2022 Young Artist Award Guidelines


The Young Artist Award (YAA) competition recognizes innovative work created by a jewelry artist early in their career. Through the Young Artist Award, AJF supports new and exciting work that will direct the future development of the field.

AJF’s award and grant programs are made possible by individuals who believe funding art creation is an important way to show their appreciation for the arts. For the YAA, prominent collectors Karen and Michael Rotenberg, whose collection focuses on the innovative use of alternative materials by emerging and mid-career artists, have made a generous three-year commitment to fund this competition. (2022 marks the second of three fundings.)

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To acknowledge innovation and individuality in the work of a contemporary jewelry artist who:

  • Is early in their career
  • Has created an independent body of work
  • Shows potential for continuing to create new work and is rigorous in their approach to creating and producing new, exciting, and thoughtful viewpoints
  • To advance the career of a promising artist


  • Unrestricted cash award of US$7,500 for the winner
  • Unrestricted cash award of US$1,000 for each of four finalists
  • The winner will be recognized as a member of AJF on AJF’s website for one year
  • An interview will be conducted with the winner and each of the four finalists, to be published on AJF’s website during the spring of 2022

From left to right: Collector and gallerist Karen Rotenberg, Curator Chequita Nahar, 2020 Young Artist Award winner MJ Tyson

This year’s jury will consist of:


The applicant must be

  • A maker of wearable art jewelry
  • 35 years of age or younger  on January 9, 2022
  • Not currently enrolled in a formal academic degree program (BS/BA, MS/MS/MFA, etc.) or a vocational training program
  • Work submitted must have been unsupervised; work from thesis and/or graduate degree shows is not eligible
  • Submitted work must have been completed within the previous two years, i.e., for the 2022 award, work must be completed in 2020 and 2021
  • Applicants who have applied previously must submit new work, i.e., work submitted in a prior AJF Artist Award application may not be resubmitted in the current application


The following information must be submitted in English via the CaFÉ website. Follow this LINK to apply. 

  • Current resume (one page long maximum)*
  • Artist statement relating to the work submitted, maximum 200 words long*
  • Date of birth (you must be 35 years of age or younger on the application deadline of January 9, 2022)
  • Whether you’re currently enrolled in a formal academic degree program (yes/no); if yes, you are not eligible
  • If you’re represented by a gallery (yes/no); if yes, name of gallery(ies)
  • If you’ve applied for the Young Artist Award previously (yes/no); if yes, when
  • How you learned about this competition (e.g., instructor; posting at school; curator; gallerist; SNAG News; magazine [specify]; social media; collector; or former award winner)
  • Level of professional training (BA, BFA, MA, MFA, or self-taught) and date of completion (month/year graduated)
  • A minimum of six and maximum of 10 digital images showing up to eight pieces of work*
  • One image must show a piece being worn on the body
    One image must show the back side or underneath side of a piece
  • Image requirements: Follow the image requirements on the CaFÉ website
  • Please note: All images submitted must be available at 300 dpi, landscape preferred, TIFF or JPEG, and file size 3000KB. If your application makes it to the finalist round, we will request high-resolution images from you, to be used by AJF for print media and promotion
  • Each image file must be labeled with the following*:
    Title of piece
    2. Year produced
    3. Materials
    4. Dimensions in millimeters
    5. Photo credit

*Do not include your name on the resume, artist statement, or images, as the jurying process is blind.

Applications close at 11:59 p.m., Mountain Time Zone (Denver, CO, USA), on January 9, 2022. Incomplete and late entries will not be accepted.


  • The winning artist and finalists shall ensure delivery of work to AJF member gallery Platina to be displayed during Munich Jewellery Week in March 2022
  • The winning artist and finalists will be announced to the audience at the Internationale Handwerksmesse, on Saturday, March 12, 2022, during Munich Jewelry Week. The winning artist is expected to travel to Munich, Germany, in March 2022 for the award presentation, where they will deliver a 10-minute presentation about their work. The artist will arrange travel at their own expense. The four finalists will also be invited to attend, but are under no obligation, and will also arrange their own travel
  • The winning artist is expected to participate as a juror in the next Young Artist Award competition, to be held in 2024


  • Jury review will take place in January and February 2022
  • Work will be judged on originality, depth of concept, continuity of design, and quality of craftsmanship
  • There will be three rounds of review. The top 10%–15% scoring artists in the first round of individual juror review will be moved to the second round. After the second round of individual review, the top scorers will advance to the third round, where the jury will meet in person to select the winner and four finalists
  • The winning artist will be notified in mid-February by telephone and email, and is expected to arrange travel to Munich Jewellery Week—at their own expense—to be present when the award is formally announced
  • The four finalists will also be notified by telephone and email in mid-February
  • All applicants will be informed by email after the winner and finalists have been notified
  • The winner will be announced during Munich Jewellery Week on March 12, 2022

AJF does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, race or color, religion or creed, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason.

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