Two works by Lauren Selden: "Engagement" and "Similar Discussion"

"Engagement" (left) and "Similar Discussion" by Lauren Selden

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The work of Lauren B. Selden, associate professor of metal/jewelry in the School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University, was recently published in Metalsmith, a well-known publication of contemporary metalworking and jewelry.

The quarterly magazine is released by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), the metalworking and jewelry international organization. SNAG described "Moved by Metal: On Beauty as Interaction" as "a showcase of works that help us discover beauty in the process of engagement."

"Being featured in this 'Exhibition in Print' is one of the highlights of my career," Selden said. "I am so honored to be part of the publication as well as the traveling exhibition."

The exhibition was on display at the Center for Craft Creativity and Design in Asheville, North Carolina, accompanying the "Spaces of Production" project this past summer from July 31 through Aug. 22.

The "Moved by Metal" selection was curated by author Wendy Steiner, whose books include "Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth-Century Art" and "The Scandal of Pleasure: Art in an Age of Fundamentalism." Steiner's essay for this issue reveals how beauty is not inherent in things, or even in the eye of the beholder, but instead lies in the interchange between objects and viewers, according to the article.

"While all of the featured works invite interaction or empathy, they do not all follow the same template for beauty. This issue includes a diverse range of forms and styles, from functional objects to public installations to toys and puzzles. Regardless of their format or scale, each piece has the capacity to move us in some way and to remind us of beauty's undeniable power," the article said.

"This publication is the source for knowing the contemporary movements of our diverse field," Selden said. "In the publication, you will see things ranging from wearable jewelry, art jewelry, sculpture, environmental works, installation and more. Also, the magazine highlights a wide variety of processes and materials that artists today are utilizing to make their work."

Metalsmith Magazine and SNAG are main resources for Selden's students as they learn contemporary metalworking and jewelry. Each quarter, the students review the magazine and find inspiration. Many SFA art students are members of SNAG and are becoming more involved in the organization, Selden said.

"When we travel to other conferences and workshops, the communities are linked together, and the knowledge of the makers in our field make it easier to network and find future opportunities," she said. "I hope that my recent publication gives them the drive they need to continue working and becoming active in the field. If I can lead by example, I expect their possibilities can open further. If I expect the world from them and the highest level of quality, they should expect the same from me and know that I'm continuing to strive to stay current and relevant in our field."

Selden said the manner in which her work was utilized in the publication may, perhaps, be the greatest honor. Steiner, professor, author and founding director of the Penn Humanities Forum, has written multiple impressive works that discuss beauty in the 21st century.

"My favorite thing about the way they utilized my work in this publication is that they referenced the work in three different locations, under three different subjects, from three very different times in my career," she said. "I am so grateful that they selected work that spanned from 2007 to the present. I was featured in a section about 'yearning for connection,' 'visualizing interaction,' and 'games, toys, playgrounds.' This diversity of context truly has given me the encouragement that I need in a time where I am questioning the variety of concepts that I employ."

Selden received her BFA from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, and her MFA from Arizona State University. Exhibition accomplishments include solo exhibitions across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and Kentucky. Her work has appeared in juried and invitational exhibitions nationally and internationally. Selden's outdoor sculptures are currently on exhibition at the Abilene Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, the Wichita Falls Kemp Center for the Arts Art on the Green Exhibition, and the Palestine Art Track Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.