2021 vocabulary update: The award program was named the Master Craft Artist Awards, and is now renamed Maine Craft Artist Awards. Our intention with this change is to participate in the progression of language / vocabulary in our field, and society, toward being more equitable, welcoming and sensitive to the impact of language, due to historical and other connotations, on our communities. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we update the vocabulary throughout our site, beginning with the 2021 content. There are past uses of the previous name in dated material (in old press releases, announcements or quotes for example) which may remain.


Deadline: April 15, 2021

The 2021 Maine Craft Artist Award will be announced in May 2021 with award presentation and exhibition later in the year.

In 2009, the Maine Crafts Association began to honor individual Maine craft artists each year by awarding recognition for a body of work that is exceptional. This award will confer the prestige and acknowledgement that comes with having the artist’s work achieve a distinguishing mark of excellence.

To nominate a Maine craft artist (self-nominations permitted) please follow the link and fill out the online form. Please note: all craft artists nominated in since 2018 will be automatically be considered for the 2021 award. If the artist does not have a good representation of their work or bio/resume online, please follow-up the nomination submission with an email to Sadie Bliss with that material. sadie@mainecrafts.org

Nominations of BIPOC Maine Craft Artists are strongly encouraged.


  • Lifetime MCA membership
  • Award certificate
  • Recognition at the annual award presentation
  • Special press release/website feature
  • Solo Maine Crafts Artist Award exhibition at Center for Maine Craft or Maine Craft Portland
  • Invitation to teach at MCA Weekend Workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
  • Inclusion in anniversary exhibitions, such as 10-year, 20-year (to be announced)


This award is granted for a body of work and career of service in the Arts. Nominees’ work is judged through images of the body of work (and/or hands‐on examination of individual pieces),documentation of the artists’ career through resumes, portfolios, publications, etc. In reviewing the work of artists nominated for Maine Crafts Artist Awards, the jury is guided by these benchmarks: excellence in craftsmanship, inspired design, a singular voice or style, and a career of service to the field.

Excellence in craftsmanship is demonstrated by work that shows the highest standards of quality, a superior command of the medium far beyond basic and intermediate proficiency skills: attention to detail, and use of highest quality materials that further enhance overall design. Entire works are executed without technical flaw and meet their intended purpose, functioning impeccably.The appropriateness of technique and process are successfully united in pieces that show excellence of craftsmanship.

Inspired design is demonstrated by work whose design shows resolution: excellent composition, employing tension and space to enhance overall design. Choice of materials and methods show innovation and proficiency. Inspired design also surprises or intrigues the viewer.

Singular voice or style is an innate part of the established and acclaimed craftsperson’s expression. A conceptual richness evidenced in the work shows the nature, complexion and execution that mark the individual’s work as distinctive. It sets the work apart, not only qualitatively, but also in achieving an individual identity, readily recognizable as belonging to that maker.