Aviva Shapiro


Aviva Shapiro is a classically trained painter, sculptor, ceramicist and art historian who began her journey into goldsmithing in 2012 at the renowned Jewelry Arts Institute in NYC.

Aviva received her MFA in painting and sculpture from Columbia University in 1989, and her BA in painting, sculpture and art history from Brandeis University in 1987. She studied
the studio art disciplines at The New York Studio School; Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy and at the School of Visual Arts, NYC. Aviva has taught sculpture at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and photography at Usdan Center for the Arts. In addition, she has held curatorial and research positions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NY, The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston.

From 1989 through 2001, Aviva assisted French sculptor Bernar Venet with his unique and celebrated series of “Indeterminate Line” sculptures, drawings and multiples. She soon went on to become Venet’s studio director, organizing exhibits at museums and galleries and business for the sculptor throughout Europe, Asia, South America and the United States.

“On the practical level of craft, my pieces are made from 22 and 20k gold combined with precious and semi-precious stones, suitable to wear every day, for any occasion. The human spirit is the life-energy coursing through all art forms. This is particularly true of goldsmithing: the work is created not merely to please the eye, but adorn, highlight and embellish the human form in all its beauty, mystery and imperfection. My goal is to bejewel, not exaggerate, the body of the wearer. I strive in my work to complement the personal aesthetic of the collector as naturally, organically, and creatively as possible.

Three decades studying, working with, and associating with artists, sculptors, and poets as well as goldsmiths have taught me that all creators true to their calling are, in Bob Dylan’s phrase, ‘knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s door.’ We must study the great works of the past and present, spend all available time and energy mastering craft, perfecting skills, harnessing what energies and talents we possess to draw aesthetic life from “the materials,” which in nearly all cases begin stubbornly as inert matter. The best artists I’ve known are not content to produce mere pretty things, but seek, as I do, to combine the natural spirit or essence of these materials with the artist’s own style and inspiration; to coax life and personality from material that will forge its new identity as a work of art.” – Aviva Shapiro These are some of the many prizes and awards Aviva has received: Sachar International Fellowship, Brandeis University, MA Gertrude Carnovsky Prize for Creative Arts, Brandeis University, MA Anna K. Meredith Award, Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy Meadows Artistic Scholarship Award, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX Gillian Award, Studio Centers International, Florence, Italy Paul Caine Memorial Award, Brandeis University, MA Remis Merit Scholarship, Brandeis University, MA