"Midwest Mermaid" by Brittany Ryan

On Friday, August 28, a Jury of Awards met at Brookgreen Gardens to decide the 15 prize recipients of National Sculpture Society’s 87th Annual Awards Exhibition. The Jury of Awards is composed of at least two sculptors and a curator and this year included James Arendt, Director, Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery/Associate Professor, Coastal Carolina University; Paul Rhymer, Sculptor and Fellow of National Sculpture Society; and Logan Woodle, Sculptor and Assistant Professor of Sculpture, Coastal Carolina University.

The top honor, the Gold Medal & Charlotte Geffken Prize, went to Laguna Beach, California artist, Brittany Ryan.

Ryan is a faculty and department coordinator for Laguna College of Art and Design’s sculpture department. Among her many honors includes the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (2015), 2nd Place at National Sculpture Society’s Richard McDermott Miller Competition (2019), and the Silver Medal/Maurice B. Hexter Prize at NSS’ 86th Annual Awards Exhibition (2019).

“’Midwest Mermaid’, along with the other sculptures in this body of work, investigates the beauty of people in transition from childhood to adulthood, as one becomes socially aware of the judgement of others and finding a place in a social group,” says Ryan. “These figures are contemporary and specific, not idealized, not without identity. These works examine the idea story and character – giving them a specificity of portrait, clothing, and shape which imbues them with a force of will; putting them beyond the judgment placed upon common representations of sexuality and beauty.”

In May, the Jury of Selection chose 28 works from the 460 entries received from around the world. This year the Jury of Selection included John Coleman, Sculptor and NSS Fellow; Bruce Gagnier, Sculptor and New York Studio School Instructor; and Peter Trippi, Editor in Chief, Fine Art Connoisseur. The Jury of Awards and the Jury of Selection play an invaluable part in the Annual and we are grateful for those who participate in it.

National Sculpture Society 87th Annual Awards

NSS Gold Medal and Charlotte Geffken Prize of $4,000
“Midwest Mermaid” by Brittany Ryan (shown at top)

NSS Silver Medal and Maurice B. Hexter Prize of $3,000
“Easter Parade” by Roger Martin, FNSS

NSS Bronze Medal and John Cavanaugh Memorial Prize of $2,000
“The Chosen” by Gegham Abrahamyan

The Anna Hyatt Huntington Award of $1,000 and a Brookgreen Medal
“Cormorant and Moon Jellyfish” by Jeremiah D. Welsh, NSS

Fred and Cheryl Newby Patrons Award of $1,000
“Adam” by Ezra Bookstein

Marcel Jovine President’s Prize of $1,000
“Flightless Tondo” by Sandy Scott, FNSS

Marilyn Newmark Memorial Award of $1,000
“Hevel” by Joshua Koffman, FNSS

The Susan and Robert Polack Prize of $1,000
“Nine Muses” by Dave LaMure, Jr.

Marion and Gilbert Roller Memorial Prize of $1,000
“Reclining Nude” by Mick Doellinger, NSS

Pietro and Alfrieda Montana Memorial Prize of $750
“Sacred Messenger” by Martin Gates, NSS

Agop Agopoff Memorial Prize of $500
“Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom” by Wesley Wofford, FNSS

Jane B. Armstrong Memorial Award of $400
“Butterfly” by LeaAnn Cogswell, FNSS

Margaret Hexter Prize of $300
“The Sandman” by Steven Alden Carpenter, NSS

Edith H. and Richman Proskauer Prize of $300
“The Listener” by Janice Mauro, FNSS

Beverly Hoyt Robertson Memorial Award of $200 and Gloria Medal
“Dreamer” by Kevin Chambers, NSS

“Easter Parade” by Roger Martin, FNSS
“Reclining Nude” by Mick Doellinger, NSS
“Sacred Messenger” by Martin Gates, NSS
“Flightless Tondo” by Sandy Scott, FNSS
“Cormorant and Moon Jellyfish” by Jeremiah D. Welsh, NSS
“Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom” by Wesley Wofford, FNSS
“The Chosen” by Gegham Abrahamyan

The show runs through October 27, 2020 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, is planned for Saturday, October 26.

The 15 award winning works will then travel to NYC and be part of the “Prize Winners Exhibition” at the National Sculpture Society. The show will run from November 30, 2020 through February 5, 2021. This will be the 2nd year NSS has hosted the prize winners show in its New York City gallery.

Learn more about the National Sculpture Society at nationalsculpture.org.

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