Lesley Aine McKeown

"Color, line, and connection inspire my work. I strive to find a balance between the stones and metal to create a subtle but moving aesthetic that ignites a visceral reaction, translating my passion through the piece to the viewer."

Designing pieces that challenge her technically and speak to a certain aesthetic are what pull McKeown to create. The meticulous construction of her work is paramount. Each piece is created in her studio in the tradition of the American studio art jewelry movement of the 1940s–60s, which demands that the work is created entirely in the artist's studio. From design to finish, the piece never leaves her hands.

McKeown's approach is simple and low-tech, using basic metalsmithing tools. She uses traditional fabrication techniques, sometimes incorporating methods like the ancient Korean technique of keum-bo to accent her work. She collects vintage tools and is moved by the feel of tools used by others to create beauty.

McKeown apprenticed in the beginning of her career, finding inspiration to move on to ever more challenging techniques. She has studied with Jack da Silva, Betty Helen Longhi, and Komeila Okim. She has been making art jewelry for 35 years professionally and continues to push herself creatively, studying new techniques to incorporate into her work.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Bring on the Gems SNAG @ Tucson, Tucson, Arizona, 2023
Night Visions - , Coconino Center for the Arts, 2022
Trading Places Exhibition, Taos Art Center, Taos, New Mexico, 1998
Trapping of the American West - 1999 - 2018, Flagstaff Muesum, Flagstaff, AZ , 2000
American Craft & Retailers Exhibition/ Best in Show- High Design Jewelry, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Nevada, 2015
Art of the American West / Art of the American West / Houston Contemporary Craft Museum ,Houston, TX ,Houston, TX, Houston Contemporary Craft Museum , Houston, TX, 2001
Women Artists of the West , Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, Arizona, 1997
Winter Arts Exhibition, Broderick Castle, Isle of Arran, Scotland, U.K, 1999
Trappings of the American West , Phoenix Sky Harbor Museum, Phoenix, AZ , 2000