A Kentucky Crafted Program artist and Louisville furniture maker is the recipient of a 2014 NICHE Award, a competitive award that celebrates excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft.
Chris Krauskopf won a 2014 NICHE Award in January at Buyers Market: The American Made Show in Philadelphia, Pa.
Krauskopf won for his Bonn Zero-G Custom Rocking Chair in the Tables and Seating Furniture Category.
More than 2,000 creators of fine craft from the U.S. and Canada enter the awards each year, which are sponsored by NICHE magazine. Submissions are judged by a prestigious panel of gallery owners, curators and other art advocates based on technical excellence, market viability, and a distinct quality of unique, original and creative thought.
"It was quite an unexpected honor to be chosen as a winner at the 25th annual international NICHE awards ceremony," said Krauskopf. "This great honor only came about because the folks at the Kentucky Arts Council, who put on the annual Kentucky Crafted: The Market, suggested I enter the competition. I am very grateful for their wisdom."
Well-known for his high-quality craftsmanship and exclusive use of hand tools in building his custom rocking chairs, Krauskopf was the Kentucky Art Council's Featured Artist for November 2013 and participates in the Kentucky Crafted Program.
The Kentucky Crafted program is an adjudicated marketing and promotion program that provides assistance to Kentucky visual and craft artists through economic opportunities and training. Kentucky Crafted Program artists are a major force in the Commonwealth's creative industry.
"The NICHE awards are highly recognized accolades for fine craft artisans across the nation and result in increased exposure for the artists who win them," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "Chris Krauskopf is an excellent example of the artistic ambassadors who can be found in the Kentucky Crafted Program. The arts council is excited to see Chris's work celebrated not only statewide but also on a national level."
Kentucky Crafted artists are the state's only artists who can exhibit at Kentucky Crafted: The Market. The one-of-a-kind arts extravaganza showcases the best in art, craft, music, books, specialty food products and more. This year's Market is March 8-9 at the Lexington Convention Center and will feature more than 200 artisans from Kentucky and surrounding states.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.