The Selection Process

Each year, the Arkansas Arts Council seeks nominations from the community for an Arkansan who is outstanding in the creation of a traditional craft and has significantly contributed to the preservation of the art form. The nominee must be a current resident of Arkansas and has lived in the state for at least one year at the time of nomination.

Eligible artists must work in a traditional craft form, such as basket weaving, bladesmithing, glassblowing, broom making, doll making, leatherwork, metalsmithing, musical instrument making, pottery, quilt making, toy making, weaving, woodcarving or other functional crafts.

An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art reviews the nominations and selects the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, community outreach and total contribution to the field of traditional crafts.

The panel looks for a well-rounded artist who creates quality, artistic and technical work and one who is also involved in outreach activities that maintain and advance the traditional craft form for future generations. The awardee is honored at a ceremony in May during Arkansas Heritage Month.