Delanor A. Manson

Published: Jan. 15, 2013 at 4:29 PM EST
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Delanor A. Manson, Artist/Owner of Koi Gallery
Delanor A. Manson, Artist/Owner of Koi Gallery

With degrees in nursing and healthcare management, I have been at the forefront of innovative medical initiatives in both patient care and complex administrative issues.

Achieving the rank of captain in the U.S. Navy, I applied my nursing education to positions throughout the country as well as in Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Puerto Rico. Most recently as the Associate Vice President of Research and Design of Hosparus in Louisville, I was involved in the complex interplay of strategy and planning and project design and management.

Although my career spans diverse accomplishments in the medical field, I have always nourished an innate creativity. While living in Japan, I studied art forms such as ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, and origami, the traditional Japanese art of folding paper. But it is the beauty of stones that fascinated me even as a child and led to my natural progression to a jewelry designer. My jewelry was showcased at various juried art shows throughout the region and at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft while also being featured at Rodes for Her, Karen of Course, The Shop at the Brown, Aesthetics in Jewelry and other high-end boutiques.

In 2008, I founded the Koi Gallery at the Galt House Hotel and Suites to exhibit and sell my jewelry. As a member of the art community, I support local, regional and national artisans by showcasing and selling their paintings, sculptures and other art pieces in Koi Gallery.

I garnered national acclaim, as evidenced by the designs for poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni and First Lady Michelle Obama.

As I traveled the world, immersing myself in the history, culture and peoples of the countries I visited, my love of artistic expression began to take on its own voice. That voice reflects the passion of an artist who has a keen appreciation for the importance and mysterious beauty of the stones and beads that are so much a part of history and of the people who have created sometimes subtle, other times bold, legacies that endure for their singular beauty and powerful aesthetic statements.

The wearable art I create mirrors both the spiritual and the romantic aspects of my personality. The spiritual nature responds to the energy and etherealness of the stones while the romantic character is drawn to their sensuality.

Each time I design a piece of jewelry, I am acutely aware of the meditative and learning processes that result from caressing gemstones from all corners of the earth. I consider designing to be a journey, one in which I continually explore and relish the exquisite interplay of shape, color and texture as they meld into one piece that I hope will be treasured as much as I loved bringing it to life.