Ken Bova

Sterling silver, 23k gold leaf, coral, red jasper, turquoise, pearls, bone, woodSterling silver, 23k gold leaf, turquoise, pearlsSterling silver, 14k gold, 23k gold leaf, acrylic, candy wrappers and butterfly wings, 3.75 x 1.5 x .25inThe Preservation of Memory, Brooch, 4.5 x 4.5in, Sterling silver, 23k gold leaf, 18k gold, baby tooth, toy dice, candy wrapper, butterfly wing, chewing gum, acrylic, enamel on copper, US currency, glass, watercolor on paper
In Vita Oblitus, Brooch, 3 x 2.5 x .25in, Sterling silver, 23k gold leaf, liquid enamel on copper, cedar, garnet, shell, coral, wasp nest paper, fossils (bison bone, fish tongue), gopher tooth, butterfly wingScratch #5 (brooch), torch fired white liquid enamel, sterling, jade, 2 x 2.5 inScratch #4, (brooch), torch fired white liquid enamel, sterling, 14k gold, green glass bead, 2 x 2.5inIn Mortem Memoria (brooch), Sterling, 23k gold leaf, liquid enamel on copper (sgraffito, overfired), hair, miniature rose petal, Madison River garnet, baby teeth (human, canine), butterfly wing, beetle leg, armadillo shell, 3 x 2.5 x .25in
Map Pin 3/9 (brooch), Sterling, torch fired white liquid enamel on copper, 1.75 x 1.75inSterling silver, 14k gold, 23k gold leaf, garnet, pearls, amberDroplet (brooch), torch fired liquid white enamel on copper, Sterling silver, aventurine, found acrylic, 2 x 2.25inSwitchback (brooch), torch fired liquid white enamel on copper, Sterling silver, acrylic, bone, 2 x 2.5in

Ken Bova is a Past President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) whose work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, Racine, Tacoma, and Georgia Art Museums among others. He has presented workshops nationwide in such places as Haystack, Penland, Arrowmont, Idyllwild, and the John Campbell Folk school to name a few.

His work has been published in American Craft, Metalsmith, and Ornament magazines and in a variety of exhibition catalogs, books, and articles.

Bova taught for more than 20 years in the Jewelry/Metals program at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. While in Montana he received a Montana Arts Council Fellowship, two MSU Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Awards, and two artists residencies, at the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain and the Jentel Foundation in Banner, Wyoming.

In 2010 he accepted a position at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where he teaches enameling, senior studio courses, and is Area Coordinator of the graduate program in Metal Design

When I was a kid I used to take the seeds from mimosa pods and string them with a needle and thread into long heishi-like strands for necklaces. I kept them in cigar boxes, along with bits of colored paper, drawings, feathers, small bones, stones, colored shards of glass, and treasure maps that I drew myself ~ relics of an imaginative and active childhood.

In addition to art, I studied philosophy and religious studies in graduate school with the wonder-full Dr. Lynda Sexson. In her book “Ordinarily Sacred” she says that inventories of children’s treasures and those of religious holy places are remarkably similar; that the “junk” that’s precious to kids, and adults, is the stuff of the sacred.

She writes, “The sacred, when not bound by politics and economics, is nearer to something we call the aesthetic.”

My work is, in part, the result of this heritage. It seeks to convey my fascination with narrative, color and line, objects of intimacy, elements of the landscape both external and internal, and the wonder of small things that attract my attention. It is about mapping the treasures in my life. It is about precious junk becoming sacred, becoming aesthetic.

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