Holly Anne Mitchell Newspaper Jewelry


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    For 30 years, I've had an endless fascination with newspaper. It began with an assignment in a metalsmithing class. I had to create a piece of jewelry which did not consist of any traditional materials (no metal, precious stones, etc.). I chose newspaper. I love to push the boundaries of it's text, color and content. For example, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today have very different fonts. I love to juxtapose them to create wonderful rich textural patterns. I use Comic Strips because the characters' expressive faces contain bold, bright and powerful colors. I use Expired Coupons because the textural patterns of many elements including the UPC Bar Codes are reminiscent of African Kente cloth. I strive to bring out these aesthetic strengths to create jewelry which is equally interesting both on and off the body. I truly believe the ordinary (such as newspaper) can be extraordinary.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: Assorted sections of newspapers including Comic Strips, Stock Listings, Headlines and Expired Coupons are cut into strips, hand-formed into beads and hand-stitched together to create bracelets, earrings, brooches, necklaces, and cufflinks. All of the newspaper beads are sealed and protected by a moisture-resistant coating.

    A: I have an endless fascination with newspaper as a jewelry medium. I continually strive to push the artistic boundaries of the material.

    A: I’m an African American female artist who’s been fortunate enough to earn a living doing what I truly love for nearly 25 years.

    A: I believe it is important to continually challenge myself to take my artwork to the next level. This means continually exploring newspaper as an artistic medium. I try to balance the informational content of the headlines with the aesthetic value of sections like the stock listings. I often make statement neckpieces and bracelets which focus on a specific social issue. I’ve made neckpieces celebrating the Obama presidency and the murder of George Floyd. As a black woman, these are issues I care deeply about. But I also like to express my tongue in cheek sense of humor by creating pieces which juxtapose the expressive faces of Comic strip characters. What could be better than seeing an exasperated Charlie Brown beside the grumpy face of Garfield?? I love that!

    A: My aunt taught me many of the Native American bead stitches I use in my artwork. And I will be forever grateful to my Metalsmithing professor at The University of Michigan, Hiroko Pijanowski, who gave us an assignment to create a piece of jewelry consisting of only non traditional jewelry materials. I chose newspaper. And the rest is history. :)

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