School of Art boasts three nominees for national arts educator award

Three BGSU art faculty members have been nominated for the inaugural Arts Educator of the Year Award created by Niche magazine.

Among the educators nominated nationwide are Distinguished Professor of the Arts Tom Muir, head of the jewelry and metalsmithing department; Dr. Susan Lab, a faculty member in the fibers division of the three-dimensional studies major, who also teaches two-dimensional foundations courses in the first-year program and the history of costumes and historic costume management, and the late Robert “Bud” Hurlstone, former director of the glass program.

The award recognizes art faculty “demonstrating an unwavering dedication to the promotion of the arts, through the cultivation and encouragement of emerging American craft artists at U.S. and Canadian arts programs and institutions,” according to the magazine. The two award winners will be announced Feb. 19 during the annual Niche Awards ceremony at the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, and named in the magazine’s spring issue.

This year, 173 educators have been nominated for the award, based on their students' participation in the Niche Student Awards competition. In that competition, BGSU’s Amanda Stark, a master of fine arts student in 3-D studies, is a finalist in the Mixed and Miscellaneous Media category for her piece, "Location Acquisition Apparatus."

Though Hurlstone died last semester, “I hope his nomination for this award will mark his excellence as an arts educator,” said Daniel Waldman, public relations manager for the Rosen Group, publisher of the magazine.

"This is the award's inaugural year, and I hope to make it a lasting tradition," said publisher Wendy Rosen. "Arts educators teach and mentor students every day. We want to recognize them for their work in shaping the next generation of successful craft artists."

Niche magazine was founded for the purpose of connecting art galleries and craft retailers with the finest wholesale crafts, handmade gifts and decorative art objects made in artist studios throughout the United States and Canada. The company produces the biannual Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, the nation's largest wholesale craft event.
January 30, 2006