A gluten intolerance can’t stop student artist Chelsey Werner from having her cake and eating it, too. Her jewelry series “If You Can’t Eat It, Wear It” is a series of wearable jewelry inspired by her gluten intolerance, featuring foods she can’t eat, and the series will be on display at the Student Government Association Student Art Gallery in the University Union from Nov. 26 through Dec. 6.
A bachelor of fine arts senior concentrating in metalsmithing and jewelry design, Werner hopes this exhibition will inspire conversation about food intolerances and allergies.
“I hope this line of wearable art can both educate the public about gluten intolerances and generate intellectual conversation surrounding food allergies,” Werner stated. “Idealistically, my end goal would be to encourage social acceptance of these differences and promote progress towards organic solutions.”
Werner uses much of what she learns in her classes to create her designs, and this line specifically features techniques such as enameling, cloisonné, chasing and repoussé, fabrication and electroetching. She also uses cotton twill, reclaimed beads, gems and copper in her work, and the majority of it is done in silver.
“Through a colorful pallet and playful approach to design, I am able to excite viewers and create a positive base for discussion,” Werner said. “I use silver and shine to elevate the status of gluten-containing foods. This deliberate decision allows the affected to reclaim a joyful sensation that has been taken away.”
The Student Art Gallery displays numerous student works over the course of each semester and the executive board of the SRU Art Society selects each display after conducting a juried process. The Art Society, led by president Araycia Byers, maintains and runs the Student Art Gallery.
The opening reception of Werner’s “If You Can’t Eat It, Wear It” will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 5-7 p.m. in the University Union. The reception is free and open to the public and the Student Art Gallery will be offering light and gluten-free refreshments.
“Instead of feeling limited by my body, through the creation of my work, I have been able to, once again, enjoy the beauty of food,” Werner said of her work.