a work by Monica Maestrelli

"Monica Maestrelli, Jewelry by Design" is a one-day exhibition and event scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Ledbetter Gallery at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will present "Monica Maestrelli, Jewelry by Design," a one-day exhibition and event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Ledbetter Gallery at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

A designer of jewelry and luxury accessories for the home, Maestrelli was born and raised in Florence, Italy. She began her design career at the Superstudio, a design studio famous for its avant-garde architecture and design work. Working with a group of five architects, who experimented with radical concepts of new architecture, she quickly developed an interest in minimalist and organic form and later synthesized these interests in creating her own designs for jewelry and luxury home accessories, according to Dr. David Lewis, professor of art history at SFA.

In 1983, Maestrelli began working as a gift designer for Gucci and was responsible both for original designs and overseeing the development of new prototypes. From 1994 through 2004, she worked with the art director Tom Ford as senior designer for the new Gucci Home & Jewelry Collection. In 2005, she began working with Gucci's new art director, Frida Giannini. During the following three years, Maestrelli continued working with Gucci as a freelance designer before deciding to design and produce her own jewelry collection. Her work is characterized by "a sophisticated, minimalist approach to organic form," Lewis said.

Her jewelry is made in Florence, Italy, and is cast in sterling silver 925 and gold 18k by the same artisans and goldsmiths who produce jewelry for the most prestigious brands, according to Lewis.

"Many of Monica Maestrelli's works are produced in limited editions or are one-of a-kind," he said. "A feature of the current exhibition is a limited edition of bola form jewelry that she has designed in celebration of her visit to Texas."

Works will be available for sale at the exhibition. The artist will be in attendance and will be available for questions. Maestrelli currently lives and works in Florence and New York. Admission to the exhibition is free.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches. For more information, contact the SFA Galleries at (936) 468-1131.