WJA Awards $14,000 in Scholarships

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) 19th Annual Scholarship Program awarded $14,000 to eight talented jewelry students in 2003. The annual awards are based on slides of three finished pieces submitted by each student—who must be enrolled in a jewelry study program—along with two references from teachers or gallery/store owners who are familiar with the student and her work.

WJA’s top student scholarship, the $5,000 June Herman Scholarship, was awarded to Amy O’Connell, a Jewelry/Metal Arts student at California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) in Oakland, Calif. Her innovative designs, entitled “Peridot Bank,” “Necklace for Sun Worship,” and “A Nest of Winged Snakes,” called for a wide range of materials including garnet, amber, carnelian, enamel, copper, sterling, and yellow opal.

Winners of $2,000 scholarships were Angela M. Bubash and Linnea Lahlum. Bubash is working on a master’s degree in jewelry/metalsmithing at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Lahlum is pursuing her MFA degree in Metalwork and Jewelry at Northern Illinois University School of Art, in De Kalb.

Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each were awarded to Barbara Buttler, Worcester Center for Crafts, School for Professional Crafts, Worcester, Mass.; Luana Coonen, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland; Dana C. Fear, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.; Natalya Pinchuk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign; and Junghyun Woo, San Diego State University, San Diego.

Scholarship funds included the proceeds of WJA’s Silent Auction held during its annual Awards for Excellence celebration in July 2002 as well as the contributions of companies and individuals who support WJA’s mission: the June Herman Fund, David B Rosenberg Scholarship Fund, Finlay Fine Jewelry Fund, Gumuchian Fils Ltd. Fund, Helene Fortunoff Fund, I.B. Goodman Anniversary Fund, M. Markman-Suberi Bros. Fund, Phyllis and Ira Bergman Fund, Sam. Aaron Co. Scholarship Fund, and Billie Sutter Fund.

The WJA Scholarship Committee comprises WJA members from across the country, including designer Alexandra Hart, a member of the WJA San Diego Chapter, who received a WJA scholarship when she was a student. The Scholarship Committee also is responsible for the WJA Member Grants, a program introduced in 2002 to assist members with continuing education.

The application deadline for the 2004 WJA scholarships is April 30, 2004. For more information on student scholarships and member grants, contact Gillian Schultz, WJA Scholarship Program Chair, Metronet Safe & Sound, 67 E. Madison Street, #265, Chicago, IL 60603.

For information on the WJA, visit www.womensjewelry.org or call (973) 575-7190.