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Jeweler Matt Ameika opens at Galería Izamal

By Henry Vermillion

Galería Izamal’s newest member, Matt Ameika, will open with a showing of his personalized jewelry at the gallery on Mesones 80 in downtown San Miguel, next door to the Ángela Peralta Theater.

Art Opening
New jewelry by Matt Ameika
Sat, Aug 24, 6–8pm
Galería Izamal
Mesones 80

Ameika is one of those jewelers who believe in going to the source for the semiprecious stones he crafts into his silver work. He has travelled to Lithuania to find much-prized Baltic amber, to New Mexican mines for turquoise and, before he moved to Mexico, to Querétaro for fire opals and Chiapas for amber with prehistoric insects encapsulated inside.

Although he is still a young man, his route to becoming a respected professional jeweler has been long. He was born and raised on St. John’s Island off the coast of South Carolina near Charleston. He has earned a law degree and an MBA, and he passed the bar examination for New York state. He worked for Mercedes Benz in Germany for two years, learning German along the way. With this background, why, then, did he choose to become a jeweler? It’s simple, he says: “It’s not about the check—it’s about beauty.”

To expand the story a bit, his father was both a lawyer and a career military officer, and—you guessed it—the legal and business training was his family’s choice for him. He had been making jewelry on the side since he was in high school, but when he passed the New York bar exam some five years ago, he felt his obligation to his parents was done, and he has been a full-time jeweler ever since.

Galería Izamal last year celebrated its 20th anniversary in San Miguel. Sculpture, paintings and jewelry by other gallery members Lourdes Cordero, Juan Ezcurdia, Javier García, Javier Gonzáles, Cat Grall, Vanina Landini, Raphael Monzies, Henry Vermillion and Britt Zaist will also be displayed.

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