Crafts Professor Sharon Church to Receive Medal of Achievement from Philadelphia Art Alliance
Nationally renowned studio jeweler will be honored at Alliance’s 70th annual Wetherill Ball April 30
February 25, 2010
University of the Arts Crafts Professor Sharon Church (above left), a nationally renowned studio jeweler, will be honored with the Medal of Achievement from the Philadelphia Art Alliance at its 70th annual Wetherill Ball April 30 at the Rittenhouse Hotel.
"We are so pleased to honor Sharon and bring attention to the beautiful crafted jewelry that she creates," said Philadelphia Art Alliance CEO Maida R. Milone. "The mission of the Art Alliance could be supported in no better way than by honoring such an important educator and craft artist."
A member of the University of the Arts faculty since 1979, Church has spent her creative life making studio jewelry and is best known for her nature-inspired jewelry forms. Her jewelry seeks to embody shimmering beauty along with its dark, damp and mysterious underpinnings. Her work is included in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Arts and Design (NYC); Museum of Fine Arts (Boston); National Gallery of Australia (Canberra, Australia); Samuel Dorsky Museum (State University of New York at New Paltz); Helen Williams Drutt Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston); Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts (Racine, Wis.); and Delaware Art Museum (Wilmington, Del.).
A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Craftsman's Fellowship Grant, Church she has twice been selected as a finalist (discipline winner) for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She has received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, Richard C. von Hess Faculty Award, and two Venture Fund Awards from the University of the Arts. In 2008, she received the James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Educator Award. A 1970 graduate of Skidmore College, Church earned her MFA at the School for American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1973. Before embarking on her teaching career, she was a limited-production studio jeweler.
Since 1940, the Philadelphia Art Alliance has celebrated cultural life in Philadelphia at the Wetherill Ball by honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to arts and culture. Founded in 1915 by theater aficionado and philanthropist Christine Wetherill Stevenson, the Philadelphia Art Alliance continues to occupy its historic Rittenhouse Square building acquired in 1926. In 2009, the organization dedicated itself to the advancement and appreciation of innovative contemporary craft — works in ceramics, glass, fiber, metal and wood — and design and to inspiring dynamic interactions between audiences and artists.