Winners of the 2021 Carmel International Arts Festival Announced

Robert G. Mull

Winners of the 2021 Carmel International Arts Festival Announced

The Carmel International Arts Festival took place this past weekend with an estimated 30,000 or more people visiting the Arts and Design District. All guests enjoyed art created by artists from around the country, local and international entertainers, and delicious food vendors.

Best in Media and Honorable Mention awards were given out to participating artists in nine different mediums of art. Additionally, a Best in Show, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place overall prizes were awarded. A student art show provided several scholarships to local high school students. The 2-day festival had a record number of sales reported by many artists this year.

The Best in Show award was presented to Michael Vagner and Nurit Asher-Vagner from Eugene, Oregon for their work in Jewelry. The couple is pictured along with Jill Gilmer, CIAF President and Executive Director of CIAF, Rachel Ferry.

First-place was awarded to Amy Ferguson from Royal Oak, Michigan with her 2D entry of pen and line etchings. The second-place overall award was given to local Carmel resident, Jerry Mannell for his paintings. The final overall third-place award was given to Zimbabwe native, and now current resident of Phoenix Arizona, Gedion Nyanhongo for his stone hand-carving work in the 3D category.

Nine Best of Media Awards were also given out. These awards went to Shawn Russell, (Terre Haute, IN) 2D; Anthony Slichenmyer (Olney, IL), 3D; Tanya Leslie (Boones Mill, VA), Ceramics; Ann McCann (Nashville, IN), Fiber; Collette Fortin and Berry Davis (Celina, OH), Glass; A. Denise Rollings-Martin (Bremen, AL), Jewelry; Jerry Brem (Beaufort, SC), Painting; Kate Tillman (Lakeville, IN), Photography; and Bill Lepak (St. Louis, MO), Wood.

Nine Honorable Mention awards were also given out. These winners were Lou Hii (Indianapolis, IN), 2D; Meg White (Stephensport, KY), 3D; Jennifer Meeker (Indianapolis, IN), Ceramics; Sylvia Gray (Westfield, IN), Fiber; Alan Sievers (Batavia, IL), Glass; Mark Grosser (Carmel, IN), Jewelry; Bruce Neville (Terrace Park, OH), Painting; Matthew Platz (Chippewa Lake, OH), Photography; Neil Kemarly (Pioneer, OH), Wood.

The Mayor’s Award was given to Anna Afshar of Indianapolis, IN for her painting “Love In White II”. Mayor Jim Brainard, Executive Director Rachel Ferry, and Jill Gilmer, President of CIAF are pictured presenting Anna her award here.

The Carmel International Arts Festival’s mission is to “educate the community through the arts,” and to help live out this mission, several continuing education scholarships are awarded each year to local high school students.

The student entries are presented for judging at the Indiana Artisans Gallery during the arts festival. The Rosemary Waters Excellence in the Arts Scholarship of $2500 went to Carmel High School student Lauren Schaefer for her pencil drawing. Four Best in Show scholarships of $1500 each were given to Jenny Zhao (charcoal drawing), Hayden Hanna (Ceramic vessel), and Justine Wang (watercolor illustration), all students at Carmel High School, and Jordan Herbst (acrylic portrait), a student at University High School.

Two Innovation in the Arts Scholarships of $500 each were given to CHS student Wesley Hixon for his “Golden Hour” photography and to University High School student Alex Altenbury for a Mixed Media Collage. The final scholarship, funded by the Carmel Arts Council, went to Avery Guo for her charcoal drawing “Girl Studying”. Following the Art’s Festival the winning student artwork will be displayed at the Carmel Arts Council gallery on Main Street.

Next year’s festival will take place on September 24 and 25, 2022. Click here for more information on the event.

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