When I was first introduced to the work of Paula Crevoshay, nearly 20 years ago, she was described to me as an artist who paints with gemstones and precious metals. Her masterful orchestration of color is truly sublime. The fact that every piece of jewelry she creates is one-of-a-kind, and is a sort of discourse between the artist and the gems she works with, inspires a reverence of her craft. She has won countless awards, published books, lectured to audiences across the globe, and her work has been on display in a number of world-renowned museums, and yet, Paula isn’t anywhere near done with her personal and artistic evolution.
Paula’s latest exhibition, “Illuminations—Earth to Jewel,” recently premiered in Paris at the Mines Paris Tech, the former palace of the Duchess of Vendome and one of the world’s greatest mineral museums. “Illuminations—Earth to Jewel” is a tour of some of the most beautiful minerals and the gems crafted from them, as well as a showcase of the jewelry that is a manifestation of the “tangible light” Paula sees within the gems themselves. And while this in itself sounds lofty, the general description doesn’t even touch the depth of what Paula is trying to convey with her latest venture.
Paula won’t say this herself, but she is an artistic prodigy. She earned her Masters in Fine Arts and Painting at the young age of 22. She studied a great deal of art history and sculpture and mixed media, and went on to create full-room installations. She was always intrigued by the science of art, and when she discovered jewelry making at the age of 26, she was enamored by how the art form synthesizes so many different disciplines. Art, art history, the science of the metallurgy, the Mohs scale of hardness, the specifics and nuances of mine locations—all of these come together in the masterful execution of her craft.
It is this expanse that Paula is exploring in “Illuminations—Earth to Jewel.” She is exploring the different aspects that have to do with the brilliance of nature—minerals, animals and plants converging with higher intelligence. She feels a sort of atavistic kinship with those who mine through rivers and streams and delve deep into the earth to reveal the light. And she hopes her latest exhibition creates a bridge between science, the decorative arts, and the luxury market.
At this stage in her career, Paula is also thinking about her legacy. She recognizes that there is a changing of the guard taking place, and she says it’s wonderful to see all of this new talent coming onto the scene to showcase their gifts. While she’s ascending to the pinnacle of her career, she is only just ascending, “I have so much that I want to leave behind for the next generation,” Paula explained. “How many books from a hundred years ago or more continue to turn us on, help us make leaps of imagination? My work, my books, the messages that I’m putting out there, maybe, just maybe, it won’t be forgotten. All of this work might help someone else out or stimulate their creativity.”
“Illuminations—Earth to Jewel” premiered on November 9 and runs through February 1, 2017. Without a doubt, Paula has already achieved her goal of inspiring future generations of art and imagination, and now she’s also given us an amazing excuse to plan a trip to Paris!