 to 2017.


Patrycja Zwierzynska

Patrycja Zwierzynska is a Toronto-based artist working in contemporary jewellery. An enduring interest in the arts and a desire to make things led her to pursue an education at NSCAD University, where she was first introduced to metalworking. She graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing. Upon graduating she participated in the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre. She is one of the founding members of Studio HUDDLE, a co-operative, artist-run studio and gallery space in Toronto. Her work examines the boundaries and definitions of jewellery, and displays strong craftsmanship and innovation in design and process. Her pieces have been exhibited throughout Canada, as well as internationally.

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