Immediately after Rebecca Strzelec inherited costume jewellery from her grandmother, she conjured up the idea to produce a touching tribute to the sentimental treasures by means of her occupational specialty — 3D wearable artwork.
The Penn State Altoona visible arts professor, whose function has been recognized and displayed nationally and abroad, shares her new challenge, “365 Grams,” in an exhibit at the Altoona Campus, on display as a result of March 18 in the Sheetz Gallery of the Misciagna Family members Middle for Doing Arts.
Strzelec came up with the name of the project when she made the decision to share photos of the jewelry on Instagram and Facebook. She posted a selfie donning her grandmother’s jewelry every single day for a calendar year. “Grams” in the title pays tribute to her grandmother.
The content of jewellery, although not notably precious, Strzelec reported, have meaning that much surpasses that of any diamond.
“I don’t want any of the good things,” Strzelec stated. “That does not definitely imply everything to me. ‘Good’ is relative.”
The jewellery Strzelec inherited features an array of rings, necklaces and earrings.
The exhibit functions extra than 70 items of wearable objects designed from or motivated by her grandmother’s jewellery.
Strzelec took the jewellery and repurposed it via lasers and 3D printing.
Strzelec, an early adopter of 3D printing, commenced applying the approach in 1999 when she was a college student at Temple University’s Tyler College of Art.
Her art has been showcased throughout the state and the globe, including in the Museum of Arts and Design and style in New York, Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin and in an show in Munich, Germany.
She also has a piece in the everlasting assortment of previous Secretary of Point out Madeleine Albright.
“I’ve been in numerous exhibitions that run for a couple months at many galleries,” Strzelec reported. “I consider probably the far more sizeable achievement is that my perform is component of the long lasting collections at several museums. When you have a long-lasting assortment piece, that implies the museum has acquired your get the job done.”
Penn State Altoona Chancellor and Dean Lori Bechtel-Wherry, who visited Strzelec’s exhibit in January, stated the visual arts professor’s perform has touched her individually.
“Rebecca’s function, creativity and teaching acumen proceed to inspire me,” Bechtel-Wherry explained. “Each 12 months, she will make holiday tree decorations that have a exclusive which means in her lifetime, and she has supplied one to me each individual 12 months considering the fact that she’s been at our university. I treasure them, and I have the total selection. Various of the items that significantly contact my soul are shown in my house on a long-lasting basis and they keep on to encourage me and provide solace to my everyday living. Her perform is genuinely inspiring.”
A nearby collector of Strzelec’s art, Gail Maatman is enthusiastic to go to the show, which she mentioned is a fruits of Strzelec’s endeavours to “make a correct inventive assertion.”
“She really has a statement to make, and I like that element of her function,” Maatman reported. “She’s just pretty inspiring, and, acquiring an artist and instructor of her caliber here in this region, we’re fortunate and lucky to have her in Altoona.”
Maatman initially fulfilled Strzelec when she taught the latter’s daughter at Penn-Mont Academy in 2012. Strzelec experienced donated a person of her items to the school’s auction, and it was then that Maatman took an curiosity in her function.
“I was just fascinated by the piece when I 1st observed it,” Maatman mentioned. “It was a necklace and it was accomplished employing a computer-printed technique. It was a medallion, and on a person aspect was a brick wall and on the other was a feather. It took me a minimal bit, but I recognized it was inquiring which was heavier — a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks. I appreciated the humor and wit as perfectly as the strategy.”
From there, Maatman began following Strzelec on social media. She explained Strzelec’s undertaking is “eye-catching and surely appeals to notice.”
Strzelec said the project’s link to her late grandmother made it far more daunting than her more program assignments, which normally touch on themes like politics and science.
“It’s a distinctive feeling,” Strzelec mentioned. “I imagine the big difference for me is that it is riskier. There are men and women in my orbit who will phone me on things. I can’t reduce any corners. If it is not fantastic enough, I’m heading to let down quite a few people who imply a whole lot to me. If this becomes how we recall (my grandmother), it is obtained to be really excellent.”
Strzelec’s mom, Donna, stated she could not be much more proud.
“We’re immensely happy there are no text,” Donna stated. “This could not strike closer to house. We’re so incredibly happy, her father and I equally are. It is just remarkable she’s worked truly difficult on this.”
Donna reported her daughter has generally been enormously driven and committed to the personal and skilled aspects of her life.
“She’s caring and sweet, a superior mom, daughter, spouse and an fantastic professor,” Donna claimed. “For as lengthy as I can try to remember, she required to be an artist. It’s usually been a continual push in her. She just loves what she does.”
Strzelec, at first from St. Louis, grew up in Bucks County, outside Philadelphia, and was motivated by her art instructors to turn out to be an artist.
“For as very long as I can try to remember, I was going to be an artwork instructor,” Strzelec said. “Seeing other individuals passionate about art is what produced me want to be an artist.”
Initially preparing to train artwork at the public university amount, Strzelec did her student teaching in Philadelphia, but made a decision she needed to go in a diverse path. Right immediately after graduating from Temple, she got the position as a professor at Penn Condition Altoona, wherever she located her market.
“I’ve been definitely blessed, but I’ve also been fortunate just since of my moms and dads and their selections. I’m not going to say I would not be an artist if I had stayed in Missouri, but I do not know if I would. You normally want to search back again and feel the route was fairly straight, but mine could have been a great deal bumpier. I’m just happy I landed where I did when I did.”
Strzelec said she’s grateful that her journey as an artist, loaded with progress and private discovery, has led her to in which she is now. 365 Grams, she said, is potentially the most distinctive endeavor of her experienced job and individual lifestyle, way too.
“It was not even about just carrying it it was indicating goodbye,” Strzelec said. “It was carrying every single piece for one of its last situations. I believe, in a weird way, my gram knew all those yrs ago that this is what I’d do — that I’d do a thing seriously awesome, distinctive and exciting with this perform alternatively of just leaving it in a box.”
Donna explained her daughter realized she experienced to put the sentimental treasures to good use.
“Rebecca bought all this stuff and made a decision, ‘I need to do a little something with this,’” Donna claimed. “It’s so humorous to see it all over again and reproduced in a distinctive way. It is wonderful and actually amazing how she’s reinvented every thing whilst maintaining the primary principle of the jewelry. She’s pretty innovative and I don’t know wherever she received it from. Her grandmother is jumping up and down in heaven I know it.”
Mirror Team Author Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.