Three art students named finalists for national NICHE Awards

photo of "April"
Josephs’ “April”

Three CSU students in the Department of Art and Art History have been named finalists for NICHE awards.

Sponsored by NICHE magazine, the NICHE Awards program began in 1989 to celebrate excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft.

The CSU finalists are Nicolette Tiongson for her piece “Reine d’Argent” (teapots), John Sullivan for “Motherboard” (sculptural metal) and Hayley Josephs for “April” (fine jewelry). All three worked with CSU Associate Professor Haley Bates, who coordinates and teaches in the department’s metalsmithing and jewelry area.

photo of "Motherboard"
Sullivan’s “Motherboard”

In the NICHE Awards, artists are recognized in both professional and student divisions. Nearly 2,000 entries are received annually from professional and student craft artists from across the U.S. and Canada. Each year, the editors of NICHE magazine select a prestigious panel of judges, including gallery owners, guild and museum directors, curators, craft industry experts and arts advocates.

After the judging process is complete, and counts are tallied, the top-scoring pieces — five in each category — become NICHE finalists. Out of these five, the highest-scoring piece in each category wins the NICHE award.

photo of "Reine d'Argent"
Tiongson’s “Reine d’Argent”

Winners announced in January

The NICHE Awards ceremony takes place each January during the American Made Show. The winners are revealed at the ceremony and each winning artist receives a trophy.

At the ceremony, student and professional winners take the stage side by side. Students benefit by meeting masters in their fields. Yet many attendees have noted that inspiration flows both ways.

“The professionals inspire us with their technical mastery and their understanding of the role of craft in shaping culture,” says Hope Daniels, editorial director of NICHE magazine. “The students thrill us with their risk-taking vision of what craft is today and has yet to become tomorrow.”