A Legacy of Creativity and Generosity

If you talk to Ed Brickman about his life, you will find a man truly grateful for his many blessings, which include a long, loving marriage to his late wife Alice, wonderful children and grandchildren, a successful business now passed on to one of his sons, great friends, and the opportunity to express his unending creativity through the extraordinary jewelry he designs and makes.

 Ed has been making jewelry since he was a teenager and has never lost his enthusiasm for the creative process. “It’s exciting to anticipate the next creative thing to make,” he says. “I’m always thinking about the next piece.” He finds ideas everywhere and draws them on anything handy because, he says, “A little scribble can turn into something great!” His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

 Teaching is also a passion of Ed’s. He has taught at the Newark Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design, and for many years, at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts (LBKCA), a division of Ringling College, where he generously shares with his students his expertise and his philosophy that jewelry should be unique, original, creative, and complement the wearer.

 Ed’s generosity of spirit extends well beyond the jewelry studio. He believes that it is important to give to others. “I’ve enjoyed great success,” he said. “Alice and I always knew that we wanted to give back—to consider people who have less and do what we could for them.”

 In addition to their involvement with LBKCA, which includes Ed’s donation of his faculty compensation back to the art center, the Brickmans were long-time supporters of the Ringling College Library Association and regular Town Hall attendees for many years. In a crowning achievement earlier this year, Ed graced Ringling College with an extraordinary gift that will provide students the opportunity to pursue a career in art and design—an opportunity Ed would have appreciated as a young man. His contribution of $500,000 to endow five “Alice and Ed Brickman Scholarships” will help Ringling College students for generations to come.

 In appreciation of Ed’s support, the College has named the café in its new Academic Center in his honor. As students gather in the Brickman Café in the years to come, they may not know about the honest and honorable man for whom it’s named. That’s okay with Ed, as long as they continue his legacy of creativity and generosity.

Photograph by Barbara Banks