The Exemplary 2023 – Best of Show for Japanese Embroidery

Each year at The Exemplary, the Best of Show for Japanese Embroidery (The Beverly Booker Award) is selected by the Japanese Embroidery judge from First Place winners in that category. This year’s Best of Show for Japanese Embroidery winner is Kemari stitched by Arlene Altman. Here is Arlene’s artist statement:

“Kemari is the name of 1400 year old Japanese ball game, probably originating in China. Over the years the game has been played by Imperial Courtiers and then within the warrior classes eventually expanding to other classes until the late 1800’s. In 1903, the Emperor Meui was part of an effort to create a preservation society that would include kemari as a focal point. The game continues to exist today and a performance of a kemari game is included in a semi-annual exhibition titled Introduction of Court Cultures.

This piece is one of the sanctioned Japanese Embroidery Center’s (JEC) phase 8 pieces leading to the JEC’s Teacher Certification. Instruction was provided by Mary Alice Sinton and minor thread color changes were made by me.”