Best in Show & Effie Awards

It was another amazing year at the Bucktown Arts Fest. We felt especially lucky to be surrounded by so much great talent.

We hope that these awards will inspire these artists to continue their craft and empower them to explore new horizons.

Here are a few of the favorites this year:





2012 Best in Show Artist Anthony Pack

Best in Show Artist – Anthony Pack
Mixed Media

Combining basic woodworking skills, found objects and a quirky sense of humor, Anthony Pack tries to touch the inner child within people through his artwork.

With his clever eye, Anthony sees the recycled materials he uses for what they could be, rather than be limited to their intended purpose. For instance, nails, screws, and washers might become eyes; springs become a mouth; rusty nails get a second life as hands or feet; and painted scrap lumber becomes the body of a figure.

A Kentucky native, Anthony now resides in Kansas. He travels throughout the country attending art festivals and shows, relying on the emotional support of his wife and four cats to live the life of a creative mixed media artist.
(source: Jeanine Taylor Folk Art)


2012 Best in Show Artist Jennifer Fecker

Best in Show Artist – Jennifer Fecker
Felt Designer Jewelry

Originally trained in traditional Metalwork and Jewelry design under the guidance of Hiroko Sato Pijanowski, artist Jennifer Fecker moved to San Francisco to establish herself as a studio jeweler. Working for years in the field of one of a kind contemporary Art Jewelry, she exhibited work in galleries and museums around the country.

Today, she is exploring the potential that ordinary materials have in creating extraordinary work. Her new line, is felt, strives to create a place where art and commerce can meet- a place where dynamic, modern design is accessible.

This collection incorporates 100% wool felt, leather and occasional swarovski crystals. Jennifer selects felt goods, some new and some reclaimed from Holland and Germany. She hand cuts and carefully stitches each piece to create a clean, modern, effortless look that belies the intricate work underneath.

is felt is unexpected. It is as visually arresting as it is approachable and as bold as it is wearable. is felttransforms structure, color and texture into enduring personal expression.


Best in Show Artist Bill BarteltBest in Show Artist – Bill Bartelt

Bill Bartelt began his professional career as an art director and designer for the stage, film and television. Over the years he nurtured his love of watercolor painting and studied with the late master Irving Shapiro, AWS. of the American Academy of Art. Bartelt at first applied his skills as a painter in service to his design work, developing watercolor renderings as scenic designs.

Gradually he began showing his work as pure art, and along the way MGM tapped Bartelt to provide Minnie Driver’s watercolor paintings for her film “Return to Me.” Since then, his paintings have been seen in a number of other films, and have also found an audience among avid collectors.

It is his background in the Dramatic Arts that infuses his paintings with their sense of the romantic. He puts it this way: “I look for the subtle drama inherent in a scene, and sometimes I am able to look at a finished painting and think, ‘that would make a great stage set!’”


Effie Awards in Theater & Dance
If you had the chance to meet her, Effie Mihopoulos was hard to forget. A warmhearted, enthusiastic human, she had an effusive and effervescent spirit. When she passed away on January 14, 2010, the world lost a poet, publisher, writer, dance critic, theatre critic, anti-war activist and overall promoter of the arts. A muse. And the much-loved Theater & Dance Coordinator for the Bucktown Arts Fest. These awards were establshed to honor her contribution to the arts. – Cathleen Schandelmeier-Bartels


The 2012 Effie Award for Best in Show Theater & Dance – Collaboraction Theatre
Dome of Doom Dance Off

Collaboraction celebrates its 15th year as a Chicago-based arts organization and remains focused on becoming a national leader of contemporary theater. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction creates groundbreaking theatrical and art-based experiences. Presenting such smash hits as 2010’s Chicago premiere of “1001” by Jason Grote, 2008’s world premiere of “Jon” by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007’s critically acclaimed production of “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music” by Rolin Jones, as well as the annual SKETCHBOOK Festival, Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. For more information, visit


Jane Albright, hula hoopsThe 2012 Effie Scholarship Award for Theater & Dance – Jane Albright
Hula Hooper Extraordinaire

Jane Albright is an abstract artist, poet and certified Hoopnotica Teacher residing in Chicago. She loves exploring all the joy of sharing hula hooping techniques and workouts with others. As an artist, life experiences always inspire Jane. They translate with an immense impact on the canvas. Jane’s works have appeared at Hotei Gallery and Wax Lounge, Rogers Park Artwalk, Ravenswood Art Walk, Glenwood Art Festival, and Chicago VeganMania. One of her creations can be seen on Ravenswood just south of Wilson on the back of the Ravenswood Art Walk sign. After having the option of dismantling the sign, she opted to share her piece with the Ravenswood community instead.



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