SAN ANTONIO -- Winners of the 2012 Army Arts and Crafts contest were recently announced by the Community Recreation program of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation directorate (G9).

The winners were chosen from among accomplished and novice artists who are authorized patrons of Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs on installations around the world.

First-place finishers were identified from forts Stewart, Campbell, Rucker, Jackson, Bragg, Hood and Leavenworth as well as Army garrisons at Vicenza, Italy; Heidelberg, Germany; Camp Casey, Korea; Camp Zama, Japan and Schofield Barracks. The artists are Soldiers, military Family members, civilians, DoD Family members and retirees. They included:

• Accomplished Ceramics: Jung Hee Choi - "Hatches"
• Accomplished Drawings: CW2 Jerry Dickerson - "Candy"
• Accomplished Fibers and Textiles: Merry Thaden - "Steam Punk Victorian"
• Accomplished Glass: David Sohl - "Theater"
• Accomplished Metals and Jewelry: Guzialia Reed - "Aurora Borealis"
• Accomplished Mixed Media: Merry Thaden - "Gourd Lamp"
• Accomplished Paintings (tie): SPC William Schwartz - "Alice in Wonderland," Un Son Watson - "Red Blouse"
• Accomplished Wood : Milton Smith - "display case"
• Novice Ceramics: George Buscher - "Ceramic Container with Stand"
• Novice Digital Art: SSG Karl Kirven - "Transforming America's Finest!"
• Novice Drawings: Dolly Georgieva-Gode - "Spring Songs"
• Novice Fibers and Textiles: Stephanie Tedder - "Glamourous Army Gown"
• Novice Glass: Ekaterina Reier - "Stained Glass Family Coat of Arms"
• Novice Metals and Jewelry: Erin Reed - "Enchanged Seascape"
• Novice Mixed Media: Hannah Kim - "Steps of Wonder"
• Novice Paintings: Dolly Georgieva-Gode - "Gipsy"
• Novice Wood: Joseph Teijeiro - "Rocking Chair"

A complete list of winners and their works can be found through the Arts and Crafts page on

The winners received cash prizes in each of the accomplished and novice categories of $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

Artists with skills in various media were able to showcase their best work in a variety of categories including ceramics, digital art, drawings, fibers and textiles, glass, metals and jewelry, mixed media, paintings and wood.

The contest was open for submissions online from May 1 to July 9, 2012 and "judging was very difficult because many entries were deemed 'exceptional' by the judges," said Jean Neal, a program analyst for the IMCOM Community Recreation program.

Judging was completed July 25 and resulted in some tied categories. There were 19 first place awards, 20 second place awards and 17 third place awards. In addition, there were 101 honorable mentions, "showing the extreme difficulty in identifying the best of the best," said Neal.

Army Arts and Crafts Contest judges were selected as qualified experts and are all professionally involved in the arts as critics, curators, editors, educators, practitioners, or the like. One judge noted how "truly remarkable" the entries were this year. "I was inspired and in awe of the many artists from around the world who shared their love of the arts through this Army contest," said Rudy Lopez, Arts and Crafts Program manager at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas .

This year the judges included Lopez, Deborah Karnes, chief of events and promotions for IMCOM, and Denise Knebel mobile art program teacher for the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio and, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant.

The Army Arts and Crafts Contest is an annual, juried competition for artwork by beginner and experienced artists. Local Arts and Crafts managers host contests at garrisons and installations, help patrons prepare contest submission photos and forward photos for regional and Army-wide competition. Some regions host their own competitions and forward winning entries to the Army-wide competition.

Accomplished artists are individuals who have gained skills and knowledge through formal courses leading to credit in college or art schools, or received awards in professional competitions. Novice artists have skills which have not been gained in formal education leading to college credit or a college degree. Each artist was able to submit as many as three works per category to the contest at the Garrison level. Submissions had to be original works completed within the previous 12 months.

The IMCOM Community Recreation program also hosts an annual photography contest in the fall. Entrance rules and requirements will be posted on