I love New York. Almost as much as I love beads. I love New York, even when it has been raining for the past 20 days straight and everyone, even the pretzel seller on the corner, is grumpy.
And what better excuse for a weekend run to the Big Apple than a bead show? This past weekend was the occasion of the Bead Society of Greater New York’s 20th Anniversary Retrospective. Held at their usual meeting place, the Fashion Institute of Technology, this was a large juried competition and exhibit.
In addition to the current entrants, there were several large cases of items which had won previous years’ competitions. It was fascinating to see several works of a particular artist and see her evolution of style over the years.
The winner of this year’s competition was a large bead embroidered bag by Yoshie Marubashi, entitled, “I Ate A Slice”. Actually, I didn’t realize what the bag was until I read the title. It was a super-large sized pizza! The material was red and pale yellow and the surface was embroidered with beaded onions, pepperoni peppers and all the other accoutrements of a well-dressed pizza.
Another necklace that caught my eye was a simple but elegant aqua-blue necklace. The major pieces of the necklace were 11 transparent plastic shoe horns. Another necklace was composed entirely of beaded toggles, each one different and a little work of art in themselves.
As I wandered from case to case, I noticed that several of the BS members were wearing jewellery with a common theme. It turns out that artist Larry Vrba had smashed a set of dishes with a pale blue-and-white pattern, given each member a piece and challenged them to come up with something that included that piece.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures, but you can see some of the pieces at their website: