OXFORD — At first glance, the long green necklace looks to be made of rows and rows of beads.
But a closer inspection reveals the unique piece of jewelry is actually constructed with shredded money — paper bills that were no longer of any use.
The Kathy Buszkiewicz necklace is just one piece in a new exhibit called, “Adornment and Excess: Jewelry in the 21st Century,” on display at the Miami University Art Museum.
It is full of unconventional trinkets, such as smashed rings altered into bracelets and street signs transformed to brooches.
“We’re in a global climate where we’re concerned with what luxury might mean,” said Lena Vigna, curator of exhibitions.
Vigna’s personal interest in contemporary jewelry inspired her to work for more than a year to bring 19 artists’ jewelry from around the world to Miami.
The exhibit, open through July 10, includes three pieces from a Miami graduate.
The jewelry exhibit, made possible in part by a grant from the Art Jewelry Forum, is accompanied by other displays of glasswork, paperweights and porcelain as part of the overarching theme of “Luxury, Consumption and Excess.”
“It asks people to think about things they live with every day, but in a different way,” Vigna said.
The display speaks to the idea of how items can embody status and represent luxury, Vigna said.
A photo of a diamond and emerald necklace by Cartier with a 48.95-carat emerald pendant worn by the Duchess of Windsor hangs next to a reinterpretation of the royal jewels made with Legos.
“My hope is that it will help people think of objects differently, maybe think of jewelry differently,” Vigna said.
“In a world where it’s possible to consume so much, we have to stop and take the time to think of what individual items mean,” she said.
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