Society for Contemporary Craft 2011 LEAP Award Winner Announced

The Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2011 Lydon Emerging Artist Program (LEAP). Established in honor of SCC’s Director of Exhibitions, Kate Lydon, for her 20 years of service, the biennial LEAP Award was launched in the fall of 2007 and provides early career artists who show exceptional promise with the opportunity to showcase a body of their work to a regional, national, and international audience in the Store.


The 2011 Winner of the LEAP Award at the Society for Contemporary Craft is ceramic artist Mel Griffin of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Griffin was chosen from a pool of 22 finalists in 6 craft disciplines, and she will receive a $1,000 cash prize as well as a feature in the Store at SCC for one year. Griffin creates functional earthenware pottery decorated with animal imagery using delicate line drawings.  Owls, crocodiles, and mule deer are surrounded by foliage, blue birds, and impressions of fingerprints in her platters, pitchers and plates. Griffin is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota.


The juror for the 2011 LEAP Award is Sharon Massey, an internationally recognized metalsmith, and the manager of the Store at SCC.  She commented, “I was really excited by the work that was submitted for this year’s Award.  Every media was strongly represented, and most of the artists are truly emerging, including current students and very recent graduates. Each finalist has a cohesive body of work and a unique, fresh voice in the field. Within each category, including jewelry, metals, clay, glass, wood, and fibers, there is a range of work, from functional to sculptural. I found Griffin’s work to be especially compelling; her animals are charismatic, drawn with a lyrical line quality on earthy surfaces with rich color. I believe her work is a significant addition to the tradition of animal imagery in ceramics.”


Works by all 21 finalists will be featured for one month in the Store, beginning in April 2011. The finalists in each category are—Jewelry: Lauren Abrams, Richmond, VA; Alicia Jane Boswell, Boise, ID; Heejin Hwang, Madison, WI; Jillian Moore, Iowa City, IA; Caitie Sellers, Asheville, NC; Clay: Jenni Brant, Lincoln, NE; Daniel Kuhn, Brackenridge, PA; Joanna Powell, Boulder, CO; Alyssa Wood, Davidson, NC; Glass: Clarke DeCapite, Coral Gables, FL; Jessi Moore, Carbondale, Il; Elizabeth Perkins, Seattle, WA; Nadine Saylor, Bowling Green, OH; Josefina Muñoz Torres, Santiago, Chile; Metals: Warren Holzman, Philadelphia, PA; Stacey Lee Webber, Philadelphia, PA; Wood: Tom Sheilds, Asheville, NC; Mike Stofiel, Wilmington, DE; Kimberly Winkle, Smithville, TN; Fibers: Amanda Gross, Pittsburgh, PA; Erin M. Riley, Philadelphia, PA.

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Comment by alice simpson on March 8, 2011 at 7:02pm
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!
Comment by Sharon Massey on March 4, 2011 at 12:17pm

See more info about Mel Griffin and the other finalists here:

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