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OCT. 2, 2022 - JAN. 29, 2023


image: Lynda Watson, Newport with Mom and Mary, 2001. Sterling silver, copper, pencil drawings on paper, watch crystals, shells from Newport. Artwork courtesy of the Artist. Photo courtesy of r.r. jones. 

The Metal Museum’s 2022 Master Metalsmith is Lynda Watson.
The series honors artists, who have at least 20 years of experience in
the field of fine metal work and who are known for educating and innovating.

Lynda Watson, a native of Orange, California, knew she was destined to be an artist when she began making jewelry out of vacuum cleaner parts in a friend’s garage. Her official foray into the art world began with an AA in Commercial Art from Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, CA) followed by a period of time spent working for the Buzza Cardozo greeting card company. Watson went on to attend California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach, CA), where she completed some undergraduate work in Drawing and Illustration before receiving a BA in General Crafts and Jewelry and MA and MFA in Jewelry/Metals. 

Watson has lectured and run workshops at colleges, universities, and art schools throughout the country, as well as led tours to Mexico for metalsmiths. She was involved with Summervail Art Workshop (Vail, CO) and has served in various leadership roles for the Yuma Art Symposium (Yuma, AZ). Additionally, she has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowships and, in 1998, was selected as Santa Cruz County’s Artist of the Year.


Watson retired from teaching in 1995 but used retirement as an opportunity to travel and accelerate her production of work. She also became and continues to be highly active in the Santa Cruz art community. 








“The work I do, regardless of media, is mostly about places and what I find in them. Travel, adventures, encounters, celebrations, family gatherings, friendships, and relationships are all associated with places and provide and inform the visual information that drives my work.” 
                                                                  - Lynda Watson 

Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY), as well as in many private collections. She has appeared in numerous publications, including Objects: USA (1969); Oppi Untracht’s Metal Techniques for Craftsmen (1968) and Jewelry Concepts and Technology (1982); American Craft; Ornament; Metalsmith magazine; Metalsmith Exhibition in Print; the Museum of Art and Design’s Crafting Modernism (2011); and In Flux: American Jewelry and the Counterculture (2020). 

Photo courtesy of r.r. jones. 



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With prologue and essay by Susan Cummins, photography by r.r. jones, and design by Marc D’Estout.

Watson’s work, whether jewelry, drawing, or mixed media, is about her life. It remembers good times, bad times, extensive travel, adventures, friendships, family, and celebrations. Visual images from these times are attached to places in her memory, and characteristics of those places suggest the composition, determine the imagery, and dictate the surfaces that become the components of her work. Mental pictures, quick sketches, and occasional photographs provide saved images. From Burma and Turkey to her own back yard, life happens in places.  

The composite of Watson’s work forms a visual diary. It tells a story in a rough chronological order with some “life happens” gaps along the way. It continues to recall, document, relive, explore, and savor memorable times from the many places where she has spent her time. She hopes that viewing these pieces prompts memories from observers as well. Everyone has visual memories that can evoke valued responses. 

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image: Lynda Watson, Shopping in Mexico, 2018. Sterling silver, Mexican coins, precious metal clay charms. Artwork courtesy of the Artist. Photo courtesy of r.r. jones.


Windgate Charitable Foundation

Hyde Family Foundations



Tennessee Arts Commission

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