“Bead work in art form is the soul of the artist,” according to Juanita Finger, owner of Tokay Beaded Art in Roswell, New Mexico. Finger is living proof that beads can be used for so much more than jewelry.
In her 25 years as an artist of beaded sculptures and tapestries, Finger saw the need for a bead-centric art space.
“I couldn’t find a place to adequately display or sell my work, never quite getting it across that bead-work can also be art. I felt that I couldn’t possibly be the only artist with this same problem. So, I decided that I would open an art gallery solely for beaded art,” Finger said.
Tokay Beaded Art opened in late January 2016.
Inside the Nation’s Only Beaded Art Gallery
What makes bead work an art form?
What makes Tokay Beaded Art unique?
Tokay Beaded Art is the only art gallery in the U.S. that is uniquely for displaying beaded art in all it’s forms. This includes jewelry, sculptures, tapestries etc. All submissions must have 80 percent or more beads. The beaded art is selected by jurying process and exhibited and for sale.
How do you work with artists?
What are the most interesting pieces that have come through your gallery?
What are the most interesting classes you’ve hosted?
We host various classes at the gallery. There is an ongoing series of classes teaching the basics through advance. We have had one guest instructor so far in our 6 months of being open. Margo Yee from Albuquerque gave a class on making a focal point in your necklace. We continually search for guest instructors. Our website or Facebook page will have announcements all future events. Amy Loh-Kupser from I-bead.com will be holding a trunk show and teaching class in November 2016.
What inspires you as a bead artist?
An artist can be inspired by all kinds of things, I have one piece that was inspired by a ceiling painting in a Mexican restaurant in Chicago. After being inspired, I had to design the piece which meant sketching the design out and then working with the beads to get the proper shape and colors to work as one to complete the design. This takes many hours of stitching to complete. When completed, the piece is one of a kind and has a bit of the the artist.
Interested in trying some bead art? Check out these free projects from AllFreeJewelryMaking.com.