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GEMZ is a talent accelerator programme initiated by Current Obsession to support a new generation of young makers as they develop their voices. The main goal of the programme is to foster relationships between young creatives, cultural institutions and the industry. The open call for the second cycle of GEMZ was released in April 2022. The cycle will conclude in November 2023.

The name of the programme amalgamates the definitions of gem – referring to a gemstone and simultaneously an “outstanding person or thing” – and Generation Z. The successors of the millennials grew up with the limitless possibilities of the worldwide web, where place and time play no role. This generation, mastering a strong online social presence and identity, defies long-cherished traditional views. Hierarchy and authority don’t mean much to Generation Z, diversity, equity and inclusion all the more. Conventional views on gender and sexuality are questioned, ethnicity and family identity are thoroughly examined and (re)defined.  

But no polish without friction: While not everyone welcomes the new generation – which repeatedly encounters misunderstanding from older generations – with open arms: it is undeniable that Gen Z offers an interesting, multi-faceted lens in relation to the contemporary jewellery medium.  

Through the three main stages of the programme – Exploration, Development, Presentation – Current  Obsession provides the participants a variety of opportunities to strengthen both their creative and business  development. Finally, it concludes with an exhibition during OBSESSED! Jewellery Festival 2023.

Curious to apply? Find all the info you need below. Eager to join as a programme partner? Please get in touch via 

GEMZ is supported by the
Creative Industries Fund NL.  

Open Call GEMZ Cycle II:

The open call for the second cycle of GEMZ is closed. We hope to welcome you back early 2024, when the open call for the third cycle is realeased. 


The programme consists out of the following phases: 

Phase 1: Exploration
September – December 2002 

Through a series of four online Q&A’s with renowned practitioners from the working field, participants will be motivated to explore the fringes of the contemporary adornment practice as well as their position therein. Guided by the CO team, a project plan will be formulated by the participants to prepare them for the next phase of the programme. Based on the project plan a total of 10 applicants will move on to phases 2 and 3.

Phase 2: Development 
January – July 2023  

The applicants will develop a series of new works, based on their previously formulated project plan. The  works will be exhibited and published as a part of phase 3 of the programme. Current Obsession will support participants through a financial contribution as well as offering talent guidance throughout the process.

Phase 3: Presentation
September – December 2023 

The newly developed works will be exhibited during OBSESSED! Jewellery Festival 2023 as a part of a GEMZ group show. The works will be documented visually and framed textually for exhibition and publication  purposes. 


If you have any further questions, please get in touch via: