86th Annual Award Winners

On October 4, the Jury of Awards met at Brookgreen Gardens to decide the 15 prize recipients of National Sculpture Society’s 85th Annual Awards Exhibition.  The Jury of Awards is composed of at least two sculptors and a curator and this year included Rick Reinart, Owner, Reinert Fine Art Gallery; Bart Walter, Sculptor and Fellow of NSS; and Basil Watson, Sculptor.

The top honor, the Gold Medal & Charlotte Geffken Prize, went to New York artist, Leslie Stefanson. A former actress, Stefanson, studied anatomy and figure sculpture under Robert Cunningham, stone carving at Otis Art School, and écorché and life drawing at Los Angeles Art College. This is Stefanson’s first show with National Sculpture Society.

The nearly 10-foot long piece is composed of 11 individual rectangular bronze elements measuring 6″ x 3.5″ each and is peopled with small figures in different poses. “La Bestia is the colloquial name for a network of freight trains that wind their way up through Mexico to the southern border of the United States,” says Stefanson. “These trains offer refugees, migrants and asylum seekers an expedited form of transport for the 1,450 mile journey through Mexico and yet riding these trains is extremely perilous and often fatal. La Bestia is one of ten sculptures in a series exploring refugee migration around the world. With over 70 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, we are experiencing the largest refugee crisis in history.”

This show runs through October 27th at Brookgreen Gardens. The exhibition attracts more than 25,000 visitors over the course of its 3-month installation. A closing reception, including an award presentation for NSS prize winners and Brookgreen Garden’s “People’s Choice Award” recipient, will occur on Saturday, October 26th.

NSS Gold Medal and Charlotte Geffken Prize of $4,000

La Bestia by Leslie Stefanson

NSS Silver Medal and Maurice B. Hexter Prize of $3,000

Little Swimmer by Brittany Ryan

NSS Bronze Medal and John Cavanaugh Memorial Prize of $2,000

Dance by Manuel Ferreiro Badia

The Anna Hyatt Huntington Award of $1,000 and a Brookgreen Medal

Stilts by Jay F. Goldstein, FNSS

Fred and Cheryl Newby Patrons Award of $1,000

Enigma by Dale Weiler, NSS

Marcel Jovine President’s Prize of $1,000

Northern Torsion, Pike and Bull by Jeremiah D. Welsh, NSS

Marilyn Newmark Memorial Award of $1,000

Hrand Saxenian by Stephen Saxenian

The Susan and Robert Polack Prize of $1,000

Martin Luther King, Jr. The Night Before the ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech by Michael Aaron Hall, NSS

Marion and Gilbert Roller Memorial Prize of $1,000

Balance of Nature V: Box Turtle with Lizard by Garland Weeks, FNSS

Pietro and Alfrieda Montana Memorial Prize of $750

Into the Light by Paige Bradley, FNSS

Agop Agopoff Memorial Prize of $500

Calliope by Dora Natella, FNSS

Jane B. Armstrong Memorial Award of $400

No Country for Old Frogs by Walter Matia, FNSS

Margaret Hexter Prize of $300 

Mischief and Plunder – Magpies by Ken Newman, NSS

Edith H. and Richman Proskauer Prize of $300

Joe Hill: The Man Who Never Died by Eugene Daub, FNSS

Beverly Hoyt Robertson Memorial Award of $200 and Gloria Medal

Wholehearted by Mardie Rees, NSS