NewForms exhibit challenges convention, cultivates creativity

The Lockhart Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit called "NewForms," a display of contemporary jewelry and metal work featuring six different artists.

Much of the emphasis of "NewForms" is placed on the similarities and differences between the lines and shapes created by metal and man-made materials, and the lines and shapes found in nature.

Jeong Ju Lee, an artist originally from Seoul, South Korea, had several interesting pieces displayed in the exhibit, though she has shown her work all over New York State.

Her statement explains that she created "sculptural jewelry forms which combine natural shapes with human elements." She goes on to say how she hopes that her "jewelry can be seen as a wearable sculpture."

Artist Alicia J. Boswell's pieces featured sculptures of metal and mesh intertwined with colored threads, while artist Carol-Lynn Swol used materials such as sterling, heat shrink tubing and tyvek, "a plastic product that feels [and looks] as delicate as paper, but is far more durable."

"NewForms" also features a collection of custom knives, made by five artists separate from those featured in the main exhibit. All of the knives' handles and blades are carved with very intricate patterns and designs.

One of the knives, created by artist Larry Fregan, features a handle carved into the head and body of a tiger-like mythical creature. Fregan painted it with excruciating detail, creating an almost life-like appearance.

The display of knives also has short descriptions of the two different techniques used in custom knife making: The Stock Removal method requires the blade of the knife to be ground down into the shape that the artist wants. The Forging method, on the other hand, has the artist heat the metal blade until it becomes malleable enough to be shaped. The show features examples of both techniques.

"NewForms" is showing at Lockhart Gallery in the McClellan House at 26 Main Street, just off campus. The exhibit runs until Feb. 28. More information can be found on the gallery's Web site,