Art + Soul Gallery marries wall art with wearable art for an extraordinary experience in fine jewelry.

By Christine Mahoney

 

During uncertain times, it’s comforting to know that some things are unshakable, like the need to express love and commitment. Expressions of devotion seem to be on the rise during the pandemic. Just ask Art + Soul Gallery owner Debbie Klein.

Owner Debbie Klein

If she’s learned one thing in balancing her clients’ needs over the years, it’s that expressions of commitment tend to go up in challenging times. “People realize what’s important, and a wedding or commitment ring is a symbol of love,” she says. “We’ve been busy!”

Art + Soul is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020 and will take time in 2021 for an encore celebration of its platinum year. A recent move offered an opportunity to downsize, simplify, and focus on designer jewelry, custom designs, and alternative styles of wedding and commitment rings.

Klein says she originally opened an art gallery that also offered jewelry, but the format has flipped. While the gallery remains committed to featuring emerging local artists in their bimonthly solo fine art shows, the main focus is on working with jewelry designers, including artisans as far-flung as Israel, Greece, Italy, Belgium, England and Canada.

Art + Soul hosts jewelry trunk shows featuring a treasured designer each month (March through December), but until international travel resumes, jewelry is arriving at the gallery sans artisan. Clients meet with the designers on Zoom and Facetime while still seeing (and holding) the new collections and one-of-a-kind work that complements the usual gallery selection.

James Banks Buckeye Pendant

Clients can also customize pieces with gallery sales associates through Art + Soul’s DesignLab program. Klein says one emerging trend is re-setting jewelry, recognizing the need to cling to the familiar in unsettled times while still honoring the desire to make a piece your own. Clients often bring in heirloom pieces to give them a refresh.

“People are looking at what they have and making it new again. We recently worked with a woman who came in with a bag of jewelry from her grandmother. She worked with a designer and used the stones from these pieces to create three stacking sapphire and diamond rings, which was super fun.” 

Klein connects client and designer, facilitating the discovery of a signature style or helping to choose the right designer to craft one-of-a-kind pieces. Her art background and certification as a jewelry professional through the Gemological Institute of America have given Klein a keen eye for talent, helping her bring in artists whose work consistently excites and impresses clients.

“We act as matchmakers,” she says, “connecting the client with the designer who has the desired aesthetic to provide the perfect piece for whatever the occasion.”

Sometimes, clients come in with their own design dreams, curated from Instagram and other online platforms. Others come in looking for ideas, and may find inspiration through Art + Soul’s “Art of Design,” a show of designers’ hand-drawn renderings of their pieces—literally jewelry design as fine art.

Art + Soul’s “Art of Design” exhibit features designers’ hand-drawn renderings of their jewelry alongside the finished pieces.

“It creates a bridge between wall art and wearable art,” Klein says of the designers’ sketches. “These drawings are beautiful on their own, but to be able to see a thought go from paper to pendant is pretty cool. It not only shows the end product, but the inspiration for it.”

 


Art + Soul Gallery

1505 Pearl St., Boulder • 303-544-5803
Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. • Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Closed Mondays
Private shopping appointments available
artandsoulboulder.com

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