Topeka Competition 30
Topeka Competition 30
April 1 – May 13, 2011


Celebrating national artists working in 3-dimensional media, the Topeka Competition offers visitors an opportunity to view new and innovative work in contemporary arts and crafts. Read Richard Notkin’s Juror’s Statement here.

$200 Juror's Awards:
Peggy Johnston
KyoungHwa Oh
Delores Fortuna
Carol Salisbury
Mark Nathan Stafford

Friends of the Library Purchase Awards:
Katerina Strakhova
Mark Nathan Stafford

Gallery Director, Sherry Best, explains: "This competition—now in its 30th year!— is a juried exhibition open to artists 18 and over, currently living in the United States. Artists could submit work in clay, metalwork, jewelry, fiber, leather, glass, wood, or any combination of the above. Every year, we ask a different artist to jury, or judge, the exhibit: to review all the works, and select those to be included in the show and the juror’s awards. This year, our juror was Richard Notkin, who selected 71 works for the competition from 329 submissions.

The Topeka Competition is sponsored by the Friends of the Library, who have been its dedicated sponsors, bringing exciting work in three-dimensional arts and crafts to Topeka, for thirty years. The Friends of Art has also provided support for this year’s competition.

Gallery Director Emeritus Larry Peters began the Topeka Competition as a local competition for arts and crafts, and at the time, mainly crafts. Ceramists, woodworkers, glass and fiber artists, and jewelry makers had very few opportunities to exhibit their work. Most art galleries and museums weren’t interested in the craft media yet. That has changed. Larry also saw the competition as an opportunity to build the library’s art collection. Part of the Friends’ support is to provide Purchase Awards, which join the library’s collection of art. Peters was the former Sabatini Gallery Director from 1968-2003. Peters is a prolific ceramist and an active member of the Topeka arts community. He is the founder and president of the Kansas Artist Craftsmen Association. His work is included in the exhibit.

Over the years, The Topeka Competition grew: first to a regional, four-state competition, then to include more states in the Midwest. In the last six years, it opened to artists working all over America. Our entries still largely come from the Midwest, and I am proud to see that our Kansas artists are strongly represented.

My thanks and congratulations go out to all of the 72 artists who entered very strong work for this competition.

My congratulations also to those artists whose work Notkin accepted, and to our award winners. One of the really wonderful things about organizing a juried competition is not only seeing all of the work by the talented artists who enter, but also the feeling that I learn something every year."
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