Munya Avigail Upin


Munya is an educator, galleriist, and award-winning artist. Her work is in museums, galleries and private collections throughout the United States. She lectures and teaches across the country.





Munya Avigail Upin is a nationally recognized artist with over forty-five years of experience in the field of metalsmithing. Her award-winning work is in private collections, museums, and galleries throughout the U.S. Her work has been featured in numerous periodicals, newspapers, and books over the years.Munya's oeuvre includes wearable art, small sculptures, and contemporary Jewish ceremonial objects. She has created one-of-a-kind pieces for synagogues and private collectors. She is a sought-after educator leading workshops at colleges, craft centers, and museum schools.A native of Faribault, Minnesota, Munya Avigail Upin began working with metal in high school (thank you, Eugene Larson). After earning a BFA from Drake University, an MA from San Diego State (thank you, Arline Fisch), Munya became Artist in Residence at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts and later earned an MFA from California State University- Fullerton.She has taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Southwest Texas State University, the Massachusetts College of Art, and the Museum School in Boston. Still, she will tell you that her favorite gig was teaching Art Metals at Lincoln/Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts. Munya felt working with high school students was her true calling.Upin was born and raised in a rural community in southern Minnesota. A member of one of only three Jewish families in town, and fifty miles from the nearest synagogue, Judaism played a pivotal role in her life and continues to influence her work. Most of the ritual objects she creates incorporate woven silver, her signature technique. Temple Beth-El, Providence, Temple Beth El, San Antonio, and the New York Jewish Museum are selected institutions that have commissioned work.

September 1986 - California State University, Fullerton, California
May 1987 M.F.A.: concentration in Art Metals
September 1976 - San Diego State University, San Diego, California
December 1979 M.A.: concentration in Silversmithing
September 1971 - Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
June 1975 B.F.A. with general honors: concentration in Silversmithing
TEACHING APPOINTMENTS:January 2007- Instructor, Metals and Art
June 2015 Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Massachusetts
February 1997- Instructor, Jewelry
December 2006 De Cordova Museum School, Lincoln, Massachusetts
September 2006- Instructor, Jewelry
December 2006 School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Summers 2005-2008 Instructor, Metal Arts
Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
January - May 2005 Instructor, Jewelry
Boston University, at the DeCordova Museum School
September 2002- Instructor, Jewelry
June 2003 Wellesley High School, Wellesley, Massachusetts
October 2000- Instructor, Metalwerx
November 2000 and Waltham, Massachusetts
September 2003- 04
Summer 2005
January 1998 Instructor, Jewelry
December 1998 Massachusetts College of Art
September 1997- Instructor, Jewelry
April 2000 and Fall 2006 Lexington Arts and Crafts Society
October 1995- Instructor, Jewelry
June 1998 Danforth Museum School, Framingham, Massachusetts
Sept 1990- Instructor, Art Metals and Jewelry Repair
May 1991 San Antonio College, Texas
September 1987 - Part-time Instructor, Two and Three Dimensional Design
May 1988 San Antonio Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas
June 1985 - Assistant Professor, Art Metals and Basic Design
May 1989 Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
August 1982 - Instructor, Art Metals and Basic Design
June 1985 Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
August 1981 - Lecturer, Art Metals and Basic Design
August 1982 University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
March 1981 - Instructor, Jewelry/ Metalsmithing
June 1981 Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon
January 1981 - Instructor, Jewelry/ Metalsmithing
March 1981 Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus,
Portland, Oregon
January 1979 - Instructor, Jewelry/ Metalsmithing
August 1980 Midway Adult School, California Community Colleges,
San Diego, California
Spring 1979 Graduate Teaching Assistant, "Design and Aesthetics"
San Diego State University, San Diego, California
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:2023-present Curator, Spencertown Academy, Spencertown, NY2012-2019 Co-owner, ALCHEMY 9.2.5.
Contemporary Jewelry and Fine Craft Gallery, Belmont, MA
2019 Juror, Saul Bell Design Award1999 Curator, "Refined 2000" exhibition
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
April 1998 Juror, Student Show, Museum School, Boston1987 - 1989 Coordinator, Society of North American Goldsmith's '89 conferenceAugust 1988 Juror, "10 + 10 + 10"
Deen Galleries, Tyler, Texas
July 1986 Artist in Residence, Summer Arts 86, The California State University
System, San Luis Obispo, California
February 1984 Project Coordinator, National Metals Exhibition/Symposium,
Southwest Texas State University Department of Art, San Marcos, TX
December 1980 - Custom jewelry design, jewelry repair and sales
July 1981 Burt Anthony Jewelers, Portland, Oregon
August 1980 - Artist in Residence, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland,Oregon
August 1981
February 1980 - Custom jewelry design, jewelry repair and sales
August 1980 Alderson Jewelers, San Diego, California
Spring 1980 Presenter, Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference
Tucson, Arizona
July 1979 Studio Assistant (videographer, platinum distributor, etc.),
National Endowment for the Arts Platinum Workshop,
San Diego State University, San Diego, California
June 1977 - Custom jewelry design, jewelry repair and sales, Alderson Jewelers
December 1978 San Diego, California
June 1975 - Custom jewelry design, jewelry repair and sales, gallery manager
March 1976 Elaine Schlup/Goldsmith, Newport Beach, California
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:2001 First Place, Crafts
Mayfair, Festival of the Arts, Allentown, PA
2001 Niche Award Finalist
Teapot category
2000 Niche Award
Lighting and Candlestick category
1993 Visual Artist Grant
Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs
City of San Antonio
1991 Grand Prize
Hecho A Mano, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
San Antonio, Texas
1990 Special Commissions Program
Jewish Museum, New York City
1989 Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship1987 Margret Craver Withers Metal Award
Wichita National 1987
Wichita Art Association, Wichita, Kansas
1987 Meadows Foundation Award
Materials: Hard and Soft
Center for the Visual Arts, Denton, Texas
1985 Juror's Award
Texas Designer/Craftsmen Juried Membership Exhibition
The Museum, Lubbock, Texas
1985 Best of Show
Fest For All '85
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1983 Support Grants for Metals Exhibition/Symposium, at
Southwest Texas State University, from Texas Commission
of the Arts and Southwest Texas State University
Development Foundation
1980 Best of Show
Western Edge: Designer and Production Crafts
Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California
1980 Stipend Recipient
Two-Woman Show
University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada
1979 Honorable Mention
Sterling Silver Design Competition
Lever House, New York, New York
1979 Award
Second Far Western Crafts Exhibition
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
1977 Merit Award
Selections 1977
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
1976 Honorable Mention
California Exposition and State Fair
Sacramento, California
1975 Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges
Drake University
LECTURES, WORKSHOPS AND DEMONSTRATIONS:2006-2019 Woven Metal Techniques, Hot Twisting, Forming, and more
Metalwerx, Waltham, MA
2016 and 2018 Woven Metal Techniques, Creative Side, Austin, Texas2015 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Textile Techniques in Metal,
Deer Isle, Main
2013 Penland School of Crafts, Beginning Metals, Penland, North Carolina2010 Woven Metal Techniques
Art Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY
June 2005 Woven Metal Techniques, Michigan Metals Guild
Ann Arbor, Michigan
April 2005 Woven Metal Techniques, San Antonio Bead Society
San Antonio, Texas
March 2005 Woven Metal Techniques, Maryland Institute College of Art,
Baltimore, Maryland
February 2005 Woven Metal Techniques, Worcester Center for Crafts
Worcester, Massachusetts
January 2005 Woven Metal Techniques, North Country Workshops
Bennington, Vermont
June 2004 Hot Twisting, Orchid Workshop
Metalwerx, Waltham, Massachusetts
July 2003 Precious Metal Clay and Metal weaving, “Creative Strands” conference
Bucknell University campus, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
May 2002, Precious Metal Clay, De Cordova Museum School
December 2002, 03,5/05 Lincoln, Massachusetts
June 2001 Metal weaving, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts
Portland, Oregon
April 2001 Metal weaving, Fiber Loft
Harvard, Massachusetts
November 2000 Metal weaving, Pennsylvania Metals Guild
Main Line Art Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
August 2000 Metal weaving workshop
Peter's Valley, New Jersey
January 2000 Metal weaving workshop
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, Texas
July 1999 Metal weaving workshop
Northeast Enamel Guild
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
July 1999 Metal weaving workshop
The Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association Summer Conference
Bucknell University campus, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
May 1999 Metal weaving workshop
Society for Midwest Metalsmiths, Southern Illinois University
Edwardsville, Illinois
April 1999, October 2001 Metal weaving workshop
Metalwerx, Woburn, Massachusetts
February 1998 Metal weaving workshop
Beadworks, Newberry St., Boston, Massachusetts
June 1997 Metal weaving workshop
Lexington Arts and Crafts Guild, Lexington, Massachusetts
May 1997 Metal weaving workshop
Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Connecticut
January 1997 & 1998, Metal weaving workshop
November 2001, 02, 03,04 DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, Massachusetts
October 1996 Metal weaving workshop
Museum School, Boston, Massachusetts
July 1996 Metal weaving workshop
Interlaken School of Art, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Summer 1996,1997 Jewelry (summer school, Continuing Education)
Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts
March and August 1995 Metal weaving workshop
October 1997,Sept. 2000 Worchester Center for Crafts, Worchester, Massachusetts
August 1994 & Metal weaving workshop
March & November, 1996 Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts
November 1997
June 1994 Slide lecture, "20th Century Decorative Arts", surface embellishment
workshop, Seattle Metals Guild, Seattle, Washington
January 1994 Metal weaving demonstration
Jewish Community Center, Houston, Texas
June 1993 Slide lecture and metal weaving workshop
Glassell Museum School, Houston, Texas
October 1992 & Slide lecture and metal weaving workshop
October 1996 School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
March 1991 Slide lecture, metal weaving demonstration,
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
October 1986 Metal weaving, Southwest Craft Center, San Antonio, TexasJune 1985 Metals workshop, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North CarolinaMarch 1985 Slide Lecture, Design Workshop and Metals Workshop
Clarion University, Clarion, Pennsylvania
April 1984 Metals Workshop, Galveston College, Galveston, TexasAugust 1983 Metals Workshop, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North CarolinaApril 1983 Metal weaving, aluminum die-forming and surface embellishment
demonstration, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 1983 Slide Lecture, "Contemporary Metals: USA", Kilgore College,
Kilgore, Texas
May 1982 Aluminum die-form and surface embellishment demonstration,
Humboldt State University, Arcata, California
November 1980 Niello Workshop, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OregonMarch 1980 Presentation on Platinum Workshop, SNAG Conference,
Tucson, Arizona
PUBLICATION OF WORK:2023 The Arts Fuse, online arts magazine, Visual Arts Review
“Creative Alloys”- The Boston Metals Scene
2022 Modern Judaica: Today’s Makers, Today’s Sacred Objects
James Cohen, Schiffer Publishing
2017 JCK Magazine, January/February 2017
Shop Talk: Store We Adore
Instore Magazine2017 MJSA, Knitted Chain, “How To” article2016 Art Jewelry Today 4, Sandra Korinchak, Schiffer Publishing Ltd.2007 500 Earrings, Lark Books2006 Making Metal Beads, Pauline Warg, Lark Books2006 The Art and Craft of Making Jewelry, Joanna Gollberg, Lark Books2005 Fabulous Woven Jewelry, Mary Hettmansperger, Lark Books2005 500 Brooches, Lark Books2003 Metalsmith Magazine, Fall issue2003 American Style Magazine1999 Judaica Artisans Today, Katherine Morton
Flower Valley Press, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Winter 2001 Niche MagazineNovember 2000 Simply The Best Magazine, FloridaSeptember 15, 2000 The Worcester Phoenix, Worcester, MassachusettsSeptember 17, 2000 Radio interview on NPR affiliate WICN, Worcester, Massachusetts
Spring 2000 Niche MagazineApril 7, 2000, March 2001 Belmont Citizen Harold, Belmont, MassachusettsWinter 1998 American Style MagazineJanuary 29, 1998 The Jewish Chronicle, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaSummer 1996 MetalsmithSummer 1996 Niche Magazine1996, 2001 “Textile Techniques in Metal”, Arline M. Fisch, Lark BooksApril- May 1995 American CraftNovember 1994 Jewish Journal, San Antonio, TexasDecember 1991 Jewish Journal, San Antonio, TexasDecember 9, 1990 Bucks County Courier Times, PennsylvaniaDecember 1990/ January 1991 American CraftOctober 1990 Jewish Journal, San Antonio, TexasJune 22, 1990 San Antonio Light, Feature ArticleFebruary 23, 1989 Art Beat, Featured segment
San Antonio's weekly art news television show, PBS
December 1987 Jewish MonthlyFall 1985 MetalsmithSeptember 1984 Austin American Statesman. Onward Section, September 4, 1984,
page 21.
Winter 1984 MetalsmithAugust 1983 American CraftJune 1983 Oregonian, Portland, OregonMarch 1983 “Jewelry: Contemporary Design and Technique”, Chuck Evans,
Davis Publications
June 1982 American CraftOctober 1979 San Diego UnionJune 1977 Goldsmiths JournalMarch 1976 Los Angeles Times, Sunday Home Edition1976 California Design '76, Library EditionJURIED CRAFT SHOWS:November 2002 Art Works, Waltham, MassachusettsMarch 2002 Paradise East, Marlborough, MassachusettsMay 2002 Springtime in Paradise, Northampton, Massachusetts1976-1979 Annual Denwar Crafts Fair, Denwar Craft Studio, Costa Mesa, CaliforniaPRIVATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:Jewish Museum, New York City
University of Hawaii, Honolulu
Congregation Emanu El, San Bernardino, CA
Temple Beth-El, Providence, Rhode Island
Mitchell Wolfson, Jr.
Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, Texas
Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka, Minnesota
Clay Barr
Gayle Weiss
Foster Goldstrom
Jean Vollum
Stanley Tiger
James de Priest
Clarion University
EXHIBITIONS:2023 Creative Alloys
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
2022 Crafts: Art by Any Other Name
The Spencertown Academy, Spencertown, NY
2006-07 Storm Cycle, Travelling Exhibition
Thomas Mann Gallery I/O, New Orleans, Louisiana
2006 SOFA New York, Mobilia Gallery2006 Martini Squared
Thomas Mann Gallery I/O, New Orleans, Louisiana
2005 70th Regional Exhibition
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York
2005 Outside the Classroom
Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA
2005 Refined IV: Innovation
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
2003 Refined III: Small Forms in Precious Metal
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
2002 and 2003 Under the Chuppah,
The Epsten Gallery, Overland Park, Kansas
2002 De Cordova Museum School Faculty Exhibition
Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Lexington, MA
2001-03 The Ring
Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA (traveling exhibition)
2001 Blade Slices Silk, Reese Bullen Gallery, Humboldt State University
Arcata, California
2001 Mayfair, Festival of the Arts
Allentown, PA
2000 Heaven on Earth "VIII", Goldman Art Gallery