Belt Buckle Expo 2020


March 27–June 13, 2020


Winners of the World Champion 

Belt Buckle Competition 2020


Friday, March 27, 5 -7pm




form & concept is delighted to announce the homecoming of the best in the belt buckle: Belt Buckle Expo 2020, juried by artists and buckle enthusiasts Bryan Peterson and Robert Ebendorf, returns for its second year at form & concept gallery. Over 45 buckles, from copper blooming dahlias to drawn neo-chrome and enameled inhalers, showcase this year’s top entries to the World Champion Belt Buckle Competition. An opening reception with invited artists will be held on Friday, March 27, 5–7pm.


Since the international competition’s inception in 2012, jewelry artist Bryan Peterson has sought to challenge expectations of the belt buckle. More than just a functional piece for the pant, these belt buckles—in the hands of metal artisans and contemporary craft makers—take waist adornment to a new level of attention, from highly-complicated mechanical details to found elements and assemblages that trick and tease the viewer.


Perhaps not surprisingly, this year’s winners all share a sharp sense of humor, underscoring the buckle as an arena for play and tomfoolery. Taehyun Bang’s winning buckle Untitled, whose life began as a teacup and saucer, is our first fantastical stop. “The first time I saw Bang’s submission,” Peterson says, “I thought we had an entry from an accomplished ceramicist working in porcelain.” Perhaps the best example of the group exhibition as a whole is 3rd place-winning buckle Non-Ferrous by Vanaria, who represents the metalsmithing community as a family worthy of their own coat of arms. The piece’s title refers to the metals first used by humans, from copper and brass to bismuth and cobalt, still highly-desirable today for their non-corrosive, lightweight and high-conductive properties.


Juror’s Statement by Robert Ebendorf

There is a reference to history in the top three awards, honoring making and working with metal. These artists are clearly speaking with the tools of the trade. There is a very personal relationship to the body and the personal domain. In the history of the buckle we see The Wild West, Rodeo, The Native American; it is also known for noting special events and presidents. Through my opportunity to co-jury this years’ event, I had the experience of learning about this new language with the excitement and enthusiasm of a kid coming home from school!


Winning Artists: Taehyun Bang (1st Place), Tim Lazure (2nd Place), William Vanaria (3rd Place)

Honorable Mentions: Emily Pellini, Josie Mayes, Lisa and Scott Cylnder, Rose Schlemmer


Read Our Interview with Bryan Petersen