Jes Rivera

Jes Rivera is a queer AuDHD Chicane from the borderlands who recently graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a double Bachelors in Jewelry + Metals and Graphic Design. Jes’ work has been featured in a variety of exhibitions including an online exhibition for Ethical Metalsmiths. Their work is often described as bright and playful using form and texture to emphasize sensory input while centering on the many tumultuous personal experiences of going undiagnosed for the majority of their life. They are currently working to build a collective of fellow multi-disciplinary artists and create a studio space for emerging metalsmiths within the borderlands. Future endeavors include the creation of a line of everyday stim-toy-like jewelry designed for neurodivergent adults that can be worn without fear of societal rejection.


Modern Messages

Date of Creation: March 30, 2023

List of Materials: Copper, Dumortierite Quartz, Watermelon Tourmaline, Enstatite, Epidote, Blue Star Sapphire

Photographer's Name: Jes Rivera

Conceptual Statement: I've crafted a one-of-a-kind acrostic bolo tie with a hidden message. This design is inspired by modern phrases of affection, those that are unconventional in comparison with terms like "love" or"dear.” These phrases are a playful glimpse into unique relationship dynamics. Cues are taken from everyday chats, with personalized backgrounds and real-time reactions inspiring the flowing doodled surface etched into the sheet metal, and copper-fabricated exclamation point tie ends. The stones set in the ubiquitous handheld phone-shaped copper plate were chosen for their distinctive properties, like varying degrees of transparency and clarity. Stones are highlighted through their dimensionality when light interacts with the piece, creating additional opportunities for shared secrets. Communication today can often be incomprehensible, particularly when the context is too specific, much like this piece where a once-demeaning phrase is now a reminder of connection, admiration, and inside jokes.

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