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.

You do not need to be a NAN member to enter The Exemplary. We welcome both original and non-original pieces, and they are judged separately. Professional and nonprofessional embroiderers are encouraged to enter; they are also judged in separate categories. See the complete list of categories and special awards below.

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 exhibit, contact The Exemplary Administrator.

Awards are given in several categories:

  • Original – Professional
  • Original – Non-professional
  • Non-original with Instructions – Non-professional
  • Non-original with Instructions – Professional
  • Non-original without Instructions – Professional
  • Non-original without Instructions – Non-professional
  • Mixed Media – Professional
  • Mixed Media – Non-professional
  • Japanese Embroidery – Professional
  • Japanese Embroidery – Non-professional

In addition, the following special ribbons are awarded:

  • By The Exemplary Judges
    • Best of Show (Jean Taggart Award) selected from First Place winners in all categories except Japanese Embroidery
    • Best of Show for Japanese Embroidery (The Beverly Booker Award) selected by the Japanese Embroidery judge from First Place winners in that category
    • Judge’s Choice selected by each judge based solely on the judge’s opinion and not on a point system
  • By the NAN Board of Directors
    • The Academy Heart given for the piece that best evokes a quality symbolically associated with heart such as beauty, wisdom, passion, or courage.
    • The Betsy Robb Award given for excellence in Silk and/or Metal work
    • The Dolores Andrew Award presented to an original entry that demonstrates creative use of color and design in any medium
    • The Exemplary given for exceptional excellence in execution
    • The Linda Calsing Award given to the piece best reflecting Linda’s love of travel & history
    • The Muse’s Kiss (The Peg Laflam Award) given for innovation or imagination
    • Best Flower–The Gail Sirna Award given to the piece that portrays a flower or floral theme in the most artistically and/or technically excellent way
  • By Exemplary Visitors
    • Popular Choice given to the piece that receives the most votes