We profiled each of this year’s five Phoenix Award winners in Sunday’s paper and here on Lawrence.com. But there’s another key artist involved with these awards — the one who makes the hardware that the winning artists take home.
The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission picks a different artist each year to create the actual Phoenix Awards, and this year it was printmaker and Old West Lawrence resident Sally Piller. Piller was commissioned to make six pieces — one for each award winner and one to display at the Lawrence Arts Center with previous Phoenix Awards.
Piller described her process for creating the unique prints-slash-sculptures:
She created six color woodblock prints — using oil-based ink on Japanese washi paper — and mounted each on the back of one of the solid maple color separation blocks used to create the prints (the photo below shows a step in the process). The borders are hand-carved, rolled with oil-based ink and accented with gold-colored leaf.
She mounted the prints using gesso and rice paste, then protected them with floating glass attached with rosette screws. Here are the finished awards lined up at Sunday's reception for the winners.