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"Broken Trust" by Nancy Worden, 1992. Photo by Doug Yaple."Broken Trust" by Nancy Worden, 1992. Photo by Doug Yaple.

"Literal Defense" by Nancy Worden, 2007. Photo by Rex Rystedt."Literal Defense" by Nancy Worden, 2007. Photo by Rex Rystedt.

"Frozen Dreams" by Nancy Worden, 2004. Photo by Doug Yaple."Frozen Dreams" by Nancy Worden, 2004. Photo by Doug Yaple.

    Hallie Ford Museum of Art Features Work from Seattle Jewelry Artist

    Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden, a major retrospective exhibition for this internationally recognized Seattle jewelry artist, will be on display Nov. 21 through Jan. 17 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

    Organized by the Tacoma Art Museum, the exhibition features 41 examples of Worden's one-of-a-kind jewelry that describe milestones, celebrations, personal history and rites of passage in the artist's life. Objects have been selected from public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.

    Worden uses familiar objects in her art to trigger people's memories and emotions. Vintage high heels, telephone parts, coins, credit cards, IBM typewriter balls, hair curlers and clothespins are juxtaposed with traditional jewelry materials such as copper, silver and gold to emphasize the beauty of everyday objects.

    Worden's found objects are carefully chosen from mid- to late-20th century American culture to provide her work with a specific chronology and location.

    "Every piece has a story," Worden has said of her jewelry. "People often tell me they see themselves in my stories."

    Her social and political commentaries are rooted in universal female experiences: growing up, marriage, work relationships and being a parent.

    "Nancy's jewelry is forceful, unapologetic, demanding and gripping," said Rock Hushka, curator of contemporary and Northwest art at the Tacoma Art Museum. "Her jewelry is intellectual and complex, but at the same time, aesthetically engaging."

    In addition to the objects on display, the exhibition is accompanied by text panels, photo murals, annotated labels, a continuous DVD of the artist in her studio discussing her work, and a 128-page, full-color book with essays by Helen Williams Drutt English, jewelry collector and scholar; Susan Noyes Platt, art historian and critic; Michelle LeBaron, internationally recognized mediator and professor of law; and Rock Hushka.

    The museum will host a series of free events in conjunction with the exhibition:

    • Worden Lecture for Artists: Worden will discuss professional practices for young and emerging artists or older artists who are interesting in promoting and marketing their work. Nov. 19, 7 p.m., Roger Hull Lecture Hall.
    • Worden Opening Lecture: Worden will discuss her life, art and 35-year career. Nov. 20, 5 p.m., Roger Hull Lecture Hall.
    • Teacher Workshop: A workshop to help middle- and high-school teachers prepare students for a field trip to the museum, develop strategies to tour the exhibition and propose ideas that reinforce the gallery experience and broaden curriculum concepts once back in the classroom. Dec. 1, 4 to 6 p.m., in the museum gallery. Advance registration required by Nov. 23, 503-370-6855.
    • Tuesday Gallery Talks: Docents discuss the exhibition. Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, and Jan. 5 and 12, 12:30 to 1 p.m., in the museum gallery. Tours also available Wednesday through Friday by appointment, 503-370-6855.
    • Family Activity Workshop: Children and their parents can create medals that tell the story of their personal heroes, using Worden's narrative jewelry as an inspiration. Dec. 5, noon to 4 p.m., museum lobby.

    Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden has been generously supported by the Arts Fund/Guendolen Carkeek Plestcheeff Decorative and Design Fund, Susan Beech, and Dale A. Meyer and Janeanne A. Upp. Local sponsorship of the exhibition has been provided by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

    The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day.

    For more information, call 503-370-6855 or visit the Hallie Ford Museum of Art website.

    Note: The museum will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 3 during Willamette University's winter break.