Bainbridge Arts and Crafts and Arts & Humanities Bainbridge are delighted to announce the winner of the 2013 Amy Award, mosaic artist Raquel Stanek.

The Amy Award is given each year to an emerging artist from Bainbridge Island, under the age of 35, whose work demonstrates “a sense of quality, creativity, exploration, and dedication.” Managed by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge, the award is funded by an endowment established by David and Caren Anderson in memory of their late daughter, Amy, who was deeply involved in the visual and performing arts. Recipients are selected in alternating years by Bainbridge Arts and Crafts and Bainbridge Performing Arts.

“Thanks to the generosity of Caren and Dave Anderson, BAC is recognizing Raquel for her terrifically inventive and perfectly constructed work,” BAC Executive Director Susan Jackson said. “You have to admire an artist who re-creates nature, armed with just pieces of broken glass and her imagination.”

Since her high school introduction to the ancient art of mosaic, Raquel has pursued the medium with painstaking dedication, creating a body of work marked by originality, intricacy, and literally millions of pieces of glass.

She devotes a significant amount of time to creating smaller mosaic and fused glass pieces such as mirrors, votives, and tiles, but it’s Raquel’s sculptures that have become her calling card. These expressive, larger-than-life works of art – chicks, geese, pigs, deer and zebra “busts,” and a giraffe twice her height – come to life seamlessly and with personalities fully intact. Only Raquel can fathom the amount of labor and grout involved.

Raquel has been showing her large and small work at BAC since 2009 and also makes her work available nationally through trade shows, studio tours, a wholesale business, and even Bainbridge Island’s Tour de Coop. Later in 2013, islanders and visitors will be able to enjoy her new wall mural in Lynwood Center, commissioned for Pleasant Beach Village.

Sometimes, she sets up shop informally in Winslow, where lucky passers-by can watch her work and talk about her process. But her true love is being at home in the studio, tirelessly transforming glass into grace.

“For me, that’s just bliss,” she says.