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Press Release: Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2021 Exhibition Winners Announced

September 26, 2021

Filed under Art of the State, Press Releases

The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced the winners of Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2021.

Art of the State is an annual juried exhibition that has showcased the work of Pennsylvania’s artists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania since 1968. This body of art reflects over a half-century of creative endeavor in the Keystone State. Through the years, artists have shared their ideas and engaged viewers in the categories of painting, photography, craft, sculpture, and work on paper.

The William D. Davis Memorial Award for Drawing was also selected. The Art Docents Corps of The State Museum chose its Docents’ Choice Award.

Later in this fall, The State Museum will select one Purchase Award winner for the permanent collection.

Winners were chosen from 104 works selected from 2,217 entries.

This year’s first-place winners are from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, and Northumberland counties. Special awards went to artists from Allegheny and Montgomery counties.

Due to the pandemic, winners were notified of their awards via social media on Sunday, September 26.

Art of State is presented by The State Museum of Pennsylvania in association with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation. The media sponsor is WITF Public Media.

The Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation is the nonprofit partner of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, the state agency charged with collecting, preserving, researching, and interpreting the treasures of Pennsylvania. Through private contributions, PHF supports PHMC in protecting and providing access to 24 historic sites and museums, approximately 9 million objects, and more than 250 million archival items.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the Colonial and Revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

For more information visit The State Museum of Pennsylvania website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639


The following prizes were awarded for Art of the State 2021. Cash awards for each category are first prize, $500; second prize, $300.

Additional information including a 360-degree virtual exhibit, an exhibit catalogue pdf, and programming announcements can be accessed on the Art of the State 2021 landing page.


First Place: Lauren Whearty, Philadelphia – Dining Table

Second Place: Kelly Kautz, Lancaster – Mary’s Office


First Place: Lisa Nanni, Yardley – Yellow Aqueous Flow

Second Place: Passle Helminski, Erie – Blushing


First Place: Becky McDonah, Millersville – Particulate Protection: A Reliquary for the N95 Mask

Second Place: Don Nakamura, Philadelphia – Last Night’s Dream

Work on Paper

First Place: Alison Willse, Norristown – Mouth 2

Second Place: Barry Steely, Denver – We Are Your Neighbors


First Place: Sanh Tran, Milton – Camouflage or Aposematism, No. 2

Second Place: Edmund Eckstein, Easton – Lenape Indian 1

William D. Davis Memorial Award for Drawing

Betz Green, Flourtown – Flying Fish 

Art Docents Choice Award

Sandy Kessler Kaminsky, Pittsburgh – Fetching the Canary