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Artist Spotlight: Jill Garber Couture

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Jill Garber crafts artistic, wearable pieces of jewelry, each unique and that tell a story. PHOTO COURTESY OF JILL GARBER

Locally featured designer presents wearable art

By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – When you’re trying on one of Jill Garber’s jewelry pieces, you’re most likely wearing more than a bracelet, earrings or necklace. You’re wearing a piece of history. Garber founded Jill Garber Couture in 2008, drawing inspiration from artistic periods of history, antique jewelry and objects d’ art design, a style dating back to the 17th century.

Garber grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, and Sarasota, Florida, and moved to New York, New York, to attend Parsons School of Design in 1972, and then Los Angeles, California where she lived until 2004. Her educational background is in jewelry, fashion and product design as well as design licensing. She also credits her parents for inspiration and encouragement through her career—her father was an entrepreneur and her mother, an artist.

Garber’s works can be viewed and tried on at the Courtney Collins Fine Art gallery in the Big Sky Town Center Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. Gallery owner Courtney Collins can help you select, and try on a piece.

“I am touched and somewhat humbled when I interface with admirers of my work,” Garber told EBS in an email. “I consider it an honor and privilege to create beautiful things, as well as to have led my entire life working in the arts and design—it is a joy to discuss the many details and stories that surround my work with those who are interested.”

Garber channels her unique artistic perspective into her creations, which is why they have evolved over the years. She hopes her pieces instill in their wearers those same creative powers. Garber has participated in the Big Sky Arts Auction in previous years through Courtney Collins, an event she sees as an opportunity to connect with other artists and patrons. 

“I think it is important to encourage and enlighten people as to what is taking place in the arts, and support these efforts in every community,” Garber said. “I also believe it is important to provide a professional platform that is involved in communities throughout the world, for artists to display their works and engage with others in their field.”

Garber has been the recipient of the State of Michigan Artists Award for Excellence in Jewelry and Sculpture and the Mademoiselle Magazine College Competition Award. Her work has been featured in magazines including Romantic Homes, Romantic Country, Vintage and Victorian and Cowboys & Indians.

From grand cuff bracelets, to festoon necklaces, chokers, drop earrings, rings and bolos, Garber crafts each piece with her hands and no two are alike. In them she utilizes elements such as gemstones from around the world, 19th century hand carved Venetian cameos, floral Micro Mosaics, 18th century portraits, hand painted fine porcelain, sacred French medals and other treasures. Antique story is an intrinsic component to all her pieces. 

To peer into history, or perhaps to event try it on, stop into Courtney Collins gallery enjoy Garber’s work and watch out for her at the Big Sky Art Auction July 14-18.

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