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Exclusive Jewels by Adam Neeley on Display in California

The exhibition of fine jewelry is the first decorative arts show at the Laguna Art Museum.

By Ellys Woodhouse

Laguna Beach’s cultural impact extends far beyond its role as the backdrop (and even namesake) of our favorite guilty pleasure television shows. This small section of Californian coastline packs a whole lot of culture into one ZIP code. In fact its renowned museums, galleries and festivals cover the length and breadth of the arts – perhaps the natural consequence when you are only a stone’s throw away from the creative hub that is Los Angeles

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Modern Alchemy Laguna Beach exhibition
It is the first exhibition of decorative arts at LAM / ©Laguna Art Museum

So it makes it almost surprising to hear that the area’s oldest institution, the Laguna Art Museum (also known as LAM), is set to exhibit its first-ever decorative arts show. Long and eagerly awaited, Modern Alchemy will celebrate the work of California-based jewelry designer, gemologist and goldsmith, Adam Neeley, running until July 29, 2024.

Neeley has harbored an esteemed reputation for crafting jewelry that is as innovative as it is exuberant, and this exhibition is a showcase of the very best of his talents and expertise, gained over a 25-year-long career working as a jeweler. This includes his groundbreaking craftmanship pioneering the SpectraGold technique, a never-before-seen process that seamlessly transitions one color of gold into another. 

Modern Alchemy Laguna Beach exhibition
The exhibition showcases the range of his talents, including the SpectraGold technique / ©Laguna Art Museum

The exhibition is aptly named, since Neeley’s work is almost the equivalent of contemporary alchemy, transforming gold into a subtle gradient of colors, from yellow to white gold and beyond, creating entirely new gold colors. 

Modern Alchemy explores my journey as an artist; from early years of gemstone cutting and silversmithing to developing my own unique design aesthetic and inventing new gold colors,” said Neeley. “This exhibition features displays to excite audiences of all ages and share the magical world of the jewelry arts.”

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Modern Alchemy Laguna Beach exhibition
The SpectraGold technique is blended with traditional jewelry making / ©Laguna Art Museum

“Adam Neeley’s Modern Alchemy is a testament to the transformative power of art,” said LAM’s executive director, Julie Perlin Lee. “Neeley’s ability to blend traditional craftsmanship with his original SpectraGold technique will take you on a journey where each piece becomes a unique expression of alchemical beauty.”

In addition to the Modern Alchemy exhibition at LAM, Neeley’s jewelry is also on display at his local showroom in Laguna Beach, available for viewing by appointment. 

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‘Modern Alchemy’ is running at Laguna Art Museum from February 17 through July 29, 2024.

lagunaartmuseum /

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