The Exemplary

The Exemplary is an annual showcase of needle arts held in conjunction with NAN’s Assembly for Embroiderers. It is open to all forms of creative needlework, from embroiderers at all levels of expertise—beginners to highly experienced.
Big Horn Sheep by Rachel Watkins

Big Horn Sheep by Rachel Watkins

You do not need to be a NAN member to enter The Exemplary. Professional and nonprofessional embroiderers are encouraged to enter; this is an opportunity to share your exquisite work with fellow stitchers, artists, patrons of the arts, and anyone who appreciates creativity and the arts. The Exemplary is supported in part by the NAN Angel Fund.

For information about entering the next Exemplary, visit the Assembly page. If you have questions about the exhibition, contact The Exemplary Administrator.

Divisions within The Exemplary are as follows:

  • Celebration is a judged competition open to any embroidery done by the entrant. We welcome both original and non-original pieces, and they are judged separately. Awards are given within several competition categories. Other divisions within The Exemplary are not judged.
  • For the Joy of Sharing welcomes any piece stitched by the entrant, especially recent works.
  • By Invitation honors the work of one person or a group of noteworthy embroiderers. Participation is by invitation only. This division includes an exhibit of works by the annual NAN Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
  • Certification is a display of work by Academy certification candidates. Participation in this display is required for completion of Teachers’ Certification, Judges’ Certification, Teacher cum Laude, and Honors.
  • Permanent Collection is a selection of pieces from the National Academy of Needlearts’ permanent collection at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design.
  • Needleart on Loan is a display of interesting embroidery that the entrant has not stitched, but wishes to share. Included are heirloom, antique, and ethnic embroideries.
  • Special Collection consists of pieces worked or donated by NAN members to be auctioned as fundraisers for the Academy.
  • Next Time at Assembly is a display of the classes available at Assembly in the following year.