If there’s one thing we’ve come to love and appreciate about the current state of our music scene, it’s the incredible sense of community that has thrived immensely through collaboration and support. Show producers constantly team up to produce incredible events, musicians are almost constantly getting together to push their respective genres to new realms, and even visual artists have been joining together to bolster each other and overcome obstacles prevalent in their respective sects.
Enter the Theta Movement, a vast collective of jewelers who brought themselves together to help coordinate fluid and meaningful connection from artists, to crafter, to collector. I spoke recently to founding member Sage Storm Davis about what the Theta Movement is all about:
Describe the Theta Movement for me, what exactly is it?
Sage Storm Davis: “Theta Movement is a large, ever-growing curated group of jewelers of varying techniques (wire wrapping, fabricating, and carving/casting) and unique styles. We have come together with the goal of creating a community of artists, collectors, art appreciators, etc., in which we can make finding new and talented jewelers easy, ultimately helping to expand the market for everyone.”
What inspired you to create it?
SSD: “I actually can’t take complete credit for starting the group-it was a collective effort. One day a fellow artist, Honorio Marte, made a status on his Facebook page asking if any jewelers wanted to join a group chat to discuss some ideas. About 20 jewelers joined the chat and started discussing the issues that jewelers faced on social media together. There were two big issues. First, in the past years there has been a large disconnect happening between artists in the community. A large number of artists have been left to fend for themselves and feel disconnected from the community due to a lack of communication. It has always been the norm to learn by yourself, grow by yourself, and only support yourself, but with all of the technology and brilliant creative minds making equally brilliant artwork, it’s silly to not take advantage of all of the resources at our fingertips and help ourselves by also helping one another!
Second, there was no single space on social media where someone interested in unique, one of a kind jewelry could go to look at only high-quality work. All of the groups that existed were a free-for-all of shared posts of gemstones, ebay links (aka spam), and jewelry of every level. For someone only looking to see high-quality jewelry, these groups were very unattractive and resulted in a decrease in collectors because no one wanted to sift through the mess.
After thinking about possible solutions, Theta Movement was born and I volunteered to be in charge because I’m extremely organized. We kept the group chat to engage with one another as artists and started a facebook group where only “Artists of Theta Movement,” (AoTM) are allowed to post their artwork, but collectors are also welcomed and encouraged to share their collections! All artists, regardless of their status as an AoTM, are always encouraged to participate on threads as well, which allows artists who have yet to be added to get some well-deserved exposure. Organizing the group this way creates the best-possible scrolling experience for anyone looking at the group and keeps them engaged in a variety of beautiful jewelry as they do so.”
How do you guys handle artist outreach, and bringing people into the Movement?
SSD: “Since the beginning of the group, I have been keeping a running list of all of the artists I would like to add to the roster. I probably have 100 more names written down that have yet to be added! When I’m ready to add a new member, I pick a person off the list and send them a message inviting them to join. If they accept, they go through a very brief series of marketing tasks surrounding their addition announcement and then they get added to a Facebook group and group chat. The group allows me to communicate important information to everyone at once, and the group chat allows for the artists to interact, share progress shots, tips, ask for advice, etc.”
So, how long overall has this been around, and what would you say the long term goals are for Theta Movement?
SSD: “Theta was launched on March 5, 2017 with about 20 original AoTM. Over the last 19 months, I have grown the group to over 70 AoTM. I’ve taken a break adding jewelers over the last few months while I work tirelessly on the next big step for our group—The Theta Movement Showcase at Ruckus Gallery on November 2nd, featuring 35 of our artists.
Following this event will be our amazing after party featuring ATYYA, Soulacybin, and 5 AM Trio on Funktion One Sound with DR0ID Visuals, live painters, and some awesome vendors! In the future I’d like to continue to grow the online community, with a focus in growing the in-person community by curating gallery exhibitions and parties in cities all over the country. The first show is in Philly, my home city, but I have my sights set on Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, San Francisco, and more!”
Although this is a huge step for Sage and Theta Movement, it’s only the beginning: “In the future I’d like to continue to grow the online community, with a focus on expanding the in-person community by curating gallery exhibitions and parties in cities all over the country. The first show is in Philly, my home city, but I have my sights set on Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, San Francisco, and more!”
Be sure to check out Theta Movement on Facebook, and if you have the opportunity to make it to the showcase, it’s being held at Ruckus Gallery in Philadelphia on November 2nd.