About Gem Artists of North America (GANA)
Gem Artists of North America was formed in 1995 to create a forum for artists and professionals of the gemstone art industry that ignites the creative spirit, supports the needs of gem artists and related professionals, and increases awareness and appreciation of gem art through education, promotion and marketing.
Gemstones are primal… They are amongst those rare things that in and of themselves contain an intrinsic wonder and beauty that needs no explanation. Anyone who has ever walked along a beach and reached down to pick up a shiny pebble knows that feeling of awe and wonder the stone imparts. They connect to us on a primal level. They are amongst the most beautiful things our planet creates. Working in stone is perhaps the oldest art form known, if one considers ancient flint knapping as stone cutting. Throughout history stones have drawn a certain type of artist to the challenge of transforming them. Working in rare materials is exacting and demanding but the results, marrying rare and wondrous materials with the vision of the artist can produce works of art that are like no other art. Gem art is a world in itself.
GANA is an organization comprised of gem artists, those who work with gem materials to create art, as well as those who are willing and able to support the work of the gem artist and the organization. GANA membership offers you a forum to meet with an established community of high-caliber lapidary artists, along with professionals and organizations involved in the promotion, support, marketing and display of lapidary art.
GANA serves a unique function amongst North American gem artists. In Europe there exist long traditions in the gem arts (lapidary) field in which a person would study, apprentice and eventually become a master in the field. In north America people involved in Gem Arts are almost as a rule, self taught and their skills evolve in the isolation of their workshops and studios, often only seeing other artists or examples of gem arts in magazines or at shows. GANA is an organization that allows these artists to have ongoing contact with one another, supporting each other , trading information and in general cross fertilizing the field. The strength of the American tradition has been that due to our self motivation and geographic isolation, we have evolved a wide variety of styles, ideas, creativity and in that aspect American cutters are leading the world of gem arts.