NomineeSunyoung Cheong
Nominee PronounsShe/her/hers
Nominee Phone(785) 230-5538
Nominee EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Nominee Address4324 SW Lincolnshire Rd
Topeka, KS 66610
United States
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Nominee Website
Nominee Resume or CVCV24.pdf
Additional Information 1Kansas-City-Magazine.pdf
Additional Information 2KU-News-Release.pdf
Additional Information 3MS-Tech-1.2_Fall18-1.pdf
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Work Sample 2Work Sample 2
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Describe how the nominee fulfills the criteria for the IMPACT Award. Maximum 5000 characters.

I am honored to nominate myself for consideration for the SNAG’s Impact Award in recognition of my innovative approaches and creative renovation in metalsmithing/jewelry. I have consistently pushed the boundaries of traditional techniques and explored innovative approaches to our discipline. My work integrates traditional craftsmanship with contemporary experimentation, resulting in pieces that challenge conventions and inspire new avenues of creative expression. As one of the few Asian female CAD/CAM educators in the United States who graduated from a non-CAD/CAM emphasis school, I have vigorously trained myself in digital technologies through numerous workshops, conferences, and research.
My endeavors have significantly influenced the metalsmithing/jewelry community, encouraging a shift toward innovative techniques and approaches. Recently, I was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Metalsmithing/Jewelry at the University of Kansas, where I established the new digital fabrication lab right next to our traditional metalsmithing studios. This physical and psychological proximity helps foster an inclusive and diverse learning environment, where students can utilize many tools in problem-solving, inquisitiveness, and self-reliance. In addition to my creative research and pedagogy, I have organized and curated international group exhibitions such as Colorful Minds-Contemporary Enamel Jewelry and Object and Mothers in Craft. Curatorial projects could create a platform for artistic exchange and exposure to different artistic traditions and practices, which can stimulate creativity. Organizing an exhibition featuring international artists is important on multiple levels, enriching the cultural landscape and the global dialogue surrounding our discipline.
As a metalsmith and educator, my practice and research focus on using digital tools in traditional metalsmithing/jewelry studio settings, building a more sustainable practice and education, socially and environmentally. In the last few years, I have developed processes and techniques that integrate digital fabrication and traditional metalsmith processes such as 3D Printing, laser cutting, casting, and enameling, etc. These creative processes can be helpful to many peer artists and students who feel challenged and have limitations in learning/using digital technologies due to their intimidation and complexity. This technical and creative renovation would blur the boundary between technology and traditional metalcraft and create new possibilities in the discipline. As a result, in 2018, I presented pedagogical research, “The Future of Jewelry Programs in Higher Education: The Intersection of Technology and Handcraft” at the Digital Meets Handmade International Symposium at the FIT in New York. This presentation was expanded and published in Digital Meets Handmade: Jewelry in the 21st Century in 2021.
In parallel with the SNAG’s vision and mission, my commitment is to keep and revive ancient craft techniques while embracing technology. One of my efforts is to initiate a platform to create intercultural exhibitions to build international relations and exchange ideas and knowledge. One of my curatorial projects, Colorful Minds, was an international enamel exhibition, started in 2022 in response to the global pandemic. Colorful Minds represents contemporary jewelry artists from the United States, Canada, and South Korea who use enameling as a primary medium. These artists explored enameling techniques by introducing contemporary interpretations of the historical medium. This project has fostered a vibrant community of international artists and educators who have adapted the techniques for a contemporary context while preserving the cultural heritage. The first exhibition was held in Seoul, Korea in 2020, and the 2nd edition in 2023 at the Baltimore Jewelry Center. Currently, I am working on a future research project, Innovating Tradition: The Integration of Ottchil with Digital Fabrication. Ottchil refers to both a material and a technique in Asia, dating back thousands of years. It is a natural lacquer with unique properties of water and insect repellency, enhancing the durability of objects and being eco-friendly. It has been widely used for functional and practical purposes. This research will allow me to explore centuries-old ancient techniques and digital technology to create contemporary jewelry. This project aims to uncover innovative pathways employing collaboration between heritage techniques and contemporary digital tools for creative practice.
The Impact Award would be a tremendous honor and validation of my dedication and effort to creative and technical renovation in metalsmithing and promote cultural diplomacy through international exhibitions and institutional exchange. I am grateful for the opportunity to be considered for this prestigious award and am excited about the potential to further contribute to the future of our discipline.

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