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2019 Chrysalis Award Artist Talk
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 2:00 PM EDT

2019 Chrysalis Award Artist Talk

Sunday, November 17  | 2:00pm  
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center  |  4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC
The award will be presented before the JRA Distinguished Artist Series lecture by Rebecca Hutchinson.

The James Renwick Alliance announces Richard W. James as the 2019 winner of its Chrysalis Award for his work in mixed media. The prize constitutes an unrestricted $5,000 award for emerging artists in contemporary craft.

Richard W. James creates large-scale surreal figures out of meticulously crafted earthenware and found objects. Influenced by his upbringing in rural Tennessee and the craft skills handed down from his parents and grandparents, James’ often unsettling contemporary ceramic sculptures incorporate the materials and processes he “associates with the informative years of my life to question the cultural lenses in which I grew up.”

“The jurors were impressed with James’ superb craftsmanship but ultimately it was his unique vision and voice that captured our attention. We were delighted to have strong interest in the Chrysalis Award from all over the United States this year, with a record number of applications, demonstrating vibrancy in the craft field” said JRA President Michele Manatt. "We are grateful to Pati Young for her generous support and for her insightful selection of mixed media for this year's award." 

Richard W. James is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Ceramics at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. From 2017 to 2019 he was an artist-in-residence at Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. He received an MFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas in 2016 and was a 2016-17 artist-in-residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 2015 he was a summer artist-in-residence at Zhenrutang A.I.R, Jingdezhen, China. He received his BFA from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2001. To see more of his work visit

Honorable mentions went to four artists: Patrick CoughlinBrenda StumpfRuby Troup and Hanna Vogel.


The Chrysalis Award was established in 2016 to encourage and support an emerging American craft artist who demonstrates excellence and a commitment to artistic innovation but who does not have major gallery representation.

Every year, this award is made possible by JRA members. Special thanks to Pati Young for supporting the 2019 Chrysalis Award.