● The award was established in 2007 honoring Kate Lydon, Contemporary Craft (CC)’s Direction of Exhibitions, for her 20 years of service to the organization. This year represents Kate's 35 years of service!
● LEAP recognizes exceptional emerging talent in the contemporary craft field and provides opportunities for early career artists to bring their artwork to the consumer market.
● The retail store will feature, promote, and sell the work of one winner and six finalists.
● The winner receives a $1,000 prize, national promotion, special newsletter feature and a one-year retail feature; finalists receive special features on rotating basis throughout 2022.
In honor of Kate Lydon’s 35th anniversary year, Kate will work with guest jurors Sarah Kelly and Sean Beauford.
Kate is the Director of Exhibitions at Contemporary Craft and oversees the installation of exhibitions at CC's Lawrenceville location and at the BNY Mellon satellite gallery in downtown Pittsburgh. She participates in all decisions regarding exhibition development, selection of work, touring of exhibitions and development of public programming. Kate received dual degrees in Art History and French at Denison University and a Master's Degree from the Archival, Museum & Editing Program at Duquesne University. She has participated on jury panels, and served on the Board of Governors of Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and the Board of Directors of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as On-site Liaison.
Sarah Kelly is the Windgate Curator of Contemporary Craft & Design at Arizona State University Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center. Sarah has a Master of Arts in Critical Craft Studies from Warren Wilson College and previously worked as a curatorial fellow for Asheville Art Museum in North Carolina. She began her career as a maker with an undergraduate degree in painting, a decade of making ceramics, two years working with a metal sculptor and working in a variety of craft-based retail galleries.
Sean Beauford is the Manager of Community Relationships at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA, and is also an Independent Producer and Curator. Sean is an art administrator, curator and producer who is interested in connecting communities and creating opportunities for collective learning and growth. His work as an independent curator and producer is dedicated to celebrating a marginalized perspective and making space for emerging artists and art workers. Sean has worked with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, the Mattress Factory and was the Curator in Residence, MuseumLab at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.
● LEAP is currently open to artists who reside in the United States.
● LEAP is open to exceptionally talented artists who are in the early stages of their career. “Emerging” artists may have had some professional experience (i.e., exhibitions, sales, publication, etc.), but have not yet established reputations as artists.
● Artists must work in craft media: ceramics, wood, metal/jewelry, glass, found materials, mixed media, fiber, or a combination of these materials.
● Two-dimensional work will not be considered.
ADMISSION SUBMISSION CHECKLIST
1. Entry Fee: A non-refundable $25 entry fee is required and can be paid online or by check (see below for further details). Please place your name in the memo section of the check. The entry fee supports the award prize.
2. LEAP Online Application Form (opens August 24, 2021)
Statement - articulating why you believe you are an “emerging” artist and how this award will benefit your studio practice (250-word maximum);
Resume in pdf format (file size must be under 1MB);
Artist statement in pdf format (file size must be under 1MB);
6 representative images similar in quality and nature to the work the artist would enter if selected as a finalist, images need not be the exact pieces the artist intends to enter;
Each uploaded file must be labeled with your full name and content. For example: sally.smith.resume.pdf or sally.smith.image1.jpg
You will receive a notification from The Store once we receive all the materials.
Item 1 can be mailed or paid online (if mailed, postmarked by 10/30/2021).
Item 2 must be submitted electronically through the online application form noted below. Please prepare the following materials BEFORE starting the ONLINE submission process. All six items listed below must be completed in order for you to be considered for the LEAP Award.