Show menu



To be eligible applicants must be located in and producing in Texas. Qualifying submissions must:

  • Represent heritage craft found across Texas which includes, but is not limited to: pottery, enamelwork, quilting, woodworking, leathersmithing (boots, belts), basketry, lampworking and glassblowing, silverwork, embroidery, textile creations, and visual arts
  • Be an original, one-of-a-kind handmade work
  • Have a clearly defined connection or narrative of cultural preservation and/or generational story to the work being produced
  • Not have previously won a prize
  • Semi-finalists will also be invited to attend the American Craft Convening, mentioned above, in Dallas on November 3-4, 2023. All five semi-finalists are expected to attend the Convening with the winner being selected and announced that weekend.

Submissions are due by August 21, 2023. Judging takes place in early September with the announcement of selected semi-finalists by the end of September.



Heather is the Director of the Winn Family Foundation, which focuses on education, particularly in STEM fields, women’s economic advancement, and environmental initiatives.

Prior to shifting her time solely to philanthropy, Heather ran a weaving studio out of her home which gave her an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges makers face. It was the intersection of her love of craft, running a small business, and the opportunity to support women through economic empowerment that drew her to Nest.

She lives in Austin, TX with her two children and husband.

Heather Bowman

Robert Chavez was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Hermès of Paris, Inc. in the U.S. in August 2000. Today he is Executive Chairman of Hermès Americas.

A native of San Antonio, TX, Chavez is a graduate of Princeton University Class of 1977. In August of that year he joined Bloomingdale’s in New York City and spent 10 years of his retail career there in various assignments.

In 1986, Chavez moved to Macy’s New York where in 1989, he was appointed Senior Vice President of Merchandising. By 1991, he was promoted to President of Merchandising and oversaw several departments that included Beauty, Fashion Accessories, Shoes and Ready to

Chavez joined Etienne Aigner as Chief Executive Officer in 1992. He was instrumental in Etienne Aigner’s significant increase in growth and profitability as well as re-building and re-positioning the brand.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Hermès Americas, Chavez oversees all business aspects in the U.S. and Latin America. Under his direction, Hermès became the premier luxury house to lead in the revitalization of lower Manhattan with the opening of a store on Wall Street in June 2007. He has continued the geographic expansion of Hermès in the U.S. with new boutiques in Palo Alto, CA (2018), Orlando, FL (2019) and in April 2019, the Meatpacking District, NYC. In 2022, he opened the 45,000 square foot “Maison” at 706 Madison Avenue, a global Flagship for Hermès. There are now 31 Hermès Boutiques in the U.S. including a Hermè site.

Chavez’s outstanding service and achievements have been recognized by numerous institutions and organizations. He is committed to various causes that include March of Dimes, God’s Love We Deliver, Housing Works and the Luxury Education Foundation. In 2017, Chavez was awarded the Battery Park Conservancy Medal for Corporate Leadership. In May 2019, he received an Honorary Degree for Humane Letters from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Robert Chavez resides in Manhattan with his husband Vincent Sabio.

Robert Chavez

Carolina Alvarez-Mathies is a Salvadoran, Dallas-based arts professional. She currently serves as Executive Director at Dallas Contemporary, a leading arts institution that presents new and challenging ideas from regional, national, and international artists in one of the fastest-growing metroplexes of the United States.

Throughout her career, Alvarez-Mathies has integrated her background in communications and business development to foster innovations for institutions to better engage the public with contemporary art. She has spearheaded partnerships and fundraising initiatives that cross creative industries to engage diverse audiences and has advocated new approaches to philanthropy that prioritize social and community impact.

Since joining Dallas Contemporary as Deputy Director in 2019, Alvarez-Mathies has worked closely with the museum’s staff, board, and stakeholders to recast the vision and mission of the institution. Since her appointment, she has amplified the museum’s digital presence and formalized new revenue streams to sustain the museum’s free and open programming, including the launch of an online store offering publications, prints, and artist editions. Her work in driving more creative and sustainable models to support the museum, its artists, and the wider community has led to greater cross-industry collaborations spanning art, fashion, and design.
Prior to Dallas Contemporary, Alvarez-Mathies served as Director of External Affairs at the New York-based public arts non-profit Creative Time. She was previously Head of Communications at New York’s leading Latin American cultural institution El Museo del Barrio.

A staunch supporter of Salvadoran contemporary art, Alvarez-Mathies sits on the advisory board of Y.ES Contemporary, a non-profit that creates opportunities for contemporary artists working in El Salvador and beyond. From 2017 to 2019, she served as El Salvador’s Ambassador on Special Mission for Cultural Affairs, with the dual goals of strengthening and promoting her native country’s culture worldwide and raising the visibility of Salvadoran artists by creating new opportunities for exposure and dialogue around their work.

Alvarez-Mathies is an alum of Texas Christian University. She is a Fellow of the Fourteenth Class of the Central America Leadership Initiative, making her a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.

Carolina Alvarez-Mathies

Cristina Ballí is a bilingual cultural manager with expertise in Texas-Mexican border culture and music and cultural asset development. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, one of the largest community-based Latinx cultural centers in the country and the epicenter of the newly formed West Side Cultural District in San Antonio.

A native of Brownsville, Texas, Ballí received a Bachelor of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University and worked in child welfare before switching careers to arts administration. In her career span of over 20 years she has led several iconic cultural institutions in the state of Texas, such as the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, where she oversaw the opening of the Historic, Conjunto Hall of Fame and Freddy Fender Museums, and Texas Folklife Resources in Austin, the organization designated by the National Endowment for the Arts to preserve and present the folk and traditional arts of Texas.

Balli developed an expertise in Texas-Mexican Conjunto music, the region’s syncretic folk music based on the European accordion and rhythms and the Mexican bajo sexto bass guitar and traditional music by producing the Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival, the Big Squeeze state-wide accordion contest, and the Tejano Conjunto Festival at Rosedale Park. She has also worked extensively with cities and communities to develop infrastructures for existing community cultural capital for residents and visitors to enjoy.

In her spare time, Cristina likes to study and practice feminine spirituality, hike, collect vintage dishes, and restore fu

Cristina Balli

Christopher Blay is the Chief Curator of the Houston Museum of African American
Culture. The Liberian-born American artist, curator, and writer was the News Editor at
Glasstire Magazine from 2019 – 2021 and served as curator for the Art Corridor
Galleries at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth for the ten years prior to Glasstire.
Blay has been a guest lecturer at Numerous Texas universities, museums, galleries, and

Blay’s writing credit includes art criticism, Op-Ed essays, and interviews for Art in
America Magazine, Glasstire Magazine, and the Fort Worth Weekly. His essays were
featured in the spring 2022 issue of Nasher Sculpture Center Magazine, twice in Art in
America Magazine (Fall/2022 on artist Julie Speed, and Fall, 2021 on artist Jammie
Holmes), and catalog essays for the October 2022 exhibition of artist Richard Prince at
the Kapardis Collection in Dallas, as well as for 2022 Texas Artist of the Year catalog for
artist Letitia Huckaby.

Blay has spoken at length about his work at the Menil Collection (May, 2022 panel
“Collection Close-Up: Bruce Davidson’s Photographs”), The Dallas Museum of Art, The
Kimbell Art Museum (Artist’s Eye Program,) SMU Meadows Museum, as panel
moderator for Noor Images’ panel “Agency and Authorship: Approaches to Visual
Storytelling,” “Creative Conversations: Mark Sealy with Christopher Blay on
Photography: Race, Rights, and Representation,” for Houston’s FotoFest Biennial,
2022, and the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth( a panel discussion on the mural
boom in Fort Worth). His public lectures have also included Texas A&M University in
2021, New Cities, Future Ruins, presented by Southern Methodist University in Dallas
in November 2016, and the Texas Society of Architects convention in Houston in 2014.
Blay will be in conversation with artist William Kentridge on September 10, 2023, at the
Museum of Fine Arts Houston where Kentridge’s work is currently on view.

Blay has served as Juror for the Nasher Sculpture Center, Southern Methodist
University Meadows Museum’s Moss/Chumley award, Big Medium’s Tito’s Prize, as well
as numerous University gallery exhibitions including the recent student exhibitions at
Texas State University in San Marcos, portfolio reviews at the International Center for
Photography, and the Juried Members exhibition of the South Central Chapter of the
Society for Photographic Education in Dallas. As an artist, Blay uses photography, video, sculpture, and performance in exhibitions, and his work considers the Black experience in America.

His exhibitions and public art projects follow the themes of the Black experience and
include the ongoing East Rosedale Monument Project in Fort Worth, Texas, and Dindi
(for Annibel) in Dallas’ Coombs Creek Park near Oak Cliff. Blay’s work is the focus of a
Summer 2023 commission at the Ion Building, Dallas, and as one of three featured
artists in the 2023 ArtPrize art fair in Grand Rapids Michigan. His recent solo
exhibitions include Christopher Blay: SpLaVCe Program at the studios at Crowley
Theater in Marfa, 2023, and Christopher Blay: SpLaVCe Ship at the Barry Whistler

Gallery in Dallas in 2022. Blay’s other exhibitions include Future Power: Traps and
Targets, at the St. George Hotel in Marfa, Texas (Spring, 2022) The Amarillo Biennial
(Spring, 2022) and Christopher Blay: Power, Traps, and Targets, at Big Medium
gallery, Austin, 2021. Blay is a 2003 Graduate of Texas Christian University with a BFA
in Photography and a minor in Art History.

Christopher Blay

Lekha Singh has traveled the world for over 25 years, taking photographs and making films. Her work tells stories of the commonality of human experience from crowded cities to little-known places of destitution and desolation. She brings the lives of people, cultures, and places to the forefront in a way that expresses the narrative of their lives.

Her photographs have been seen in over twenty exhibitions, four books (including one for National Geographic), and several magazines and newspapers (including New York Times). The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, and Rubin Museum have her works in their permanent collections.

Currently, her exhibition Women Carry the World is touring Europe. Opening with the Musee De L’Homme in Paris.

Her films have reached more than a hundred million people. In 2012 she released Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness, a documentary she directed and produced. The film explores the role of forgiveness in the search for justice in Rwanda, Israel and Palestine, and Northern Ireland. The film garnered many awards including; The Sundance Collective’s Social Impact Award, The American Psychological Association’s Best Avant-Garde Film, Fingal Film Festival’s Best Documentary, and was LA Jewish Film Festival’s Runner-up for Best Documentary.

Singh has executive produced over 15 films, including the Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated The Square.

She has worked to create social impact through innovation. Forming several Foundations and supporting others. The most prominent among them is Aidmatrix. In 2000 Singh founded Aidmatrix to help solve the hunger problem and mobilized over $1.5 billion in aid and relief annually, by working with 35,000 fellow charities on 5 continents and fed over 25 million people per year.

She is the recipient of many awards, among them Women’s eNews 21 Leaders of the 21st Century, Profiles in Leadership from Southern Methodist University, Women Helping Women, Maura Award, and YWCA’s 100 Women of the Century.

Lekha Singh

Calling All Texas Makers!
Join Nest and Hermés for a two-day intensive Craft Convening designed to help you to grow your maker business!

Nest is helping to channel creativity and immersive learning to ensure the bright future of craftsmanship for makers and artisans in the United States.

November 3-4, 2023
Dallas, Texas


Hermés joins Nest to host an immersive 2-day convening of American craftsmanship in Dallas, Texas. Join us in Dallas on November 3-4 to harness the Hermés team’s knowledge and expertise and explore ways to develop your skills and business knowledge as a US maker.

Hermés will host a convening for American craftsmen and women to help transfer the brand’s professional knowledge and expertise in craftsmanship to the up-and-coming artisans and artists in Nest’s Makers United program.

This opportunity is exclusive for makers located in and producing in Texas. There are 30 spots available — apply by September 19 to secure yours! Participation in this Convening is fully covered, with no charge to you. In-state airfare and travel reimbursement is provided for all attendees as well as 2-nights of accommodations, on an as needed basis.