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Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest - 2011

Because of the enthusiastic response to the cocktail napkin sketch contest initiated a year ago, RECORD decided to do it again—not so much to encourage downing martinis as to honor the impulse to draw in a digital age. This year the jury of editors evaluated more than 1,200 napkins from nearly 400  entrants. With so many submissions, RECORD decided to select winners according two categories— professional architects and nonprofessionals (architectural students, designers, and others).

Winner, Professional
Winner

Winner, Professional
The prize for the best-in-show cocktail napkin sketch by a professional goes to Zeljko Toncic for his drawing of Antonio Gaudi’s Casa Milà, in Barcelona. The jury found it to be quirkily evocative of the 1910 landmark. Toncic, who has practiced for 33 years, says he has sketched the building before but this was the first time he dealt with the difficult medium of the cocktail napkin. “The paper is so soft and absorbs ink readily that maintaining control is tricky,” he notes. “I was trying to capture the essence of the structure without going into extreme detail.”

Runners-up

Winner, Non-professional
The winning cocktail napkin sketch by a nonprofessional was drawn by Amanda Prosser, who received her M.Arch. from Kansas State University. With jobs in architecture so scarce, she currently works for a life insurance firm. The jury found Prosser’s sketch of Notre Dame du Haut, Le Corbusier’s famous chapel at Ronchamp, France (1954), to exhibit a startling economy and elegance of line. When Prosser visited Ronchamp as a student, she drew the building in a sketchbook with her eyes closed. “Back in Topeka, I decided to see if I could do it on a cocktail napkin with an extra-fine black ballpoint pen,” she says. “I did it again without opening my eyes.”

Runners-Up, Professional
Merit

Runners-Up, Professional
The jury awarded cocktail napkin sketches that reflect the spontaneous act of creativity underlyling this ephemeral art form. While a number of entrants treated the cocktail napkin sketch as an exercise in more time-consuming rendering, the jurors admired the artistry of these exercises and included several runners-up that belong to this category.

Runners-Up, Non-professional
Off-Beat Entries

Runners-Up, Non-professional
The jury awarded cocktail napkin sketches that reflect the spontaneous act of creativity underlyling this ephemeral art form. While a number of entrants treated the cocktail napkin sketch as an exercise in more time-consuming rendering, the jurors admired the artistry of these exercises and included several runners-up that belong to this category.

Hors de Concour

Hors de Concour
Contestants were asked to submit sketches on a 5-inch-square cocktail napkin, a stipulation that many blithely ignored. But Record’s jury stuck by the rules—with one exception: a tiny, delicate model of a church by Scott Grove (an artist) in which the cocktail napkin was made to act like balsa wood. Record created an “hors de concour” (out of the running) award. We couldn’t resist it.

 

Off Beat

Off Beat
Madcap entries from this year's contest included a series of plays-on-words, portraits, and new conceptualizations of notable monuments. A series of highlights from those submissions follows.

 

Ronchamp

Ronchamp
We received a number of sketches of Le Corbusier's acclaimed Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France (1954). Here is a selection of those napkins, all of which shed new light on this classic Modern landmark.

 

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Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days