Shaping Silver: Spotlight artist Mary Beth St. Clair

MARY BETH ST. CLAIR, Alliance Gallery’s featured Member Artist in April, began designing with beads and metal after she was commissioned to sketch Art Nouveau style designs for jewelry pieces in 1995. After discovering the endless possibilities of jewelry art, a passion was unleashed, and she wanted to learn all she could. Mary Beth's pieces range from the simple to the elegant. Her self-taught approach allows for a fresh and different, yet practical expectation of her art.

Mary Beth draws her inspiration for her designs from art, nature, and history. Some designs reflect the era of Art Nouveau, flowing with graceful lines and romance as well as modern simple asymmetrical or geometric designs. One may see the beauty of the gemstone, whimsy of the material, or elegance of the composition, but she believes that the true value of a piece of jewelry is the feeling it inspires: the special relationship between the object of beauty and the wearer.

She pays particular attention to the gem, very much like a sculptor listens to the stone before carving. She hand-crafts each silver setting to enhance the piece. Amber has been a long-time favorite because each piece is individually selected, and amber comes in such a rich variety of color ranging from opaque yellow to glowing green.

Her collection ranges from earrings to necklaces to clasps for scarves, and brooches. Recently, she found herself attracted to microchips—a unique form of jewelry for our wired-in generation.

The Alliance Art Gallery invites you to enjoy its opening reception honoring Mary Beth St. Clair’s work, on Saturday, April 8, from 5:00 until 8:00 PM. This reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night.