James Renwick Alliance
SNAG Trip to New Orleans
May 24–27th, 2017


Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference & Tour

Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” New Orleans is known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene, and exceptional cuisine. A melting pot of French, African, and American cultures, it is one of the country’s most culturally and historically-rich cities. Its beauty, mystery and continuous regeneration are the perfect backdrop and inspiration for SNAG’s 46th conference, Nexus: A Connection of Ideas.

“Nexus: A Connection of Ideas” will focus on motivating thinkers, collectors, and makers to bring new and old materials, techniques, and ideas together in a true New Orleans celebration. We will celebrate each day with a subtheme: Decadence, Ornamentation, and Masquerade.

Cost: $750 for members | $900 for non-members

Price includes: Full Pass to SNAG conference, access to several VIP events, several meals, local shuttle transportation, and a $100/person tax-deductible, non-refundable contribution to the James Renwick Alliance.
Not Included: Transportation to/from New Orleans. Hotel costs not included but a special room rate has been extended to conference participants and you will be able to reserve your room at time of registration. Payment for accommodations will be made directly to the Sheraton hotel.



Sign up early so as not to miss this wonderful opportunity. 

This trip was organized by SNAG and JRA Directors, Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith and Cicie Sattarnilasskorn. The trip coordinator in New Orleans is JRA artist and SNAG member, Chris Shea.


Schedule Subject to Change - See Hotel Details below

Wednesday, May 24

12:00 - 1:30 pm Welcome Lunch at the Sheraton New Orleans
Join us for the Tour Kick Off with an elegant lunch made by Chef Mark Quitney at the
famed Sheraton Canal Place. Mark Quitney, Executive Chef, brings over thirty years of culinary experience to the Canal Street landmark. A hospitality industry veteran, Chef Quitney has been responsible for the kitchens of luxury hotel properties in New Orleans, Atlanta, St. Kitts, Marco Island, and Point Clear, Alabama. Chef Quitney has twice had the revered distinction of hosting a dinner at the famed James Beard House in New York and was named one of the Top 20 Chefs in Louisiana by the American Culinary Federation.

1:30 - 3:00 pm Studio/Gallery Tour of Thomas Mann's Gallery
Thomas Mann began making jewelry in high school & has been doing it ever since. Throughout its 40+ year history, Thomas Mann Design, Inc. has employed hundreds of talented people to make & market Tom and his work through shows, wholesale accounts, his own retail space and e-commerce website and most recently a teaching space. Tour participants will visit both his studio and gallery.

3:30 - 4:45 pm Blacksmith, Rachel David's Studio Tour
Rachel David, born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland, the daughter of a ceramic artist and an electrical engineer has always had a ferocious creative streak. For the past decade she has been a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. As an artist, she uses blacksmithing techniques to express emotions and intentions in iron and steel, materials naturally found in the center of the earth, our blood and outer space.

5:00 - 6:00 pm Welcome reception at Sheraton Hotel for VIPs - heavy hors d’oeuvres and bar

6:30 – 7:00 pm Welcome Remarks and Conference Opening

7:00 – 8:00 pm Keynote Speaker – Ivy Ross
Ivy Ross is currently the Vice President of Design and UX for the Hardware Product Area at Google. Previously, she was VP of Project Aura (Glass & Beyond) at Google and held executive positions ranging from head of product design and development to CMO and presidencies with several companies, including Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Mattel, Bausch & Lomb and Gap. Ivy has been a contributing author to numerous books, including The Change Champion’s Field Guide and Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organizational Change. She has also been referenced in Ten Faces of Innovation, Rules of Thumb, and Unstuck, among other books. Ivy was the keynote speaker at the Nokia World Design Conference and Fortune Magazine’s Women Conference, and has been cited by Fast Company and Businessweek as “one of the new faces of Leadership.” A renowned artist, her innovative metal work in jewelry is in the permanent collections of 12 international museums. A winner of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant, Ivy has also received the Women in Design Award and Diamond International Award for her creative designs. Ivy’s passion is human potential and relationships. She believes in the combination of art and science to make magic happen and bring great ideas and brands to life.

8:00 - 9:30 pm Pin Swap and Vendor Shopping (heavy hors d’oeuvres/cash bar or dinner on your own)
Bring your bijou and get ready for the New Orleans 2017 annual pin swap! Whether you’re inspired by the Mardi Gras “throws” or “krewe favors,” the debauchery of Bourbon Street, or the music and food that makes this city famous. Bring your pins and laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll)! Is this your first time attending the pin swap? Plan on bringing about 20 pins (more or less is fine), even if you don’t make any pins, just come and enjoy the camaraderie. Think of your pins as fast and fun studio exercises in creativity. You will see all different styles, sizes, and materials for pins. Anything goes. Done swapping pins? Grab your friends, check out the Vendor Room, and get your shopping on!

9:30 - 12 am After Party in the Pelican Bar Sheraton Hotel Lobby
When the pin swap ends, move over to the hotel lobby bar for the after party. Keep those conversations going. Grab a famous New Orleans cocktail like a Hurricane or a Sazerac, and help kick off the 2017 SNAG conference in style!


Thursday & Friday, May 25 & 26

Attend SNAG conference as desired or explore city as desired, meals on your own.
Visit http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/conferences/nexus/programs-events for more details on speakers and events and an up to date schedule.



Saturday May 27

9:00 - 10:00 am Opening Presentation – Märta Matteson
Märta Mattsson was born in Stockholm in 1982. Märta has studied jewelry art at HDK-School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, Hiko Mizuno College of Jewellery in Tokyo, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and received a Masters degree from the Royal College of Art in London.

10:30 - 11:30 am Marion Cage McCollam Studio Tour
Marion Cage McCollam is a designer who lives and works in New Orleans. A practicing Architect and a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Architecture, she began designing jewelry in 2003 and has since branched out into decorative hardware and accessories for the home. She has a passion for materials and combining them in unexpected ways; her approach toward design is such that she is never comfortable limiting herself to one scale or medium. The purity and elegance in her jewelry designs, often derived from forms in nature, is akin to a kind of fluid architecture...with the human body as its landscape.

11:45 am - 1:15 pm Lunch at Cochon
Cajun Southern Cooking, focusing on traditional methods, creating authentic flavors of
Cajun country. Located in a rustic converted warehouse.

1:30 - 3:00 pm Ogden Art Museum
Celebrating the art, history and culture of the American South, the dazzling Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans opened in 2003 in the historic Warehouse Arts District. The Museum is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world, showcasing art from 15 Southern states and the District of Columbia. Named an affiliate of The Smithsonian Institution in 2001, it was the first museum in Louisiana to receive this prestigious designation. Join us for a special tour of the craft collection.

3:30 - 4:30 pm VIP Trunk Show with bubbly and hors d'oeuvres
Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to beat the crowds and preview this year’s amazing collection of one-of-a-kind works by regional, national and international jewelry and metal artists. Take your time talking to the artists and move through the show at your own pace.

4:30 - 6:30 pm 7th Annual Trunk Show
Purchase work directly from SNAG members at the 7th Annual Trunk Show Sale. Approximately 70 artists will be on hand to show and sell their best work. You’ll have the chance to view one-of-a-kind jewelry and small sculpture and talk to the artists about their work. This is a great opportunity to purchase a handmade gift or treat for yourself. You’re sure to find something unique, fun and even funky at the Trunk Show. Conference goers and the public alike are welcome and encouraged to attend the Trunk Show – it’s a fun event with a lively atmosphere. 25% of all sales will be donated to SNAG. *Major credit cards accepted. Please no cash or checks.

6:30 - 7:30 pm Dinner on Own

7:30 - 9:00 pm Exhibition in Motion
It’s a classic occurrence on the runway. The model walks to one end and does something as simple as taking a layer off, such as a jacket, or as complicated as untying a few holds and showing something completely new and unexpected. For the 17th year of the Exhibition in Motion, makers will be highlighting large-scale wearable pieces that incorporate an element of transformation on the runway. The 2017 Exhibition in Motion takes place on Saturday, May 27th and tickets are $25 if purchased before the event or $40 at the door. The event will be extended to include a cocktail reception, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and music, followed by a dance party. After the runway presentation, there will be an opportunity for the audience to interact with the work on the models and meet the artists who created the pieces. A print brochure and online exhibition will accompany the event.

9:00 - 12:00pm Bottom Coast Masquerade Ball
Get ready to close out the conference with the Bottom Coast Masquerade Ball. Whether you make a costume, find one in the many New Orleans shops, or just come down to make your bottom coast. It’s time to get out on the dance floor and party with your SNAG krewe for one last night!



Sign up early so as not to miss this wonderful opportunity. 


Hotel Information
Sheraton Hotel, 500 Canal St, New Orleans, LA

The SNAG 2017 conference will be held at The Sheraton on Canal Street. This contemporary hotel is a 0.3-mile walk from the Aquarium of the Americas and 1.5 miles from Mardi Gras World. 

JRA’s/SNAG’s special conference room rate at The Sheraton New Orleans is $159 per night plus taxes for a single/double, $184 per night plus taxes for a triple, and $209 per night plus taxes for a quad.

Club Level: If you are interested in upgrading to a Club Level Room, you may select that option during registration. Club Level Rooms are available at a rate of $209 per night, plus taxes for a single/double each additional person over two occupying the room will be an additional $25/person/night plus tax. Club Level Rooms include free breakfasts and heavy hors d’oeuvres in the Club Room.

Please do not contact the hotel directly for your reservations. Only by registering through the JRA can you secure the special hotel rates offered.