In 2011, we were invited by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian to work with the local jewelry community. In partnership with regional universities, colleges, art centers, and the local guild, we created an exhibition of contemporary reuse recycle pieces to be shown alongside an exhibition of Thunderbird jewelry from the Santo Domingo Pueblo, made through similar means in the 1920s-50s. Showing these two exhibits alongside each other underscored recurring values and processes throughout history—we have been recycling and reusing forever.

Our project highlights how necessary these strategies and processes are today given our understanding of the harmful effects hard rock mining has on the environment, as well as the finite supply of resources we have available to us. RJM is a way to create community around these shared values while working together to find better solutions that don’t inherently harm human health or the environment.

Participating Institutions

Wheelwright Institute of the American Indian
Institute of American Indian Arts
New Mexico State University–Las Cruces
University of Texas–El Paso
Santa Fe Community College
The Poeh Center
New Mexico Metalsmiths Guild