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.
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 and 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.