Academy MFA Student Wins Women’s Jewelry Association Scholarship
The relationship between a piece of jewelry and the person wearing it is “like a conversation between two fresh lives,” says Mengxuan Liu. It’s a productive dialogue for the MFA student in Academy of Art University’s School of Jewelry & Metal Arts: She’s just been awarded a $2,500 scholarship by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA).
“The aspect of jewelry design that most astonishes me is the interaction of this form of art with human beings,” she explains. “The relationship between jewelry and humans is not so simple as an exhibit item and its background.” Jewelry, she believes, “enhances and expresses the beauty and the emotions of both sides. Few other forms of art are able to carry out this task.”
Mengxuan has discovered these truths through her studies at the Academy, as she had no background in jewelry design prior to joining the university. Originally from Beijing, she has a master’s in ceramic arts from the University of Wolverhampton in the U.K. and a bachelor’s in ceramic art and design from Tsinghua University in China. In choosing the Academy to further her studies, she says she sought to learn new techniques to extend both her skills and her “art spirit” to a wider range of art forms. It was the Academy’s “diversity in art forms” that attracted her to the School of Jewelry & Metal Arts program.
The WJA scholarship will help her continue that exploration and, she says, is a “huge encouragement.” When asked if she has any words of encouragement for her fellow students, she responds with enthusiasm.
“What I’d love to share with my classmates is that getting out of the classroom and studio is very important. I believe the real source of imagination is the big world, rather than a tiny room. A sculpture at MOMA, a building downtown, a view from a bus on the Bay Bridge, even a leaf collected in Golden Gate Park are all beautiful and valuable enough to absorb into the mind. Artists should not be too utilitarian.”
Mengxuan’s graceful jewelry designs truly bridge the space between wearability and beauty and ensure that the conversation between wearer and artwork will continue.