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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Professor Recognized by Tiffany Foundation

Seth Papac received a $20,000 grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.
By Jack Haworth

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation recently awarded Seth Papac from San Diego State University's School of Art and Design a $20,000 grant.

A necklace Papac designed.

Papac was one of only 30 recipients to receive the grant out of the 137 artists who were nominated for the prestigious award.

Papac submitted pictures of eight jewelry pieces he created to be judged by a panel of seven highly respected artists. The jewelry he used for the submission included interchangeable pieces meant for both wearing and to be put on display.

His inspiration for creating such unique designs comes from people he personally knows.

“The pieces are called jewelry portraits, which are portraits of people I know but in the form of jewelry objects,” Papac explained.

Using what he knew about the person, Papac spent approximately 40 hours to create a jewelry piece using materials and forms he thought best represented the individual.

A competitive process

The artists nominated for the awards specialize in various fields of art including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, video, craft and multimedia. As an award that rarely goes to a jewelry artist, Papac said this award “gives attention to a field that doesn’t get much recognition.”

A purse created by Papac.

The foundation was established in 1918 by Louis Comfort Tiffany and the current Biennial Competition began in 1980. Since then, the foundation has awarded more than $8.5 million dollars to 441 artists across the nation. Also included in the list of former recipients is Papac’s fellow SDSU colleague and jewelry maker Shondra Sherman, who received the award in 2001.

About Papac

Papac is originally from Seattle where he received his bachelor's degree in jewelry/metalworking in 2004. He went on to pursue his master's degree in jewelry/metalworking at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he graduated in 2009.

Papac began teaching at SDSU in 2011 where he currently teaches both graduates and undergraduates the art of jewelry making. His work has been exhibited at museums throughout the United States as well as Europe. More examples of his art can be viewed on his website.