About the Award
The Brandford/Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber was established to honor the lives and work of the late and beloved fiber artists Joanne Segal Brandford and Lillian Elliott. Extraordinary textile artists and scholars who were long-time friends, they died within a few days of one another in April 1994.
The award, formerly known as the Lillian Elliott Award, became a well known honor in a very short time, perhaps because there are no other awards specifically designated for emerging artists working with fiber, and because the need is so great.
In 2016 the Brandford/Elliott Award was formally turned over to the Textile Society of America and became a TSA award. The award will is presented during the Awards Banquet at the Textile Society of America’s Biennial Symposium. Past award winners are listed on the left side of this page.
TSA welcomes donations to ensure the continuity of this award. To contribute, visit our donation page here.
In Honor of Lillian Elliott and Joanne Brandford
Lillian Wolock Elliott (left) was born in Detroit in 1930. She received her B.A. in Art Education in 1952 from Wayne State University and her M.F.A. in 1955 from Cranbrook Academy of Art with a major in ceramics, a minor in painting. read more >
Joanne Segal Brandford (right) was born in Philadelphia in 1933. She received her BA in decorative art in 1955 and her MA in design in 1967 from UC Berkeley, with Ed Rossbach.
read more >
Watch the documentary featuring Joanne and Lillian – their artwork and insights – with excerpts of recordings from 1993.
The Award Process
Every other year members of the B/EA Board choose three anonymous nominators – professionals active in the field of art in the fiber medium – from different geographic regions. Each nominator recommends three artists who are invited to apply. The B/EA Board reviews the applications and the award is given to a promising artist whose work reflects a willingness to take creative risks.
Current members of the B/EA Board are Olivia Valentine, Frances Dorsey, Vita Plume, Diedrick Brackens, and Sara Clugage. Past board members include Pat Hickman, Jill D’Alessandro, Roxane Shaughnessy, Sandra Harner, Susan Sternlieb, Barbara Goldberg, Cathy Weller and Mary Dusenbury.
In 2016 the B/EA board made the decision to reveal all past nominators; they are listed below in alphabetical (rather than chronological) order.
To view the bio and work of an awardee, click their name.
2022 Tyrrell Tapaha
2020 Melissa Cody
2018 Diedrick Brackens
2016 Joanne Arnett
2014 Andrea Donelly
2012 Olivia Valentine
In 2012 the official name of the award was revised to The Brandford/Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Art. It was formerly the Lillian Elliott Award.
Since 2000, the award has been granted biennially rather than annually.
Indira Allegra, Maile Andrade, Suzanne Baizerman, Dorothy Gill Barnes, James Bassler, Gaza Bowen, Dorothy Caldwell, Stefano Catalani, Sonya Clark, Joan Dreyer, Mary Dusenbury, Andy Gilats, Ann Hamilton, Karen Hampton, Oliver Herring, Pat Hickman, Sheila Hicks, Stuart Kestenbaum, Nancy Koenigsberg, Bruce Hoffman, Janet Koplos, Kiyomi Iwata, Yadin Larochette, Susan Martin Maffei, Patricia Malarcher, Marci Rae McDade, Aaron McIntosh, Matilda McQuaid, John McQueen, Michael Olszewski, Sunita Patterson, Jovencio de la Paz, Laurel Reuter, Lawrence Rinder, Linda Ross, Jane Sauer, Ruth Scheuing, Warren Seelig, Jessica Silverman, Sherri Smith, Lotus Stack, Kenneth Trapp, Claire Verstegen, Lisa Vinebaum, Anne Wilson, Gayle Wimmer, Bhakti Ziek, and Emily Zilber.