Meet The Artist


Name: Veleta Vancza

Born/Raised: 1973 Tucson, AZ

Current Location: Kingston, NY

Education Major:

AAS Fashion Institute of Technology 1993, BFA SUNY New Paltz 2000, MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art 2003

How did you come to jewelry:

My mom took me to Colonial Williamsburg when I was 4 years old, and I decided right then and there that I wanted to be a silversmith. I had jewelry class in my public junior high school (Emily Gray Jr. High in Tucson, AZ with Ms. Chapman) & started taking private jewelry lessons at age 16 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with a man named Billy King.

Where do you gather inspiration:

I’m inspired mostly by popular culture, contemporary folk art (like nail art) & my love of chemistry. I like to see what’s going on around me and try to make innovative things using the vernacular of todays trends.

Does creativity run in your family? Is it supported?:

My mother was a weaver and always had us doing a variety of craft projects around the house, like making sand cast candles or custom melted wax wrapping paper. My father was an inventor, he made electronic dog collars, and built computers at home in the 70s. I think I have the perfect blend of uber-nerd and creative curiosity. They have always supported my desire to make things.

What do you do for fun:

I love to host and attend costume parties.

Do you do other types of art, besides jewelry:

I consider myself an artist & conceptual designer. Most of my works are sculptures that hang on the wall. Jewelry is a bonus!

Any volunteer organizations or activities you are crazy about:

I’m a big fan of Huru International, an organization that provides sanitary napkins and supplies to women in Africa.

Favorite trip you have taken:

Sonoma County drinking wine all day. Need I say more?

Do you have any ideas or concepts for your next body of work:

As the co-founder and Creative Director of MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer, I have fully immersed myself in Nail culture. With MINE, I am also committed to collaborating with artists in all disciplines and drawing on the talent of my artist friends. We are currently working on projects with photographers, video artists, nail artists, printmakers & fashion designers.  In my studio, I have been working on a series of sculptures exclusively using acrylic & gel nail materials. I am working on a project called Millefiore which is comprised of 1000 flowers made of nail wheels and utilizing the vernacular of nail artists.