NICHE magazine publisher Wendy Rosen welcomes the audience at the opening of the 2015 NICHE Awards presentation. ALL PHOTOS: JIM BURGER and JILLIAN HUGHES
Continuity and change: those were the two themes powering the 2015 NICHE Awards presentation on Jan. 17 in Washington DC. In a time-honored tradition that’s taken place every winter since 1990, finalists, students, supporters and friends gathered with American Made Show attendees to celebrate the winners of the 26th annual NICHE Awards in a dramatic new space, complete with low lights, cabaret-style table seating, colorfully transformed trophies and the addition of a special Honor Award for Advocacy on Behalf of American Craft.
Wendy Rosen, publisher of NICHE magazine and founder of the American Made Show, opened the ceremonies, promising the audience that it was about to see inventive new work by some of today’s most promising artists, both professionals and students.
“This event is always an exciting opportunity to view new designs,” Rosen said. “Having reviewed nearly 1100 entries this year, it’s been inspiring for me to see such a range of beautiful and unique work.
“This weekend marks 33 years for the American Made Show,” she continued. “Throughout that time we have developed, nurtured and maintained partnerships with so many talented artists and successful retailers. These relationships are what make this community vibrant and unique.“
Rosen then turned the program over to guest emcee Joyce Scott—sculptor, jeweler, installation artist, performance artist, educator and “the Queen of Beadwork”—who set a lively pace for the rest of the show. Out of 170 finalists, 34 walked away with awards in the professional division; 15 students, out of 75 finalists chosen from more than 500 entries, won awards in the student division.
A highlight of the event was the presentation of the NICHE Advocacy Award to Carol Sauvion, creator and co-executive director of the Peabody Award-winning documentary film series “Craft in America.” A second special honor, for NICHE magazine’s 2015 Arts Educator of the Year, was given to Lynn Legare, a professor at the Ecole de Joaillerie de Montreal in Quebec. The award was created to recognize those individuals who have dedicated their careers to nurturing and guiding the next generation of craft artists.
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To view all of the winners of the 2015 NICHE Awards, please visit the NICHE Awards website www.nicheawards.com