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Allison lee and sons jewelry smUW-Whitewater is thrilled to announce that visiting artists Allison Snowhawk Lee and son Trent Lee will be sharing their talents as silversmiths with UW-Whitewater students and the public on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. This program is funded by Alloy, UW-Whitewater Visiting Artists Fund, College of Arts and Communication, UW- Whitewater Native American Cultural Awareness Association, and Katy’s American Indian Arts.

There will be a free public illustrated lecture by Allison Snowhawk Lee and Trent Lee in the Greenhill Center of the Arts Room 3 starting at noon. This will be followed by a workshop for Advanced Metals Students from 2:00-5:00 pm on February 8th and from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on February 9th (the Public is welcome to observe) An informal lunch and conversation will also take place from noon-1:30 pm on February 9th.

The art of adorning the body is as old as humans and the making of jewelry is the second oldest profession in the world. Allison Snowhawk Lee and Trent Lee are a father and son team of silversmiths. Allison was born in the heart of the Navajo homeland, in the spring of 1958, Allison Snowhawk Lee attended boarding school until 8th grade. Lee is the last name given to him by the boarding school because they couldn’t pronounce, spell, or translate his Navajo name; Snowhawk is his grandmother’s name. Allison became involved in silversmithing in a high school art class, making his first simple jewelry pieces at age 12. When he was 14 years old his mother asked him to remove the last stone from an old turquoise brooch and make her a ring with it. Being able to combine old and new into something beautiful gave him a metaphysical sense of bridging generations, connecting him to his heritage and at the same time launching him a lifelong career as a silversmith.

During his high school years, Allison focused on gaining as much information as possible while apprenticing with many master silversmiths. In 1977 he won the “Most Artistic” award in a class of 160 students. Since that time Allison has been published in numerous books and fashion magazines, his work is collected globally and he is considered to be one of the greatest American Silversmiths.
Allison is continuing the apprenticeship tradition by passing on his knowledge to his three sons. Trent Lee is a rising star and was just awarded his own space at the upcoming Indian Market at the Heard Museum, where he was an award winner last year.

The public is welcome to the free lecture on February 8th at noon and if interested in observing the workshop contact Teresa Faris at farist@uww.edu space is limited.