MJSA Education Foundation Awards Over $10,000 in Scholarship Funds

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The MJSA Education Foundation recently awarded over $10,000 in scholarships to six students from across the United States who are pursuing professional careers in jewelry making and design. The total amount includes a $2,500 grant provided by the Providence Jewelers Club for students enrolled in an eligible Rhode Island program. The MJSA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) subsidiary of MJSA, the trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design. It supports training and outreach programs that help to ensure the jewelry industry maintains a qualified, competitive workforce, and since 1997 has awarded over $230,000 in scholarship funds. The six recipients of the 2020 scholarships are listed below. Christopher Liu ($2,900 scholarship) Christopher Liu is pursuing a BFA in jewelry design and metalsmithing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. A past winner of the "emerging jewelry artist" categories in the Saul Bell Design Award competition, he is also a competitive figure skater whose work reflects the movement and flow of his sport. He expects to graduate in May 2022, after which he’d like to work as a bench jeweler before opening a shop of his own and perhaps teaching high-school students (an interest honed by his experience teaching figure skating at a local rink). Delaney Gonzales-Garcia ($2,400 scholarship) Delaney Gonzales-Garcia is pursuing an AAS in cowboy arts/western silversmithing and fabrication at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, New Mexico. A native New Mexican, she creates work that reflects two influences gleaned from growing up near Gallup: an appreciation of Native American art and an affinity for the "bits, spurs, and buckles" of the local rodeo scene. Her anticipated graduation date is May 2021. Ultimately, she’d like to run her own company and teach others the art of silversmithing. Kelly Knight ($1,500 scholarship) Kelly Knight is pursuing an MA in jewelry design at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, the same college from which she graduated in 1995 with a BFA in interior design. Her career over the past two decades has included stints with world-renowned interior design firms, but she also ran a side business making and selling jewelry decorated with pearls and beads. She now intends to turn her avocation into her vocation, and anticipates graduating in May 2022. She intends to run her own business creating a line of interchangeable fine jewelry, perhaps with a related line of home accessories. Tana Miller ($1,000 scholarship) Tana Miller is pursuing a diploma in the Jewelry Design and Technology program at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. She has been involved in retail jewelry since 2013, working as a sales associate for a major retailer near her home in Bluefield, West Virginia, and completing the diamond certification program offered by Diamond Council of America. After her expected graduation in January 2021, she would ultimately like to return to West Virginia and open her own custom studio. Allison Ice ($500 scholarship) Allison Ice is pursuing an MFA in visual arts/metalsmithing at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. A 2019 MJSA scholarship winner, she is exploring how traditional jewelry-making skills can be combined with materials and techniques derived from commercial toy manufacturing. She expects to graduate in May 2022, after which she’d like to work as a jewelry artist and teach college arts. Anna Van Ness ($2,500 Providence Jewelers Club Foundation Grant) Anna Van Ness, who also won the Providence Jewelers Club grant in 2019, is pursuing a BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Her studies include a concentration in nature, culture, and sustainability studies, and the Vermont native intends to work with materials and processes that have minimal environmental impact. She expects to graduate in May 2022. To learn more about the MJSA scholarship winners and see their work, click here.