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thumb Yellow_scribble_stool_white_1Tennessee Tech University assistant art professor Kim Winkle’s work has been judged the best in its class for the fourth time.

Winkle recently won her fourth trophy from the Niche Awards, sponsored by Niche magazine, a quarterly publication designed to connect galleries and artists. This year, she won for a painted stool entitled “Yellow Scribble Stool” in the painted or colored wood professional artists category.

She took the top award in that same category in 2006 and 2010. In 2006, she also won the prize in the fashion jewelry category.

Award winners are judged based on technical excellence, market viability and originality. Across the competition’s dozens of categories, fewer than 200 entries were named finalists of more than 1,000 submissions.

Winkle has been part of TTU’s art department, where she teaches art appreciation and foundations, since 2003. Before that, she was the wood artist in residence at TTU’s Appalachian Center for Craft.

Her work combines sculptural and furniture elements to create whimsical designs and forms. It has been exhibited across the United States and in Europe, and belongs in many private collections.

Artists from TTU, including students, faculty and Center for Craft artists in residence, have historically been well represented at the Niche Awards. The awards competition is held annually in conjunction with Philadelphia’s Buyers Market of American Craft, the nation’s premier marketplace for American and Canadian fine craft and design.