Burlington City Arts

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Barbara Smail Award

Nominations Open thru November 30, 2018.

The Barbara Smail Award was established in 2003 by friends and family of Barbara Smail, a well-loved and highly respected artist from the Burlington area who passed away in the fall of 2001. The award is given on an annual basis to a mid-career, Vermont-based artist who has a desire to expand his or her creative experience has displayed enthusiastic support of his or her peers and has been under-recognized in the community either through exhibition or other awards and programs.  

While the award is open to artists from across the state, it is our hope that the recipient will have the ability to utilize Burlington City Arts’ facilities and resources.  Therefore, please take into consideration the artist’s location and/or ability to travel when making your nomination.

The award is valued at $2,500. The recipient is awarded a $1,500 cash stipend + $1,000 value of class registration and/or usage of The BCA Center's studio facilities for one year. Award winners are considered for future exhibitions, but an exhibit is not guaranteed with the award.

Each year, nominations are made by individuals on the BCA’s Gallery Advisory Committee, Board of Directors, as well as members of the Vermont community.


Past Recipients: 

2003    Diane Gabriel  2010    Tony Sini
2004    Lynn Rupe 2011     Kat Clear
2005    Peter Gallo  2012    Gregg Blasdel
2006     Catherine Hall 2013    Kate Donnelly
2007    Jennifer Koch 2014    Sumru Tekin
2008    Carol McDonald   2015     Clark Derbes
2009    Jude Bond  2016     Wylie Garcia
  2017    Elise Whittemore
  2018    Elizabeth Bunsen
  2019    Clare Dolan







Criteria to Consider:

  • Quality of the artist’s work.
  • Mid-career artist. Not age-specific, but an artist having had substantial engagement with the arts, yet he/she may also remain under-recognized.
  • Commitment to the community through avenues such as teaching, collaborations with fellow artists, support for peers, public art initiatives, etc.
  • Desire to grow artistically. Interest and availability to utilize BCA’s studios and classes, so the award will provide mutual enrichment.

Submission Deadline: November 30, 2018


Submit an Artist:

Submit the following information to Heather Ferrell, Curator and Director of Exhibitions,

Required Information:

  • Artist’s Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Website (if applicable)

Statement of Endorsement:

Please describe how the nominee exemplifies Barbara Smail’s passion for encouraging artists and the arts in the Vermont community. Be sure to touch upon how the artist intersects with the spirit of the Barbara Smail Award:

  • Vermont-based, mid-career,  artist
  • Quality of work
  • Desire to expand his or her creative experience,
  • Demonstrated enthusiastic support of his or her peers
  • Under-recognized in the community either through exhibition or other awards and programs.


Additional Information:

Please limit submissions to one per person. Once an artist has been nominated, BCA will contact the artist to obtain images and information about the work to accompany the nomination.

BCA’s Exhibition Committee will review all nominations and, by a majority, vote to select the year’s winner.

This year’s annual award reception and announcement will take place at The BCA Center on Friday, February 22, from 6-8 p.m.



Email Heather Ferrell, Curator and Director of Exhibitions with questions.