USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. has selected Natural Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers, by Judy A. Juracek as winner of the USITT Golden Pen Award for 2003. The book is published by W. W. Norton & Company. This volume is the third in a series, joining Surfaces (Norton, 1996) and Natural Surfaces (Norton, 2000).
USITT will present the award as part of its 43rd Annual Conference & Stage Expo held March 19 to 22, 2003 in Minneapolis, MN. The book was nominated by a USITT member, then reviewed by the Institute's Golden Pen Committee. An easy-to-use indexing system makes locating images on the accompnaying compact disks as easy as turning to a page in the books. All three books contain useful glossaries, extensive bibliographies, and a section of interviews called "Working Papers." Natural Surfaces has interesting interviews with landscape designer Laurie Olin, botanical illustrator Christabel King, and wildlife and exhibition designer John Gywnne.
Because theatrical designers and scenic artists alike are always looking for visual tools of communication to convey their ideas and aesthetic thoughts/suggestions to directors, co-designers and crafts-people, the committee felt that Juracek's books are especially appropriate to receive the Golden Pen Award, because they contain two necessary ingredients: outstanding photography and superb composition of use to costume designers, set designers, properties makers, and scenic artists.
Juracek is a professional scenic artist and designer. Her extensive credits include productions in regional theatres, for opera, ballet, and off-Broadway. While on the faculty at the North Carolina School of the Arts she co-founded the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, for whom she also designed numerous productions.
Bobbi Owen, USITT's Interim Vice-President for Communications, will make the presentation at the Awards Banquet that will culminate the 2003 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Juracek will be available to sign copies of all three of her books on Friday, March 21, from 2 to 3 pm in the USITT Boutique at Stage Expo, and will participate in a session sponsored by the Scene Design Commission on Saturday, March 22. All three of the Surfaces books will be available for sale through USITT at www.usitt.org.