Art lecturer presents metalworking, jewlery

By Sean Noble

A well-traveled art lecturer from England will give a speech and slide presentation on metalworking and jewlery tonight.

Susan Fortune is a senior lecturer at the City of London Polytechnic. NIU art Professor Lee Peck said Fortune is noted in the fields of jewlery and metalwork.

The lecture, which will be held in the Art Building, room 110 at 7:30 p.m., is free of charge and open to the public.

Fortune is on leave for the semester from her London school and has been working for three weeks as visiting artist-in-residence at the Appalachian Center for Crafts at Tennessee Technological University.

Fortune said the work so far at Tennessee Tech has been very rewarding because it has offered an opportunity to “work alongside students as a way of teaching them.” She said her job as senior lecturer in London does not allow her to do as much in the way of hands-on work.

Fortune will be working in Tennessee until the end of November when she will return to England.

Travel has been an integral part of Fortune’s work. She has gone to such places as Scotland, France and the Middle East lecturing on and exhibiting her artwork. She said one of her last teaching jobs was in Israel where she stayed for four months.

“Metalworking used to be a very precious business,” Fortune said. “It is taking on a much broader aspect today. Peoples’ minds are more open, and metal art is more becoming functional as well as non-functional.”

Fortune said, “Here (in America), metalwork is under the umbrella of fine art. In England, however, it falls under the category of a ‘design’ school, in which it is a more formal study.”

Fortune also has designed some jewelry for the Australian fashion industry which will be marketed worldwide.

She said she studied at Gray School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland where she earned a degree in jewelry. Another special field of study for Fortune was fibers.

Peck said Fortune’s lecture tonight “will present a survey of recent jewelry and metalwork from 19 colleges throughout the United Kingdom, including the Royal College of Art.”

A slide presentation of “purely student’s work” will be included, Fortune said. She said the lecture also will focus on the art classes of students in the U.K. which differ from those of American students.