Seldom are governmental bureaucracy and fine art seen as complementary forces. But in the trajectory of silversmith Kirsten Ball, the two are intertwined.
Immersed in a successful career in historical gilding and interior restoration, Ball was working for Britain’s National Trust in her native London four years ago when her husband’s employer required the family to move to Massachusetts. Arriving without legal clearance to work, Ball decided to pursue a long-neglected interest in studio art.
A silversmithing class at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln introduced her to instructor Munya Avigail Upin, whose teaching credentials included the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston University, and now Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Upin became something of a mentor to Ball, and now the two women are business partners. Their gallery, Alchemy 925 in Belmont Center, has its grand opening on Saturday.
Upin specializes in woven metal and Judaica crafted from metal; Ball creates contemporary silver jewelry with clean, geometric lines. They’ll augment their with that of 25 other artists.
“We’ll be showing the work of established artists, but we’re also introducing newer jewelers who have never exhibited in a gallery before,” Upin said. “All this beautiful art being made, and our mission is just to share that work with people. We both work in metals, but we’ll also have ceramic artists, textile artists, glass work, fiber arts.”
Following a “soft opening” of Alchemy 925 this month that attracted a healthy crowd, the artists are hosting an official grand opening from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday at 48 Leonard St. in Belmont. Call 617-484-9250, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.alchemy925.com.