On Thursday, February 2, 2023 the first Jose Hess Design Awards were presented by the American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) in Tucson, Arizona at the Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum.
In 2021, AJDC lost an influential founding member, Jose Hess, one of the first designers to see that design-driven jewelry was the future of the jewelry industry. To honor Jose’s legacy and encourage today’s visionary designers, AJDC created the Jose Hess AJDC Design Challenge.
AJDC believes that jewelry designers who are presented with a challenge can bring fresh ideas and innovations to the American jewelry industry, just as Jose did. The nonprofit recognizes and empowers the most gifted designers through cash awards, promotion, display, and exhibition, as well as other business help.
Each applicant was asked to create an original piece of jewelry, based on the theme “Connection,” which mirrors the AJDC Design Theme Projects for 2022.
From an entry field of 80 applicants, the judges selected 6 finalists who were honored at the gala event.
The Grand Prize winner of $15,000 is Baiyang Qiu.
The other five finalists each received $1000. They are Darci Shea Bodgan, Everett Walker Redus, Marianne Hunter, Liaung Chung Yen and Sandra McEwen.
In addition to the cash awards, each finalist received an original tropy. The Jose Hess Design Award trophy is modeled from an original Jose Hess pendant design and symbolizes the AJDC Connection design theme. Congratulations to all our winners!