The GIA Museum is launching “Aluminati: Students to Stars,” a new exhibit series that will highlight the talents of GIA alumni who have made waves in the gem and jewelry industry. The first exhibit in the series, featuring designer Kara Ross, will debut in April at GIA’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, California.
“We’re thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on the incredible work of our alumni,” said Terri Ottaway, GIA Museum curator. “So many talented students have emerged from GIA, and we are so pleased to share their success with the public. We are fortunate to have Kara Ross and her uniquely creative pieces as our premier Aluminati exhibit.”
Ross, a GIA Graduate Gemologist (GG), is a world-renowned jewelry and handbag designer who works with all types of gemstones (often in their natural state), crystals, wood and other organic material. Her designs are favored by celebrities and public figures, including U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore pieces from Ross’s “Pyramid” collection, including earrings and cuffs made with sterling silver, mother of pearl and colorless sapphires, to the 2011 State of the Union address. Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, wore a pair of hand-carved mother of pearl and white sapphire earrings by Kara Ross during this year’s inauguration ceremony.
“I’m honored to kick off this exciting new exhibition series. Through GIA, I developed my passion and knowledge for gemstones, and these inform and enhance all the designs I create today,” said Ross.
The Kara Ross Aluminati exhibit will run from the beginning of April through mid-October. Ross’s trendsetting and inspired designs will fill the atrium cases at GIA’s Carlsbad campus. Highlighted in this exhibit are custom pieces Ross created for Michelle Obama out of wood from a fallen tree near the White House.
Ross and her work have appeared in numerous national and international magazines, and she was honored in 2012 as the Design Award Winner by the Women’s Jewelry Association.
The Aluminati series will feature GIA graduates from various parts of the gem and jewelry industry, from miners and gem carvers to gem dealers, designers, jewelers and more.
The GIA Museum is free and open to the public by appointment. For more information or to arrange a campus tour, go to www.gia.edu/gia-museum