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GIA Highlights Emerging Design Talent in 5th Annual Competition

Gianmaria Buccellati award for excellence in jewelry design.

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The winner of the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design was announced at the annual GIA alumni event held on Feb. 4 during the AGTA Gem Fair in Tucson, AZ. From left: Larry French, chief officer of North America strategies at the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation; Meghan Simmons, winner of the Jewelry Design Contest and GIA graduate; Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO.
The winner of the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design was announced at the annual GIA alumni event held on Feb. 4 during the AGTA Gem Fair in Tucson, AZ. From left: Larry French, chief officer of North America strategies at the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation; Meghan Simmons, winner of the Jewelry Design Contest and GIA graduate; Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO.

(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA — The fifth annual Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design was presented on Feb. 4 to GIA graduate Meghan Simmons from the GIA Carlsbad campus. The competition – open to students who successfully completed the GIA Jewelry Design course in 2021 – recognizes artistic excellence in jewelry design. More than 80 students from around the world competed to be finalists for the 2021 Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award.

The winning design for the 2021 Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design was rendered by Meghan Simmons, a graduate of the GIA Jewelry Design Course in Carlsbad, California. The sketch features gold, diamonds and blue sapphire.

The winning design for the 2021 Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design was rendered by Meghan Simmons, a graduate of the GIA Jewelry Design Course in Carlsbad, California. The sketch features gold, diamonds and blue sapphire.

“I was inspired by the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. This earring design explores the use of line and shape, seeking to achieve a sense of balance through divergence,” said Simmons. The winning design played with the use of shapes using gold, diamonds and blue sapphires.

Simmons was one of 11 finalists whose hand-rendered designs were judged by a committee of gem and jewelry experts including Alishan Halebian, Alishan Jewelry; Victoria Gomelsky, Editor-in-Chief of JCK Magazine; Douglas Hucker, CEO of AGTA; Remy Rotenier, Remy Rotenier Jewelry; and Shelly Sergent, Somewhere In the Rainbow. The judges weighed the aesthetic appeal of each design and how well each applied the techniques the students learned at GIA. The finalists’ designs were on display and the recipient of the award was announced at the annual GIA alumni event held on Feb. 4 during the AGTA Gem Fair in Tucson, AZ.

“This competition was born out of the life and work of Gianmaria Buccellati. We are sure this year’s winner, Meghan Simmons, will enjoy her award, a week in Italy beginning in Florence, then on to Venice with the trip ending in Milan,” said Larry French, chief officer, North America strategies at the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation. “We congratulate not only all the students who participated in this year’s design competition but also the talented instructors from GIA who guided the students on this beautiful art. We hope that all the designers who participated will continue to grow in their art so that it becomes a way of life, as it was for Gianmaria.”

The award was created in partnership with the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation in 2018 to recognize outstanding talent in design among GIA students globally. The 2022 Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design competition is underway and open to students in GIA’s Jewelry Design course who meet the eligibility requirements. For more information, visit here.

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GIA’s Jewelry Design course teaches drafting, shading, design theory and illustration using several mediums. At the completion of the course, students have a hand-developed portfolio of their work and a digital copy. The course is offered at all GIA campus locations in Bangkok, Carlsbad, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York, Taipei, and at locations in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China. GIA also offers programs in Jewelry Design & Technology and Comprehensive Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM).

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