Alex Chaney & Genne Laakso

July 2 - August 1, 2009

Opening Reception: 5-8pm
First Thursday, July 2, 2009

PUNCH debuts the non-traditional jewelry of two recent MFA graduates of CWU's metalsmithing program. Alex Chaney channels her concerns for the ecological future of the Earth and the fate of our species to produce a body of work designed to short-circuit the role of jewelry in the evolutionary imperative to breed. She produces wearable neckpieces that serve some of the social functions of jewelry as a form of decorative display while ultimately shutting down or redirecting the potential of jewelry as a broker in the process of sexual selection. Using a post-industrial aesthetic, Genne Laakso pushes the boundaries of jewelry by exploring ways to create rituals of wearing, marking, and recovery through the creation of objects that make physical demands upon the wearer. The audience is confronted by a contradiction: the visual elegance, and intricacy to each piece: beauty; and the threatening psychical attributes of the found objects: pain. The culminating pieces of the series knit together contemporary practices of ornament, piercing, the physical attributes of flesh suspension and relate to Genne's recent experiences performing with the group Pend Suspension in Grande Rapids and Detroit, MI.

Alex was born in the log cabin built by her father and grew up on her family's sylvan-agrarian homestead in the hills of Silverton Oregon. She began making jewelry with beads and found objects such as porcupine quills, bullet shells, feathers, and beetle carved wood. Her hobby shifted into a BFA degree in jewelry and metalsmithing from Northern Arizona University in 2005, and in June 2009, culminated in a MFA degree from Central Washington University.

Genne Laakso was born in Kent, Ohio and received her B.F.A. at Kent State University. She now lives and creates her art in Ellensburg, WA, has recently received her MFA, and is the adjunct professor for the Jewelry and Metals program at Central Washington University.

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Hours: Noon-5pm Thurs-Sat,
or by appointment.

Next Exhibition:

Patricia Hagen
(more info to come)


Alex Chaney
Repel: Aprilophobia,
syringe needles, fishing line, epoxy, plastic hose, pink yarn, syringe plunger tip, 2007

Genne Laakso
neoprene 'O' rings, sterling silver, fishing line, latex, fish hooks, copper, steel, 2009. Photo credit: NJB Photography