Doing a sterling job

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How to exude calm self-assurance at the Artists and Designers fair

Beverly Tadeu’s jewellery

The Artists and Designers Contemporary Art Fair NYC was a hothouse of activity two hours before its official 4pm opening on Thursday. In nearly every case, gallery attendants (who are mostly artists selling their own work) were precariously perched on ladders hammering nails into walls, or whitewashing their not-yet-pristine booths. Amid all the chaos and a substantial amount of shouting was at least one island of clarity: the jewellery designer Beverly Tadeu’s booth, completely and peacefully installed in a private corner of the fair. Tadeu, whose husband is a diplomat, began making her work in Chile as a way of settling into her new home. “I spent 17 years living abroad and I was interested in finding rootedness,” she says. Metalworking was something she could call her own in a foreign land, and she has continued to make work since moving to Bethesda, Maryland.

“These pieces are really about fragility and strength,” Tadeu says, pointing to works that are mostly made of 18-carat gold and silver. In the context of the rest of the fair, it especially made sense. Surrounded on all sides by installers who were succumbing to the demands of a quick installation, Tadeu’s small, intimate works radiated a clear sense of self-assurance, which the rest of the fair was finally figuring out as I left just less than an hour before opening.

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