Front of the House / Back of the House will be a juried exhibition of brooches made by contemporary artists from all over the world. The panel of jurors will consist of a group of diverse, outstanding professionals from various creative fields. It will be exhibited in cities and venues throughout the United States. This exhibition is created and produced by Heidi Lowe and co-produced by Shella Robinson.



Exhibition Prospectus:

Typically in the restaurant business, front of the house refers to the front of the restaurant: the dining area and other accessible areas a guest sees.  Back of the house refers to the back of the restaurant: the kitchen and other inaccessible areas a guest does not see.  The terms are also used to describe the employees that work in each section of the restaurant. The front of the house staff interact directly with customers and are a liason to the back of the house; they are the face of the establishment.  The back of the house is behind the scenes and only interact with other staff members of the restaurant with the exception of the head chef.  Both are equally important and absolutely essential for operation, but the perceptions and connotations of the front of the house versus the back of the house tend to be hierarchical and reflect our society.

We are borrowing from this restaurant terminology, and what it embodies, to use as a springboard for artists who make jewelry to represent their creative investigations into binaries relative to their own interests, inspirations and artistic practices.  Each jury-selected artist will make a brooch manifested from this investigation for Front of the House / Back of the House.  The classic jewelry format of a brooch was chosen because it is a visual and physical binary, making it a perfect vehicle for artistic exploration.  It has a front and a back; one cannot exist or function without the other. The front of the brooch is the face; the part with which the viewer directly interacts.  The back of the brooch is typically only seen by the wearer, who intimately interacts with it by attaching it to oneself and wearing it.

The impetus for this exhibition came when Heidi Lowe was inspired by Questlove and his book, somethingtofoodabout: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs.  Although the book is centered on Questlove’s honest, in-depth conversations with some of the great culinary talents in the United States, in fact it is an exploration into what inspires art and how the creative investigations of chefs are parallel to those devoted to other artistic pursuits.  Heidi was moved by how analogous conversations of artists in the art jewelry field are to those written about in the book. Heidi Lowe states, "Like the chefs in Questlove’s book, I appreciate how art jewelers’ investigations, and their ever-present drive to experiment and innovate, lead to a better understanding of their subjects, materials, contemporary culture and a deepened commitment to their craft.”

Each brooch in this exhibition will illustrate an artist’s interpretation of a binary that already exists in their artwork.  This may be represented physically, materially, metaphorically, conceptually and/or through design and function. The implied perceptions and connotations of a restaurant’s front of the house and back of the house tend to be hierarchical and reflect our society.  However, an artist’s notion of a binary in their artwork may encompass aspects of this or vastly differ.  It may include a variety of dualities and relationship dynamics, such as being opposite, symbiotic, counterpart, double-edged and more.

Our hope is that Front of the House / Back of the House will fuel a new level of creative exploration, encourage playfulness and exemplify the brilliant minds within the art jewelry field.  The ultimate goal of this exhibition, and Heidi Lowe Gallery, is to expand and diversify the audience of art jewelry. Our intentions are to excite and engage viewers, evoke conversation, encourage reflection upon the concepts of the artwork, and ultimately, to view jewelry as an art medium.

The exhibition will be on tour throughout the United States:
Heidi Lowe Gallery, Rehoboth, DE, dates pending
Globe Dye Works Space, Philadelphia, PA, dates pending
More venues and dates to be confirmed

Please read the Front of the House / Back of the House Terms & Conditions carefully.