Emerging Artist Competition.
Saddlemakers and silversmiths gathered in Mesa, Arizona to participate in the first annual Emerging Artist Competition. Work was evaluated for aesthetic value as well as function, with the results of the competition as follows: Matt Litz (Texas) winning the silversmith award, and Conley Walker (Idaho), taking home the saddlemaking prize.
The winners in each category were given $1000 cash, hotel accommodations and complimentary tickets to the weekend events at the Cowboy Crossings exhibit opening in Oklahoma City in October. The judges noted a high level of quality in the work, and critiques were well received by all the participants.
One of the participants was Douglas Krause of Red Bluff, California who remarked that the judges “…along with the other TCAA members in attendance-all carried themselves with amazing stature and proper wit. For myself, I never viewed this as a competition, but rather an excellent learning experience. It was all that and more. The conversations were thoughtful, educational, open and honest. My work received fair critique and the knowledge to continue on a path of positive progression.” Virtually all of the feedback from the other participants echoed these words.
Special thanks to Wilson Capron, Cary Schwarz, Rick Bean, Dave Alderson, Scott Hardy and Don Bellamy for helping make the first TCAA Emerging Artist Competition a success. Also, a big Western “Thank You” goes out to Joseph and Linda Sherwood and their staff f at the High Noon Show for supporting this effort and making it a reality. The members of the TCAA reserve a special thanks and congratulations to all the competitors who came with great work and great attitudes. The passion and thirst for knowledge these people displayed shows that there is a bright future for Western Craftsmanship!
With the resounding success of this weekend in Mesa, the TCAA looks forward to next year when the categories will be rawhide braiding, and bits and spurs.