Leslie D. Boyd

Leslie Boyd (they/she) is an artist and educator whose practice sites itself on the body. Her research interests include cultural appropriation, social practice, gender, and contemporary US political identities/affiliations. She studied Metalsmithing + Jewelry at the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA) and Pratt Institute (BFA).

Leslie has exhibited throughout the US and in venues abroad such as Ghost Gallery in New York, the super+Centercourt Gallery in Munich, Germany, and at Object Rotterdam in Holland. Leslie lives in Denver, CO, the ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Ute, and Arapaho peoples. They are an Associate Professor of Art and the Jewelry Area Coordinator at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

In 2018 Leslie established the database Making Progress: Resources for Social Justice in Craft, with the aim to compile a comprehensive collection of resources for artists, educators, and students interested in craft as activism or social practice.

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Still Skeptical

Date of Creation: February 1, 2021

List of Materials: Silver, lenticular photo

Dimensions: 2" x 1" pendant with 16" long chain

Photographer's Name: Leslie D. Boyd

Other Contributors: JV Collective (curatorial collaborators) In response to JV Collectives’ Fall 2020 curatorial project In-School Suspension, members of JV Collective dredged up their own feelings of nostalgia and angst for a time in life that is often messy and transformative: High School. Each member reflected on those formative years and the items that once adorned their bodies. This series of work, Homeroom, is a snapshot of adolescence and made its virtual debut during Munich Jewellery Week 2021.

Conceptual Statement: An obsession with charms began early in life. They were the purchase of choice during trips to the shore or renaissance fairs when given a crisp twenty-dollar bill to “get something nice”. Unicorn topped crystals, amethyst hearts, pentacles, and friendship tokens were among my collection of kitsch adornments. In lieu of a traditional chain, I used woven embroidery floss, safety pins, ball chains, or the swivel hooks from my mother’s fishing tackle box. Some days I would wear one charm, and on other days they were piled on my adolescent torso. I’ve kept these mementos of my childhood locked away in my jewelry box, still on the swivel hook chain. But nostalgia and superstition have crept in over the years and although I’m still a skeptic, I sometimes need their talismanic protections.

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