Here’s What’s Happening at the 1st Annual New York City Jewelry Week

New York City is getting its own Jewelry Week.

A pair of jewelry and retail veterans, Bella Neyman and JB Jones, are organizing the first annual New York City Jewelry Week—seven days of around-the-city programming, running Nov. 12–18, designed to promote New York City’s jewelry industry, innovators, curators, retailers, and historians through educational and fashion-centric happenings.

Neyman, a longtime jewelry curator, came up with the idea for a Jewelry Week in NYC after years of traveling to jewelry weeks in Europe, including those held in Munich; Athens, Greece; and Barcelona, Spain.

“I recognized that there was a real need for a jewelry week here,” she says. “We have so many jewelers here in New York City, and we wanted to find a way to highlight them.”

New York City Jewelry Week (NYCJW) will feature exhibitions, lectures, workshops, studio tours, and a handful of collection presentations from established and emerging brands, individual jewelers, artists, and designers.

“Our whole mission is to engage general public with jewelry in the city,” says Jones. “For us that means [providing] opportunities to do things like visit a great retailer and learn about jewelry history and the manufacturing that’s happening in the city through visits to artist studios and going behind-the-scenes at showrooms and museums.”

She adds, “It’s meant to be an all-inclusive experience. We believe by developing programming that’s educational, it really lays foundation for supporting jewelry in the city.”

The week, which already has 50–60 events programmed, is public-facing, though there will be invitation-only happenings—chiefly due to space restraints and/or security in venues. The organizers, who are actively looking for sponsors for the event, approached studios, institutions, and artists who “have a specific New York story,” says Neyman.

Jones adds that they want to be “very democratic” in their selection process and haven’t turned anyone away who’s been interested in presenting. “If and when people come along and are interested, we’re trying to make it work for them. And we want to be able to grow.”

NYCJW has already built an impressive network of associations with museums, educators, maker spaces, and designers, and the city of New York itself (through NYC Go and the New York City Economic Development Corp.).

Its board of advisers includes Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week; Stellene Volandes, jewelry author and editor of Town & Country; Jonathan Wahl, director of the Jewelry Center at the 92nd St. Y; Karen Giberson, president of the Accessories Council; and jewelry designer Deirdre Featherstone.

New York City Jewelry Week logo
The logo for New York City Jewelry Week (courtesy of NYCJW)

Here’s a sampling of the dynamic events planned for NYCJW:

++ A private behind-the-scenes viewing with Cynthia Trope, the Cooper Hewitt museum’s associate curator of product design and decorative arts.

• An exclusive curatorial-led tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibit, “Jewelry: The Body Transformed.”

• “Fake News and True Love: Fourteen Stories by Robert Baines”: A clever examination of jewelry as a document of popular cultural history at the Museum of Arts and Design. The Museum will host a special talk on American jewelry in conjunction with the exhibition.  

•  ​Special presentation of New York City–based jewelers at Bergdorf Goodman.

• An exhibition displaying the work of modern and contemporary jewelers from the American Southwest, including Charles Loloma, Verma Nequetewa, Richard Chavez, Eveli Sabatie, Jesse Monongya, and H. Fred Skaggs at Mahnaz Collection.

• Jewelry panels at the 92​nd​ Street Y Jewelry Center: “Made in New York” moderated by Stellene Volandes, and “Influencers” moderated by Marion Fasel of The Adventurine.

• Events at the Brooklyn Navy Yard: featuring an exhibition, panel discussion, and open studios.

• Tour of influential Brooklyn retailer Catbird’s workshop.

• Special presentation and talk by New York City–based artist Marla Aaron at Greenwich St. Jewelers.

• An exhibition curated by jewelry designer Ariana Boussard-Reifel that illustrates how ethnographic and tribal jewelry have inspired contemporary jewelry collections.

Top: Bella Neyman and JB Jones, organizers of New York City Jewelry Week (image via: @nycjewelryweek)

JCK Magazine Editor