Over the years, the continuous creative collaboration of Talya Baharal and Gene Gnida has had a broad and sweeping influence on each other’s work.  The artistic and personal relationship flamed their innately intense curiosity and attraction for working with new forms, materials and techniques.  In 1988, they decided to channel their creative energies together and as a team founded Baharal-Gnida Designs.  The confluence of Baharal’s strong conceptual and design sense and Gnida’s creativity with sculptural forms and extensive technical expertise has impacted their individual as well as collaborative efforts and their work has evolved into gallery caliber pieces.

Both artists come to their careers in sculpture and art jewelry through circuitous paths.

Born in Israel, Talya Baharal was exposed to art and design at an early age.  Her English mother, an artist and interior designer, nurtured Talya’s proclivity for design and recognized her intuitive ability to intermingle ancient and contemporary elements.  Ever independent, Talya was on her own at age 16 and living in London, England.  Over the next eight years she pursued successful careers, first in advertising and then in broadcast journalism working as a field producer, researcher, translator and assignment editor at CBS News in Tel-Aviv and New York City.  But her hands and mind were always reaching for a creative outlet.  In 1984, she took her first course in jewelry making in NYC and was smitten with the medium and the sculptural possibilities of metal.  Several more courses were taken at Parsons School of Design and SUNY New Paltz metal departments, but primarily she is self-taught.  In 1986, Talya founded her own jewelry company.  By 1987, Saks Fifth Avenue featured her as a designer in their jewelry department and catalog.  Other department stores and specialty shops followed.  Her work was featured in Elle, Vogue, Bazaar, The New York Times and other publications.  Baharal began her collaboration with Gene Gnida in the late 1980’s.  Their artistic language melded instantly.  By 1989, their work was accepted to the Smithsonian Institution’s annual craft show and the American Craft Council juried shows.  In the following years they also exhibited their work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show, American Craft Expo show in Evanston, Ill, and Crafts at the Castle in Boston, as well as gallery group and solo shows.

Gene Gnida designed a house and saw it built at age 16.  He received his bachelor’s degree in History from Concordia University in Montreal, but found himself drawn back to the world of art, sculpting in stone, bronze and wood.  Gnida’s work was shown in Canadian galleries, and in 1968, Bell Canada sponsored a solo exhibition of Gnida’s sculptures at its pavilion at the Montreal Expo fairgrounds. Seeking to hone his woodworking craft further, Gnida studied in the early 1970’s with Ian Kirby, the renowned founder and director of the Kirby School of Design, then in Bennington, Vermont.  By the mid 70’s, Gnida had settled into a career as a furniture designer and fine woodworker.   In 1983, Fine Woodworking Magazine chose his work for publication in its Design Book Series.  Gene met Talya in 1984, and moved to New York City to begin his own company, Integrated Interiors,  specializing in furniture and cabinetry design.

As of 1990 Talya and Gene exhibited their work at well-known galleries across the United States.  They taught workshops at Peter’s Valley Craft Center in New Jersey and at Arrowmont in Tennessee. In 1994 Talya was invited to lecture about her sculptural work at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem, Israel.  In 1998, 2004  and 2008 Talya was on the jury committee of the American Craft Council shows.  Talya’s early silver sculptural work appeared in Tim McCreight’s 1999 book The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets.  Selected pieces of the Baharal Gnida jewelry collection have appeared in Dona Meilach’s Jewelry Art Today published in 2003.  Additional pieces have been featured in American Craft Magazine, Ornament and other publications.  In August 2004 Talya and Gene received the Best of Show Award for their jewelry by the American Craft Council at their show in San Francisco.  In 2006 They received Best Of Show award at Crafts at the Castle in Boston.  In 2008 they received Best of Show in jewelry at Sausalito Art Festival in CA.

In the late nineties Talya’s sculpture work expanded into combining steel and handmade paper. That work received two sculpture grants in 2002 and in 2004.  Her work was part of a touring exhibition shown at the American Museum of Papermaking, Marist College Clemson University and Endicott College.  Her sculpture work has been featured in several publications including Hand Papermaking magazine and American Craft.  Select solo shows took place at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh in January 2005, at Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco in 2006 and at Jewelers’Werk Galerie, Washington DC in 2008.  Talya’s unique jewelry work was represented by Jewelerswek Galerie at SOFA NY in June 2005 and SOFA Chicago with Pistachios from 2006 - 2008.  Talya’s Urban Landscape and Residue collection jewelry pieces are featured in Lark Books “500 Necklaces” published in 2006 and “500 Pendants & Lockets” published in 2008.  In 2007, Talya received a NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) fellowship award for her unique Urban Landscape jewelry work.  Talya was subsequently invited to lecture about her work to the MFA graduate students at Stonybrook University in Long Island NY.

In the mid nineties Gnida turned his creative energies to ceramics.  He has been exploring the world of clay for the last ten years and has reconnected with his sculpting roots.  Inspirations of nature’s rock formation and crusty textures as well as primitive clay hand building techniques are the primary motivators in his work.  Gnida’s ceramic pieces have been shown at the Virginia Breier Gallery in San Francisco; Objects of Desire in Louisville, KY;  Iota Gallery in Dallas, Obsidian Gallery in Tucson AZ and American Craft Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio.  Gnida participated in the American Craft Council show in San Francisco for the first time in August, 2000, and won the Best of Show prize awarded by the Museum of Folk and American Craft in San Francisco.  His work was featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine shortly thereafter.

Talya and Gene live and work in the Hudson Valley, just north of New Paltz, New York.


talya baharal

+ gene gnida





art jewelry