About the Artist

Elizabeth R. Agte (pronounced ahg-tee) is a jewelry artist and designer based in Rochester, New York. Since 1985, she has run a jewelry studio where she also teaches classes and makes mixed media sculptures. The galleries that have carried her work over the past decade include The Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, Mindscape Gallery in Evanston, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Craft Company #6 in Rochester, and Fireworks Gallery in Seattle.

Incorporating a wide range of materials, her work has been described as architectural, Southwestern, and pagan. Her early work was primarily geometric, with Art Deco references, and though her work still retains classical lines, the icons and symbols present in recent work reflect Elizabeth's interest in the cultural and spiritual use of jewelry historically. A dedication to recycling has found its logical conclusion though the years in jewelry designed around computer panels, antique dominoes, airplane parts, buttons, and human hair.

She has been working extensively with "Precious Metal Clay". She teaches workshops in PMC all over the western New York area including the Rochester Museum and Science Center, the Genesee Pottery, the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center and at various high schools. In 2000, she received a grant for her work in PMC, and was published in the Fall 2000 PMC Guild Newsletter. Another grant in the summer of 2002 funded her attendance at the First PMC conference in Wooster, Ohio.
A Colorado native, Elizabeth's use of tarnished copper, patinated silver, and semi-precious stones such as black onyx, lapis and carnelian, agate and jasper reflect her roots in the American West. Originally a ceramicist, her transition from clay to metal was an inevitable evolution. A successful line of ceramic pins led her back to her college alma mater, the State University of New York at Brockport, where under the instruction of Albert Paley and Thomas Markusen she learned the techniques necessary to adapt her ideas to metal.

A collaborative mixed media project in 1996, that received a grant for its installation, gave birth to a whole new body of on-going work. The exhibit entitled "Pin Money: A Notion of Allowances," explored the use of money as a sexually symbolic gesture. Since then Elizabeth has created two first place award-winning sculptures "Playing by the Rules... You can't get there from here," and "Shrine to the $1000 Tooth," as well as a corporate commission for Weyerhauser Corporation in Seattle, WA.
Elizabeth was involved in the worldwide 100 Heroines Project in 1997-98. She designed and created over 1000 lapel pins for the project, one of which was presented to Hillary Clinton in Belfast, Ireland.
Elizabeth makes regular pilgrimages to the citywide Tucson Gem Show, the largest gem show in the world. As a result, her work has been enhanced by the wide variety of hand-cut stones and fossils that are impossible to fine elsewhere.

Her mixed media piece entitled "Elizabeth-the-Artist Paper Dolls" was exhibited in the "Sixteen Twenty" show at the Center for the High Falls Gallery, in Rochester, New York. Another mixed media piece " You Are Here" was exhibited in the "Made in New York" exhibit at Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, in Auburn, NY, and at an Alumni Exhibit at SUNY Brockport.

Recently, her work has grown to compass slightly larger pieces as a result of her addiction for collecting furniture from the curb, including copper drawer pulls, furniture accents, copper house numbers, mirror and frame enhancements, corner embellishments. In progress, chess and game pieces in PMC.
Locally, Elizabeth is actively involved with the Arts and Cultural Council of Rochester, the Rochester Contemporary, Rochester Lapidary Society, and the Neighborhood of the Arts.