Monica Cioppettini ‘ReJeweled’ at SCAD Museum of Art

In the heaps of trinkets found at flea markets and thrift stores, objects easily derided by those with a less visionary artistic mind as “crap,” Monica Cioppettini found beauty and value and the basis for her first solo exhibition, “ReJeweled,” on view through August 22 at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.

Cioppettini picks up where jewelry discarded or lost to the piles of second-hand peddlers feels cheap and unwanted. Through an intuitive process of breaking, combining and rebuilding, Cioppettini brings value back to items previously deemed worthless, reveling in their histories and significance as sites of memory. She employs intricate detail breathing a second life into the collection and posing questions about time, sentimentality and sustainability in fashion.

Cobbled together as unique works of art, her creations prove joyous, fabulous, vibrant. Delicate worlds unto themselves. The baubles, insignificant separately, prove meaningful when joined together in their hundreds.

Earrings, hairclips, bracelets, beads. Buttons, broaches, rings and pins.

Someone thought enough of each of these items to make them a part of their life at one point. Then so little at another point to cast them off. What have these objects witnessed? What joys? What tragedies?

Nostalgia is at play here from both the objects and the onlookers.

Cioppettini created the exhibition as an associate in the SCAD Alumni Atelier program, an elite artist residency that offers visionary graduates the time, space resources and business education to thrive creatively and professionally, while engaging with the SCAD community. The program was conceptualized and personally endowed by SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace and is a testament to the university’s lifelong commitment to the SCAD community.

“My time as an Alumni Atelier Associate has been an incredibly valuable experience. It is so important for an artist to have a creative space and SCAD fosters the perfect environment to be inspired and motivated,” Cioppettini said. “These SCAD resources have been instrumental to the preparation of my exhibition. It was also so rewarding for me to have the opportunity to return to the classroom and work with SCAD students directly. Being a guest critique speaker in a senior painting class’s midterm critique sparked my interest to be in the classroom and I hope to become a professor myself one day.”

About the Artist

Monica Cioppettini (b. 1994) lives and works in Savannah, Ga. She holds a B.F.A. in fine arts from Monmouth University, New Jersey, and an M.F.A. in painting (2021) from SCAD. Cioppettini has exhibited work in group shows in New York and Georgia.

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