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The winners and runners-up have been selected; click here to view the winning entries!


Have you visited our new exhibition “The Tool at Hand,” and wondered how you would respond to the challenge to create something using only one tool? Do you think that an assignment or a limitation can unleash unexpected creativity? Moments of genius, even? Now’s your chance: enter our “Left to Your One Device” contest and find out! This contest is inspired by our current exhibition, The Tool at Hand, in which 16 artists were invited to craft a work of art using only one tool. The concept of the exhibition asks us to consider what’s really necessary in the process of making something, how much technology we need or don’t need, whether ancient technologies are sometimes best, and how limitation can actually unleash creativity. The winners and runners-up will be chosen by a group of prominent guest jurors. Prizes will be awarded and the winning videos will be featured on our website. See below for more details and contest rules. The Tool at Hand is on view Feb. 1st – April 28th.



Create something using only one tool. The tool can be anything you choose, and your creation can be in any discipline and medium.
Make a short video, 30-90 seconds, telling us about yourself, what you created, what tool you used, and how you used it to create your entry.
Send us your video by April 10th. The winning videos will be featured on our website.



Artists, craftspeople, and creative individuals of all ages and professions are welcome to enter the “One Device” contest.
Fill out the Entry Form
Fill out the Video Release Form.
Send your video,  entry form, and video release form to
Digital submissions only.
If you are under 18, please obtain parent/guardian permission.



The winning entries will be awarded prizes designed to inspire and help you create: supplies and hands-on experiences at various Philadelphia art and design studios including NextFabThe Clay Studio, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, West Philly Tool Library, Artists and Craftsmen, Rittenhouse Needlepoint, The Resource Exchange, and more to be announced! Entries will be juried, and first, second and third prizes will be announced on April 15th, 2013. The videos of the winners and runners-up will be featured on the PAA website. There will be a special performance by Ariane Alexander-Liao at the Contest Reception on April 25th, 6:00-8:00pm.



This video by London-based artist Nicola Probert served as the original invitation to participate in “The Tool at Hand”:




Doug Bucci is a designer and educator in the field of jewelry. His work utilizes digital processes to explore and display biological systems. Computer Aided technologies allow the maker to view and simulate not only data, but patterns and cell forms, which can be transformed into meaningful, personal, wearable art. His work is in the collections of the Windsor Castle, Berkshire, London; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; Deutsche Goldschmiedehaus Hanau, Germany; and Design Museo, Helsinki, Finland. He currently teaches in the Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM area at Tyler, and in the Industrial Design department The University of the Arts.


Hilary Jay is the founding director of DesignPhiladelphia, an annual city-wide celebration of design exhibitions, lectures, workshops, open studios and street happenings. In the 90s, she was the design columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, and she has written for Art & Antiques, Modernism, I.D., and Metropolitan Home. In 1985, Jay co-founded Maximal Art, an international costume jewelry, watch and home furnishings company. Examples of her work are in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and the Swarovski collection of 20th Century Design.


Caroline Tiger is a design writer whose articles have appeared in many publications including Metropolis, the New York Times T Magazine, and Dwell. She writes the Seeing Things column, which looks at design issues in Philadelphia, for the Home & Design section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Tiger co-curated “Four Corners: Design from Philly Surrounds,” an exhibit of local design, for DesignPhiladelphia 2012; and she serves on Collab, the group of design professionals who support the modern and contemporary design collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Jennifer Zwilling is an independent curator and educator actively exploring both the contemporary and historical creative life of Philadelphia. She was the Assistant Curator of American Decorative Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she worked for nearly ten years. She is also a long-term adjunct instructor of Art History at Tyler School of Art as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, developing classes focused on topics such as, the History of Modern Craft, American Art, the history of illustration and the work of architect Frank Furness.