Honoring the Best and the Brightest

2013 NICHE Awards Judges
The 2013 NICHE Awards jurors include (clockwise from top left): Lisa Bayne; Jonathan Winfisky and and Lesley Grow-Winfisky; Betty Talbott; Marlene Richey; and Joanne and Peter Hildt. Credit (Bayne): Jake Armour, Armour Photography

NICHE magazine is proud to announce the finalists in the professional division of the 2013 NICHE Awards. The program recognizes the originality and creative achievements of U.S and Canadian studio artists who produce work for craft galleries and retail stores.

Since its inception in 1990, the NICHE Awards competition has encouraged creativity in all craft mediums. For 2013, artists submitted work in more than 40 categories. A panel of craft professionals judged each entry on technical excellence in both surface design and form; market viability; and innovation, defined as a distinct quality of unique, original and creative thought.

This year’s jurors included Lisa Bayne, chief executive officer of Artful Home and The Guild; Joanne Hildt and Peter Hildt, owners of Pinnacle Gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz., a nine-time winner in the annual NICHE Top Retailer Awards competition; Marlene Richey, jewelry industry consultant and author of Profiting by Design; Betty Talbott, director of the Ohio Craft Museum; and Lesley Grow-Winfisky and Jonathan Winfisky, owners of Grow Gallery in Shelbourne, Mass., and winner of the 2011 NICHE Top Retailer Award for Best Artisan-Owned Gallery.

Every year, NICHE magazine also shines a light on fine craft produced on college campuses, honoring achievements by students enrolled in North American undergraduate, graduate and certificate art programs. The judges consider each entry’s technical excellence and innovation. This year, jurors for the student categories included Marlene Richey and staff representatives of both NICHE magazine and the Buyers Market of American Craft.

NICHE magazine gives special recognition each year to an educator who has inspired student artists to achieve their best work. Nominated by NICHE Award student entrants, the candidates are teachers who are revered for the quality of their instruction and the generosity of their mentoring. The 2013 winner will be announced at the NICHE Awards ceremony.

The full list of all professional finalists follows below. In addition, all professional and student finalists have been invited to display their work in the NICHE Awards exhibit at the Buyers Market, Feb. 16-18, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The 2013 NICHE Awards festivities will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, followed by the awards ceremony. Admission is free for all Buyers Market participants.

To register for the Buyers Market, visit www.AmericanMadeShow.com or call 866-341-2001.