The award winners of the 32nd Annual National Competition for Figurative Sculpture were announced at a reception Friday, June 17, at the College following the judging of the competition.
Five prizes were announced by the Chair of the Sculpture Department at the College, Brian Craig-Wankiiri, including the third place award to Lucian Goff of Essex, Conn. (pictured right), who received the Walter & Michael Lantz Prize for $750.
Goff is a rising senior at Lyme Academy College pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a sculpture major. Noting that he was thrilled simply to be selected as a finalist in the competition, he said the competition had been a, “Really, really good experience” for him, enabling him to improve his skills since he was, “Still learning.”
The other awards were as follows:
• Ben Hammond of American Fork, Utah, received the Charlotte Geffken prize for $5,000.
• Joshua Koffman of Philadelphia, Pa., received the Roger T. Williams Prize for $1,500, which is awarded to a young sculptor who reaches for excellence in representational sculpture.
• Julia Ambrose of Milford, Conn., received the Edward Fenno Hoffman Prize for $350, which is awarded to a young sculptor who strives to uplift the human spirit through the medium of his or her art.
• Mark Porter of Brooklyn, N.Y., received the Gloria Medal, given in memory of C. Paul Jennewein.
Apart from Lucian Goff, one other current Lyme Academy College student, Alexander Rane of New Haven, Conn., and one alumna of Lyme Academy College, Emily Bedard of Milton, Vt., BFA, Class of 2009, were chosen as finalists.
The other finalists were:
Adrian Andrade of San Francisco, Calif.
Angela Cunningham of Philadelphia, Pa.
Zachary Kainz of Philadelphia, Pa.
Julia Levitina of Philadelphia, Pa.
Mark Utreras of Seaford, N.Y.
Erik Durant of New Bedford, Mass.
Jamie Henderson of Edmond, Okla.
LaQuincey Reed of Norman, Okla.
First place winner Hammond, who had not only taken top honors in the competition the previous year, but also won the Dexter Jones award in 2008, 2009 and 2010, works as a professional sculptor in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He served an apprenticeship with the noted figurative sculptor Blair Buswell and is currently working on two commissions, one for a hospital in Omaha and the second for the Utah Women’s Park monument. This latter piece, which is currently in its planning phase, comprises seven central female figures, one seven foot figure to the side and eight bas-relief panels.
Hammond grew up in Idaho, but has lived in Utah for the past 11 years. He commented that the competition experience at Lyme Academy College had been, “Great,” and he had especially enjoyed “Seeing artists from all over the country,” noting, “It’s fun to be amongst your own.”
Second-place winner Koffman has been sculpting professionally since 2004, when he graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he also still teaches. Apart from sculpting, he also casts in bronze and works for other sculptors. He spoke warmly of the contest location and the camaraderie amongst the competitors, saying, “It is a wonderful facility and a great group of sculptors.”
The competition was held at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts from June 13 - 17. The 15 competitors, selected from an applicant pool of the most talented emerging figurative sculptors throughout the United States, were required to create a sculpture of a 30 to 36 inch model of a full-length figure created from life in 28 hours over five days.
The 2011 Figure Modeling Competition was judged by three distinguished sculptors, all of whom possess extensive knowledge and understanding of figure sculpture and are Fellows of the National Sculpture Society: Lee Hutt, Michel Langlais and Anthony Antonios.
The competition has taken on increasing prominence with the resurgence of interest in representational subjects, particularly figurative art. The late Walker Hancock, a nationally-known sculptor, set the criteria for the competition when it was established in 1978:
Each sculpture is judged on mastery of the human figure in sculptural form as well as each competitor’s comprehension of the action, unity and rhythm of the pose. Emphasis is placed on encouraging the analytic observation of the human figure, including proportion, stance, solidity and continuity of line. Of secondary importance is surface finish and detail.
The National Competition for Figurative Sculpture was established in 1978 by Barry Johnston in memory of his father, James Wilbur Johnston, to reassert the importance and value of figure study in contemporary sculpture. It is now co-sponsored by Brookgreen Gardens, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, National Sculpture Society and New York Academy of Art.