De Anza artist wins national student award2 min read

La Voz Staff

On Feb. 20, De Anza College art student Kathleen Elliot was one of 19 student artists to win a national 2005 NICHE Magazine Student Award at the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft. BMAC is the nation’s largest wholesale craft event.

The awards ceremony was sponsored by NICHE magazine, an exclusive trade publication for North American retailers of American craft.

Elliot won in the sculpture category for her sculpture "Botanica Plums." The award was based on technical excellence, creativity in surface design and form and distinct quality of unique and original thought.

Elliot said that winning the award really boosts her confidence.

"I spend a great deal of time alone working in my studio," said Elliot, who owns and operates her own glass studio in Cupertino.

"Except for my work in the classroom, I don’t have many opportunities to talk with other artists or have my work critiqued," she said.

Elliot attended Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle. for three summers and now studies art primarily at De Anza. She also took an intermediate drawing class at Foothill College.

De Anza art classes have been the most beneficial, Elliot said.

"I appreciate art history that includes learning about art in different cultures and how it unfolded through history, as well as learning about different artists and their styles of work," said Elliot. "In addition, I enjoy hands-on classes such as design, drawing and ceramics."

Elliot considers her piece "Plums in Glass" as one of her favorite artworks, which she said takes on a distinctive life of its own.

"My own art is inspired by such wonders as flower petals, the pattern of veins in leaves, the shiny blackness of crows and changing colors of autumn leaves," said Elliot. "A hundred intricate and intimate moments in a day that can take my breath away if I remember to stop, listen, look around."

Elliot’s art niche is in glass. She participated in various workshops at art schools specializing in it.

Her favorite aspect of creating art is exploration and experimentation with new techniques, new materials and new designs.

"All of that creativity really feeds the development of my work, and I just need to do that," said Elliot. "I can’t just make the same things over and over, I’ll never stop learning!"

Elliot lives with her husband Brent and their five children.

NICHE magazine began the student awards program in 1966, to honor the next generation of craft makers and artisians. It was also created to collaborate with its professional awards competition that began several years earlier.

To find out more about the NICHE magazine awards, visit at