NEW YORK — The National Jewelry Institute is hitting double digits. The nonprofit organization is celebrating the occasion by launching a new teaching initiative with Parsons The New School for Design.
“We started NJI 10 years ago to educate people on the art of fine jewelry,” said Judith Price, president. “So, I knew our focus after 10 years would be to really focus and make a mark on education.” The program, titled “The Fine Art of High Jewelry,” will launch in fall 2015 with a weeklong intensive course at Parsons in both New York and Paris. Each day of the program will be broken into two sessions: a morning course taught by a Parsons faculty member, and an afternoon field trip to visit museums, jewelry collections and various ateliers.
Applications, open to the public, will be available closer to the inaugural session. The participation fee is yet to be determined. “It’s for someone who has the time and is excited about jewelry,” Price said. It’s a way for someone to learn, and also network and meet designers.”
Currently, the aim is to conduct a minimum of four sessions per year in each city, with a goal of expansion based on participation rates. Specifics of the curriculum have yet to be determined, though the NJI plans to tap into its deep well of fine jewelry contacts that have previously collaborated on the institute’s international exhibitions. Cartier has already contributed an undisclosed amount to Parsons in the NJI’s name to kick-start the project.
In addition to the Parsons project, the institute will launch its first annual Fine Art of High Jewelry Awards during Paris Couture week in July 2015. The awards will recognize the single-best piece of jewelry from each new collection launched that year, as determined by a panel consisting of Parsons faculty and members of the NJI board. Winners will be displayed in a yet-to-be-revealed exhibition. Following the awards ceremony, a dinner will be held at the Louvre. Both projects will be officially unveiled Wednesday evening at the NJI’s 10th Anniversary Gala held at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York.