Lauren Selden

Lauren Selden

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Lauren B. Selden, associate professor of art at Stephen F. Austin State University, was recently elected as a board member for the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Founded in 1969, SNAG is an international nonprofit organization that serves as the primary organization of jewelers and metal artists in North America. Members include independent studio artists, teachers, students, gallerists, collectors, curators and writers. Selden is the area advisor for metals and jewelry for the SFA School of Art.

"This is a huge opportunity for myself and my students, for recruitment and for international recognition of SFA," she said. "Volunteer board members are responsible for many of the operations for this large nonprofit. I will gain professional experience with creating a more sustainable nonprofit organization, learn about grant funding, and be an active part in the transition (creating a new business model and strategic plan) that is crucial to the success of the organization."

SNAG is responsible for several major projects which contribute to the field: the publication of Metalsmith magazine, an annual conference, a newsletter (SNAGnews), a listserve (SNAGnet), and a website. All of these resources and events combine to document the work in the fields of jewelry, design and metal arts and help to foster a vibrant, professional artistic community, according to its definition in Wikipedia.

"This organization houses oral history, exhibitions, technical practices, professional support and so much more," Selden said, "all of which is still vital to the field of metalworking and jewelry."

Selden received her BFA from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and her MFA from Arizona State University. Her artwork has exhibited in various states across the nation and published in Lark Books' "500 Metal Vessels" and "500 Wedding Rings." After six years of teaching at SFA, Selden has received multiple awards, including the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Fine Arts. Her current sculptural work will be on display in Abilene and St. Joseph, Mo., for one year beginning this summer. Selden will participate in a research initiative with fellow SFA professors in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) this summer, with resulting creative work being shown in 2015.