Alumna Lillian E. Webster, MFA '16, Selected For New England Juried Exhibition Chemical Exchanges

Lillian is one of sixteen artists whose work will be shown at the Brookline Arts Center in November 

Labradorite Sea Brooch

The Brookline Arts Center invited artists from across New England to apply for their forthcoming Chemical Exchanges exhibition.  Artists were asked to submit works that exemplified the "chemical exchanges" theme, whether interpreted literally or metaphorically; and employing either traditional metalsmithing techniques such as jewelry and sculptural forms, or more unconventional materials and approaches.  Six of Lillian's art jewelry pieces were selected by jurors Tanya Crane and Kendall Reiss, Faculty in Sculpture, SMFA at Tufts University for inclusion in this exhibition.

The Chemical Exchanges exhibition opens on Friday, November 20, and closes on Friday, December 18, 2020 at the Brookline Arts Center, 86 Monmouth Street, Brookline, MA 02446.  For more information, please visit the BAC website.


Work will be on view in the Brookline Arts Center’s Annex Gallery, which is viewable 24/7 from the window in Monmouth Park. The BAC has also launched a virtual gallery of this exhibition.

Lillian E. Webster, Artist Statement – Chemical Exchanges

Author Carson McCullers wrote, “We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange.”  My works attempt to bridge this gap by uniting the familiar with the strange to inspire moments of reverie.  The generative process of imagining, sparked by coupling the known with the unknown, is the most obvious—though not the only—type of “chemical exchange” found in my work.

Nature is a powerful catalyst for memory.  I cast ephemeral organics like seedpods, foliage, and seaweed in silver using the lost wax casting technique.  This process of translation of memory into medium is one of requisite transformation; something is both lost and gained in the exchange.  No longer their original color, shape, weight, or texture, the organics have been made (a)new.   They retain a sense of fragility and beauty but are now endowed with a preciousness beyond the subjective sentimental marker of memory.  They hover between the intimacy of personal history and their potential as art objects and jewelry in the world at large.

The exchanges embodied in my works allow me to explore the paradox that the imaginary is sparked in the tangible world.  Material objects can frame the ephemeral and the fantastic. Objects can instill wonder and allow our minds to wander. 

Image Captions

  1. In these fields..., 2016, fine and sterling silver, enamel, cast altered hibiscus seed pods, butterfly wing, lens, diamond, patina
  2. In these fields... (detail), 2016, pendant reverse view, fine and sterling silver, enamel, cast altered hibiscus seed pods, butterfly wing, lens, diamond, patina
  3. Winter Brooch, 2019, fine silver, sterling silver, gold, labradorite, moonstone  
  4. Starlight and Lakes, 2019, brooch, fine silver, sterling silver, copper, enamel 
  5. Delphinium Brooch I, 2017 fine silver, sterling silver, diamonds, butterfly wing, resin 
  6. Delphinium Brooch I (detail), 2017, brooch reverse view, fine silver, sterling silver, diamonds, butterfly wing, resin
  7. Labradorite and Sea Brooch, 2017, fine silver, sterling silver, gold, labradorite 
  8. Here be…, 2015-2016, sterling silver, fine silver, copper, enamel, cast altered leaf and twigs, diamond, patina


College of Visual Performing Arts