The International Guild of Miniature Artisans strives to promote miniatures as fine art, and to that end, the Guild continues its long standing program of encouraging and recognizing artistic excellence within it’s membership.
And now, I am pleased to announce the elevation of eleven new Artisan members: Pia Becker from Germany in Flowers/Plants, Pat Kasell from the USA in Needlework, Sherri MacRaild of Canada in Toys, Peggy Meyers of the USA in Needlework, Julie Parrot of the UK in Animal Figures, Mario Sergio Ramos Pastrana of Spain in Glass, Barbara Studebaker of the USA in Needlework, Lorraine Thomson of the UK in Food, Elizabeth Winters of the USA in Animal Figures, Jasmine Blanche Woodbury of the USA in Food, and Michael Yukovic of the USA in Furniture; and five new Fellow members: Erzsebet Bodzas of Hungary in Food, Pat Richards of the USA in Needlework, Kellie Wachter of the USA in Needlework, Mariella Vitale of Italy in Needlework and Carolyn Mohler Kraft of the USA in Plants.
These artists have worked long and hard to get to this point in their miniature careers and well deserve to take a bow for their achievement. Some are, or will be dealers; look for their work at upcoming shows, and in the exhibits at the Guild School and the Guild Show this summer.
Anyone who has been a member of the Guild for at least a year is eligible to apply for Artisan membership. When you’ve been an Artisan member for two years, you become eligible to apply for Fellow membership, which is the highest honor the Guild can bestow. Those are only the most basic requirements, there are several pages of guidelines posted on the IGMA website that are required reading for anyone thinking of applying. The guidelines give you an overview of the evaluation process, list the categories used to classify submissions and an overview of what the evaluation committee looks for within those categories.
Reading the guidelines and then closely examining your work and the work of other artists you respect is a bit of an education in itself, and is a great way to begin the process. The guidelines are the criteria by which your work will be evaluated. It is a blind process, meaning that those on the committee have no idea whose work they are looking at, there are no names attached to the submission when they see it. There are also no limits on how many members may be elevated at any evaluation. If they have 10 fantastic submissions at an Artisan or Fellow evaluation, and all are evaluated as meeting or exceeding the criteria, then IGMA has 10 new Artisan or Fellow members.
I urge all who are interested in stretching and developing their skills to consider working towards this recognition. The Guild Study Programs and Guild School are invaluable resources to help you in this process. At either of these programs you will be able to meet and talk to many other miniaturists and perhaps find a mentor to help you along.