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THE WORK OF 14 INDIANA ARTISTS AND “FOODISTS” RECOGNIZED AS AMONG THE BEST IN INDIANA

Angel cookies, coffee toffee, snickerdoodle popcorn, and pumpkin seed honey butter are among the Indiana-made foods that became part of the Indiana Artisan brand this week. The new work of two Indiana food producers and 12 artists “juried in,” joining the exceptional art and foods of 268 of the state’s highest-quality artisans, creating their work in 58 Indiana counties.

(Feb. 7, 2014) Hand-bound books, hand-stamped mixed metal and fiber jewelry, handmade knives, and a variety of fiber housewares hand-woven on floor looms are part of the art a jury panel approved and is now supported by Indiana Artisan. Twice a year, experts in all aspects of art and food serve on panels that review applications from Indiana’s highest-quality artists and food producers.

The panels met in January and February to review all applications and selected the following work for its exceptionally high quality.

• Jason Bundy, Lee Ellis, Mike Janosky, and Nancy Keating, all of Hamilton County, are the respective makers of handmade knives; hardwood     bowls, vases and Mandala detail, Nancy Keatingplatters; oil on canvas paintings; and glass and mixed media mosaics     (pictured at right);

• Heidi Mandich, an Indianapolis-based metalsmith creates jewelry;

• Mary Hambly, of Bloomington, makes paper art quilts/collage;

• Inga Smith, Zionsville, makes snickerdoodle and snowstorm flavored popcorns
    (pictured above);

• Dawn Middleton, of Greenville, makes jewelry of sterling silver, precious metal clay and     semi-precious stones;

• Janet Webb, of Marion, is the first Indiana Artisan from Grant County, and she makes     enameled jewelry;

• Darin Caldwell, of Tell City, handcrafts wooden chairs and lamps;

• Suzanne Litteral, of Greenfield, makes truffles, as well as coffee toffee and almond toffee     in several varieties, including vegan and a line of crumbles;

• Michell Mathis, of Crown Point, creates hand-stamped mixed metal and fiber jewelry;

• Rose Poe, Nashville, makes a variety of handwoven fiber art – scarves, dish towels, and table runners; and

• Pam Hurst, Martinsville, is the maker of silver and precious metal clay jewelry with gemstones.

tomato-trioTwo current food Artisans added to their collection of work that is part of the Indiana Artisan brand.

• Sister Jean Marie Ballard and the Sisters of St. Benedict, who operate Simply Divine Bakery, in Ferdinand, added Angel Cookies. This variety was a contest winner they describe as a cross between their shortbread and snickerdoodle cookies.

• Montpelier-based food artisan Sharon Downhour added three honey butter flavors – toasted walnut, toasted pecan and toasted pumpkin seed.

Two art Artisans added to their body of work that is part of the Indiana Artisan brand.

• Mixed-media artist Michele Pollock, of Lost Lake Studio in Brown County, adds hand-bound books to an extensive array of quilted paper art she juried into Indiana Artisan.

• Brownsburg-based artist Cindy Cradler adds graphite and colored pencil drawings (pictured at left) to the oil painting work she had jury in 2012.

Food jury panels include dieticians, chefs, sommeliers and cicerones, food writers and bloggers, food safety experts, culinary educators, food retailers, packaging/labeling experts, nutritionists, and others with expertise in Indiana’s food-related regulations. Art panelists include artists, collectors, gallery owners and managers, folklorists, museum curators and directors, art educators, retailers, and others with a broad interest in, and appreciation of, art and craft.

All panelists review the applications online before meeting in person to discuss and review samples of each applicant’s work. Applications are reviewed on four criteria, with one of particular importance being the work’s link or relationship to the Hoosier State. The work of successful applicants is “juried in” to Indiana Artisan, meaning it becomes part of the Indiana Artisan brand after a jury determines it is indeed among the highest-quality work made in the state. Juried artisans may take advantage of the organization’s business development opportunities, including the annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace tradeshow. That fourth annual event is open to the public Sat. and Sun., March 29 and 30, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Exposition Hall.

In 2010, a Resolution of the Indiana Legislature tasked Indiana Artisan with identifying, recognizing and promoting the state’s highest-quality art and foods. Now as a non-profit corporation, it continues to develop a brand that gives meaning and recognition to the highest-quality Indiana-made goods. Including the work of these 14 new Artisans, that brand is now defined by the art and food of 268 Artisans in 58 Indiana counties.

Indiana Artisan jury panels will meet again in November, with the online application available here on the website beginning Feb. 14.