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35th Rosen Sculpture Competition and Exhibition

May 15, 2021 - May 11, 2022

Joan Benefiel, Hoodoos: Awarded 1st Place in the 35th Rosen Sculpture Competition. 

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition

Call for Entries for the 36th annual Rosen competition is open from January 10 – February 25, 2022. For entry requirements and more information, visit the 36th Rosen webpage here

The Rosen Competition Turns 35!

A legacy of artistic excellence

The Rosen Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is a national juried competition presented annually by An Appalachian Summer Festival and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Since its establishment by Martin and Doris Rosen in 1987, the Rosen Competition continues a tradition of showcasing contemporary American sculpture in outdoor settings across the beautiful campus of Appalachian State University.

Celebrating its milestone 35th anniversary in the summer of 2021, the competition has become firmly established as a cultural treasure and a significant point of pride for Appalachian State University and our entire region. The competition has garnered national praise for the free access to the “best of the best” in contemporary sculpture it offers for countless residents and visitors across North Carolina and beyond.

The Rosen Family proudly continues the legacy of Martin and Doris by generously supporting this important program dedicated to sharing the power and joy of public art, creating a fascinating glimpse into the world of contemporary sculpture, and building new audiences for the visual arts.

Celebrate with us this summer!


Saturday, July 10 from 10 am – 12 pm.

Event is free; however reservations are recommended. Click here for more information and to reserve your space.

This year, nine sculptures have been selected, with an additional work of sculpture installed at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM). Cash prizes are awarded to three artists whose work is chosen by the juror.

To celebrate the competition’s 35th anniversary, join juror Rachel Stevens on an educational outdoor tour of the sculpture finalists. The tour concludes with an outdoor lunchtime reception adjacent to the Schaefer Center, and will feature an awards presentation, a tribute to the Rosen family, a reflection on the 35th anniversary and a “look back” at some of the competition’s most memorable moments!

The Rosen Sculpture Walk will take place rain or shine. In the event of heavy rain, a presentation by the juror, including images of the sculptures, will be held indoors at the Schaefer Center.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Martin & Doris Rosen Giving Fund/Debbie Rosen Davidson and David Rosen and the Charles & Nancy Rosenblatt Foundation.




Tom Scicluna
Miami, FL



Rudy Rudisill
Gastonia, NC



Joan Benefiel
Brooklyn, NY
1st Place Rosen Winner

Blue Nautilus

Blue Nautilus

Gretchen Lotz
Orlando, FL
35th Rosen Honorable Mention

About the Juror

A native of the Northeast (Connecticut, Maryland and New York), Rachel Stevens received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and her MFA from Syracuse University. She attended The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture while still an undergrad at MICA. Rachel’s passion for art serves as a flying carpet of sorts, inspiring travels and research to many countries around the world, including Fulbright Research Scholarships to Patan, Nepal (2006) and Lviv, Ukraine (2018).  In Nepal, her collaboration with Buddhist icon makers culminated in installations that conceptually and aesthetically blended elements of East and West.  When in Ukraine, Rachel collaborated with geographers, historians, and other artists to produce works that honored the Jewish community that populated the region prior to the Holocaust.  These pieces manifested as a map of former Jewish sites in Lviv, a walking tour demarcating the journey of Holocaust survivors who survived in the sewers of Lviv and a haunting installation comprised of illuminated glass skeleton keys, cast from an iron original.  Rachel has received numerous grants and awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and has exhibited her work internationally.  Rachel served as Area Head of Sculpture at New Mexico State University for 25 years and is now Emeritus Professor.  She divides her life between Las Cruces and Missoula, Montana.

About the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

This nationally recognized juried competition, established in 1987, has long been credited with enhancing the cultural landscape of the High Country region, while serving as a highlight and point of pride for the university’s summer arts festival, An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Reflecting the vision and generosity of Martin and Doris Rosen, an extraordinary couple whose lives were shaped by the spirit of public service and philanthropy, the competition brings a remarkable array of contemporary sculpture to our campus and community.

Each year, ten sculptures are selected for exhibition, and are situated in outdoor, public settings across the university campus. A cash prize is awarded to the artist whose work is chosen as each year’s Rosen Award winner, which is announced by the juror at the popular Annual Sculpture Walk, a highlight of every summer festival season. In the last several years, two additional sculptures have been selected. One is installed on campus at Appalachian House and another at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

Over the years, the exhibition program has earned an international reputation for showcasing the finest in contemporary sculpture, and has become a source of inspiration for thousands of visitors, area residents, and members of the university community who enjoy access to a diverse and ever-changing selection of outdoor sculpture each season.


Martin & Doris Rosen

Vision, generosity, and a pursuit of excellence are some of the many qualities that characterized the lives of Martin and Doris Rosen. From their years devoted to building a successful business, to their lives after retirement, revolving around family, philanthropy, and a commitment to the arts, this exceptional couple left an indelible mark on the communities in which they lived and worked.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of the Rosen Family, Martin and Doris’s legacy of support for quality visual arts programming has been continued by their children, and enables this beloved exhibition program to continue to develop and flourish. In July 1997, the Rosens donated Hephaestus, a large commissioned sculpture by Bruce White, to Appalachian State’s Permanent Collection, and it adorns the Rivers Street frontage area of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts to this day.

On the occasion of the Rosens’ 50th wedding anniversary in October 1999, their children established the Martin and Doris Rosen Scholarship to assist rising junior or senior art majors at Appalachian State. Tireless supporters of the arts, the Rosen Family has given so much of themselves over the years to ensure that the arts remain a strong foundation of campus and community life in the High Country. We wish to extend to them our deepest appreciation.

Martin and Doris Rosen
Martin and Doris Rosen

For Artists


Rosen Sculpture Walk with the Juror
July 10 @ 10:00 am

Online Registration System Opens for 36th Rosen
January 10, 2022

Deadline for Entries for 36th Rosen
February 25, 2022 @ 5:00 pm est

Notifications Emails for 36th Rosen
March 31, 2022

De-installation for 35th Rosen and Installation for 36th Rosen
May 2022

Contact Us

Please address all inquires to:

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
c/o Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
PO Box 32139
423 West King Street
Boone, NC 28608




Outdoor campus