Edit: See images from the jury process on Zahner Facebook.

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, the 12 finalists for the Sixth Biennial Zahner Competition convened at A. Zahner Company’s facility in Kansas City to present their concepts to a jury.

The jury included Matthew Hufft, Founder and Creative Director of Hufft Projects; Porter Arneill, Kansas City Municipal Art Commission; Jo Ann Mendenhall, Production Manager for A. Zahner Company; Tom Zahner, Vice President of Operations for A. Zahner Company; Brigette Chirpich, Director of Sponsorship and Events, Kansas City Art Institute.

Jurors listen in as Alison Trent speaks to the concept behind To the Mountain Climbers
Jurors listen in as Alison Trent speaks to the concept behind To the Mountain Climbers
Sculpture concept by Salacia Selene Loe.
Sculpture concept by Salacia Selene Loe.
Jay Schmidt (winning entry).
Jay Schmidt (winning entry).

Outcome of the jury decision:

Grand Prize: $1,000, fabricated by Zahner: Jay Schmidt – MOMOCON
Second Prize: $750: Ben Gould – Sleeping Space
Third Prize: $250: Alison Trent – To the Mountain Climbers

The winning artwork will now begin the engineering process to be fabricated over the next few months, and will be auctioned at the KCAI Art & Design Auction, June 6, 2015.

Unlike previous years, the contest was open to students as well as alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute, and featured an open format and popular vote: the twelve finalist’s entries were selected by the general public. These twelve finalists were reviewed on Tuesday, and the decision was made through consensus by the jurors, who deliberated into Tuesday evening.

Of the 12 finalists, eight were present for the competition, and the four concepts who were not present were reviewed privately by the jury.

In addition to weighing each entry’s aesthetics, uniqueness, and conceptual nature, the jurors also looked at feasibility of concept, from costs, flexibility of installation methods, and whether the works were constructible within the project’s budget-window. Finally, the jurors also looked at whether the artwork selected would be a challenge to manufacture.

MOMOCON was selected for its challenge of creating the artist’s line-work on the sculpture’s surface. The artist, Jay Schmidt, graduated from KCAI in 1974. He presented his concept as a small wooden model which was hand-drawn with an intricate pattern, and envisioned the process of creating the work would be a collaboration.

Ben Gould presents his concept, Sleeping Space, to the judges.
Ben Gould presents his concept, Sleeping Space, to the judges.

Shortlist of artist/team finalists:

Salacia Selene Loe; Rita Blitt; Lila Ferber; Ben Gould; Alison Trent; Daniel Suddarth; Sierra Brown-Faust; Hannah Fine & Albert Owens; Kim Lindaberry; Jay Schmidt; Ed Andrews; Allan Winkler.

Additional images from the jury process can be seen in a Gallery on Zahner’s on Facebook.