A gif of the exhibition title, Ambrosia, in Hoss Sharp with various glyphs and images shuffling and replacing random letters in the word.

Anya McKee

Assorted Flavors

Assorted Flavors is an expression of joy, in the form of bean-shaped adornments. During the fall of 2020, I discovered for myself a profound sense of wonder in working with metal and crafting jewelry. Playing with fire and getting my hands dirty to create little pieces of wearable art soon became my primary form of escapism, and my work began to embody the objects which throughout my life have reliably brought me delight and comfort. For me, a glass dish of Jelly Bellies sitting on the counter is evidence that someone who loves me is nearby. When my Grandma, Sue, embraces me after a flight from Des Moines, I can often catch a glimpse of that iconic scarlet candy bag poking out of her purse. Likewise, when I’ve dropped my luggage in the entryway of Grandma’s condo, I am always greeted by the sight of a fresh bowl of Jelly Bellies, all 49 flavors gleaming expectantly in their vintage glass bowl. As I immersed myself in a practice of creating silly jewelry, and the months when I couldn’t see Grandma Sue dragged on, jelly beans became a fated muse. The organic form, ebullient color, delightful multiplicity, and dear traditions I associate with this sugary treat have kept me returning to it as an inspiration for joyful making.

A scan of a risograph print, printed with aqua, fluorescent pink, and light lime ink. The print depicts a close-up image of a shiny, silver bean-shaped locket ring in front of a blue background. The ring is tipped forward and the bean locket is open, revealing a bright orange Jelly Belly bean within. The title of the piece in this image is “Jelly Belly Reliquary.”
Handwritten signature from Anya McKee in hot pink.