Arkansas Living Treasure Award

 

The Arkansas Living Treasure program annually recognizes an Arkansas artist who excels in the creation of a traditional craft and who actively preserves and advances his or her craft through community outreach and educating others.

An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art selects the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, community outreach and total contribution to the field of traditional crafts. The awardee is honored at a ceremony in May during Arkansas Heritage Month.

In 2013, the Arkansas Arts Council and Historic Arkansas Museum collaborated to produce a series of short films that celebrate the lives and work of each Arkansas Living Treasure recipient. Click here to view the documentaries featured in the Arkansas Living Treasure Film Project.   

The program was modeled upon the National Living Treasure Award presented by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Museum of World Cultures

male portrait
Current Recipient

The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to announce and recognize Michael Warwick as the 2020 Arkansas Living Treasure for his work and dedication to the craft of metalworking.

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An internationally recognized bladesmith from Arkansas named Jerry Fisk received the National Living Treasure award in 1999 and suggested to the Department of Arkansas Heritage that Arkansas establish a similar program. Thus, the Arkansas Living Treasure program was born in 2002. In 2019, the Arkansas Arts Council awarded Jerry Fisk as an Honorary Arkansas Living Treasure.
 
 

The Selection Process

Each year, the Arkansas Arts Council seeks nominations from the community for an Arkansan who is outstanding in the creation of a traditional craft and has significantly contributed to the preservation of the art form. The nominee must be a current resident of Arkansas and has lived in the state for at least one year at the time of nomination.

Eligible artists must work in a traditional craft form, such as basket weaving, bladesmithing, glassblowing, broom making, doll making, leatherwork, metalsmithing, musical instrument making, pottery, quilt making, toy making, weaving, woodcarving or other functional crafts.

An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art reviews the nominations and selects the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, community outreach and total contribution to the field of traditional crafts.

The panel looks for a well-rounded artist who creates quality, artistic and technical work and one who is also involved in outreach activities that maintain and advance the traditional craft form for future generations. The awardee is honored at a ceremony in May during Arkansas Heritage Month.

 

Past Recipients

Since 2002, the Arkansas Arts Council has recognized Arkansas Living Treasures, Arkansas artisans who excel in the practice of a traditional craft and who have passed the tradition on to the next generation. 

  • 2019 Longhua Xu - Wood Carving - Hot Springs
  • 2018 Hank Kaminsky - Sculpture - Fayetteville
  • 2017 Louise Halsey - Textile Arts - Oark
  • 2016 Eleanor Lux - Weaving - Eureka Springs
  • 2015 Lorrie Popow - Egg Art - Hot Springs
  • 2014 Robert Runyan - Log Cabin Construction - Winslow
  • 2013 Dallas Bump - Chairmaking - Royal
  • 2012 Jim Larkin - Pottery - Hot Springs
  • 2011 Winston Taylor - Pottery - Russellville
  • 2010 Peter Lippincott - Pottery - Fort Smith
  • 2009 Doug Stowe - Wood Sculpture - Eureka Springs
  • 2008 Robyn Horn - Wood Sculpture - Little Rock
  • 2007 James R. Cook - Bladesmith - Nashville
  • 2006 Larry Williams - Woodworking Planes - Eureka Springs
  • 2005 Leon Niehues - Basket Making - Huntsville
  • 2004 Violet Hensley - Fiddle Making - Yellville
  • 2003 Irma Gail Hatcher - Quilts - Conway
  • 2002 Beatrice Stebbing - Stained Glass - Siloam Springs
 
 
 
pottery in progress