"I like challenging perceptions of an object, or how we create hierarchies of format," says Montana metalsmith Bryan Petersen. He founded the World Champion Belt Buckle Competition in 2012, seeking to upend outdated stereotypes of the format. Artists from across the globe have entered the competition each year since, utilizing the buckle as a canvas to craft wearable and often highly conceptual sculptures.
Eight years on, Petersen and artist Tom Muir jury this display of the competition's heavy-hitters from the past eight years. Belt Buckle Expo: Selections from the 2019 World Champion Belt Buckle Competition challenges expectations of the buckle, utlizing non-traditional materials to tell compelling stories. "It's a fun play on what the buckle can be," Petersen says. "But it also asks, 'What is contemporary craft?' And I believe it's taking advantage of all these diverese mediums."