In the hustle and bustle of this fast paced world we all seem to live in, artist “Gogo” Ferguson uses her art to remind us to slow down and listen to nature. A fifth generation Carnegie–a direct descent from Thomas Carnegie, brother of Andrew–she comes from a well-known entrepreneurial family. She continues that legacy in creating jewelry from items found in nature and has her own successful business.
Gogo is featured in a show at the High Museum of Art, “Gogo: Nature Transformed” on display from January 19 to June 23, 2013. As she was preparing her final touches on getting her show ready to open, Gogo spent a few minutes sharing with me about her life’s work.
Gogo credits her grandmother Lucy R. Ferguson in helping her develop the love of nature and the beauty found on Cumberland Island. “My whole lifestyle is one of very simple living. I don’t need a lot. I think that’s what the island has taught me,” emphasized Gogo. Her grandmother taught her a wide array of skills, even the ability to call an alligator.
High Museum director Michael Shapiro, a frequent guest to Cumberland Island connected with Gogo and has been a big supporter of the exhibit at the High Museum of Art. “I don’t think the High has done many shows on jewelry designers that are still alive” gleams Gogo as she reiterates that her real purpose is to showcase the beauty and wonder of nature. The jewelry affords individuals to experience a bit of Cumberland Island.
Gogo has had many well known fans, from Jackie Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mikhail Baryshnikov to name a few. Baryshnikov wrote a touching forward to the art catalogue of the exhibit. In the book for the show, Gogo: Nature Transformed, there is a well known photo of this famed dancer taken by Annie Leibovitz on Cumberland Island.
Her biography is full of interesting tales. One that stands out is that as part of the 2004 G-8 Summit, Gogo designed a special pair of cuff links that were gifts to the visiting dignitaries. These are but a few of the special events her jewelry has been used to commemorate something extraordinary.
Before you enter the exhibit you cross a sky bridge that has been transformed to a scene full of trees and moss and at the far end you see a large 9 ft by 6 ft installation of a reproduction of New England Sea Weed. Below is a sea urchin pouf that has been enlarged to resemble a seat with a comfy ostrich leather top surrounded by displays full of gems.
The display cases have a mix of artifacts and interesting pieces of jewelry, along with candle sticks, and other interesting utensils.
As to trends, Gogo tends not to follow them, but she does admit that the theme of nature was prominent a recent article in W Magazine. She does not follow them, she creates them.
As to her process, Gogo she admits that is always on the hunt for something unique. Now with the help of her daughter Hannah, Gogo is able to digitally scan her finds and change the dimensions to different size of scales and show case the beauty of God’s creations.
Gogo’s logo is made of rattlesnake ribs and vertebrae, of which are found on Cumberland Island. On display there is an interesting evolution of this insignia.
In an age that being “green” is the new status symbol, the jewelry design of Gogo is a refreshing retro look into the true marvels that nature has to offer. As Gogo notes, her work is simply a “recycling of nature.”
Be sure to check out Gogo: Nature Transformed at the High Museum of Art which runs from January 19- July 7, 2013. http://tinyurl.com/a6n8fd8
A wonderful way to see how from the bones of animals to shells and seaweed washed ashore, nature provides the foundation for the elegant and eclectic works of wearable art produced under Gogo’s creative lens. Check out this video about Gogo: http://youtu.be/IQUIGllPSsI
There is also an opportunity to take home a piece of this exhibit by the selection available at the High Museum’s gift shop or visit Gogo’s site for more information and works: http://www.gogojewelry.com/
Rain and Fire in Sedona
A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography.
What to do, what to do.
Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!
The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.
When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold.
We were about to become glass blowers!
Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.
Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”
Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.
Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.
Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.
Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.
They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor.
Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing!
Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.
If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!
How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!
Join Us at the 9th Annual Atlanta Arts Festival This Weekend!
Rock & Roll Fine Art Show at Artegon Marketplace
Ron Campbell, Beatles Yellow Submarine Animator & Beatles TV Cartoon Director to Appear Live at the Show Creating Original BEATLES CARTOON PAINTINGS
The “1059 SUNNY FM Rock Art Show & Sale” Features Artwork Created By Rock Stars, Famous Rock Photographs, Album Artwork, Gold Records, Concert Posters, Animation Art & More…Plus a Special Rolling Stones Exhibit in honor of their upcoming concert. All Works Are Available To Purchase
1059 SUNNY FM is welcoming a one of a kind rare Rock & Roll fine art show to the Artegon Marketplace in Orlando, Friday, June 5th – Sunday, June 7th , 2015. The “1059 SUNNY FM Rock Art Show & Sale” is a unique collection of original art, lithographs, photographs, concert posters, gold records, album art and more from the greatest rock artists of all time, plus a live appearance from Beatles animator Ron Campbell. Campbell will be exhibiting his original Beatles cartoon art as well as painting new works at the show. The show is free and open to the public on Friday, June 5 th through Saturday, June 6th from 10am – 9pm and Sunday, June 7th from 11am – 6pm. All works are available to purchase.
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