"American Batik Design Competition" 1st Place Winner!

Photo by Astri Wright

We are pleased to announce that Joanne Gigliotti is the 1st place winner of the first American Batik Design Competition. Her entry was entitled "Sun Rises from the East and Lights the West: America Completes the Circle" and was awarded first place (of the three first place winners, with the most points over all). The competition was held by The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington, D.C., with the Consulates of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston. Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, the Ambassador of Indonesia, stated that this competition was a challenge to US-based artists to design a batik with a distinct American style - hence the theme: "The Spirit of America in the Heritage of Batik". The main awards event can be seen on the video posted by The Embassy of Indonesia.

The awards dinner and ceremony was held on November 8, 2011 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. The event included the exhibition of ancient batiks and featured the batiks designed by each of the nine national finalists, which were meticulously hand produced in Yojakarta, Indonesia by the Batik Artists of Brahma Tirta Sari. Additionally, there was a delightful presentation of traditional Music and Dance, and well as a fabulous fashion show which culminated with the entrance of nine stunning models each wrapped with one of the nine winning batiks. This event was followed by a two day studio class, for all the finalists. The class was taught by master artists of Indonesia, Agus and Nia Ismyo and held in the textile studios of California College of the Arts.

I loved the experience of designing the piece, participating in the event, seeing the fashion show, and meeting all the amazing people through the competition and the class. The generous awards for the competition were many and meaningful. Besides cash prizes, they exhibited the art far and wide in U.S. and Indonesia, and gave the most wonderful trip to a host of islands in Indonesia. I wants to thank the Government of The Republic of Indonesia, the Ambassador, Embassy organizers, Consulates, the many Sponsors, and the coordinators of this spectacular opportunity, and wish continued success to all the winners!

See the giclee print with details of the winning design and notes on the symbolism used in the piece.