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The Lee Toy Memorial Kite Artist of the Year Award

The Kite Artist of the Year recognizes an artist’s body of original work or their commitment to kites as art as well as their ability to inspire others in recognizing the uniqueness of kites as art.

Award Criteria: Lee Toy Memorial Kite Artist of the Year


2015 – Bobby Stanfield

Nomination letter: This nominee’s innovative designs have been admired world wide and have inspired many people to build on his contribution. From his methodical cleaness of design to his innovative contribution of connectors, this nominee has given the kite world a plethora of ideas to play with. His connectors alone have inspired many to use […]


2014 – Christian Baden Powell

Nomination letter: Lee Toy – the name carries the creativity, the enthusiasm, and the sheer joy of life that Leland wore and shared during his much- too-short life. To do anything in his name requires one’s very deep consideration, a direct intention, and a respect to his path – and to his passion. He’s truly […]


2013 – Deb Cooley

Nomination letter: We had a hard time finding just the right award to attribute to Deb Cooley because as we read the qualifications over and over she just fit all categories of all three awards. We finally settled on the Lee Toy Award because Deb has a special place in her heart for Lee and we […]


2012 – Robert Brasington

Nomination letter: Robert Brasington’s love of architecture and nature are the foundation for his designs and keen use of color gradients resulting in a recognizable, unique and innovative style.  He has designed and produced literally hundreds of different kites.  Currently producing over 50 different kites, with seemingly endless color combinations.  He also does commission work, […]


2011 – Mikio Toki

Nomination letter: The first time we met Mikio was on the beaches of Washington State. He had the most magnificent kite in the air and was talking to a friend of ours. We were introduced and he treated us as long time friends. We talked, or more accurately, he talked and we listened attentively. He […]


2010 – Dave & Diane Butler

Nomination letter: Kites as art is a necessarily ambiguous subject. I’ve never been completely confident of where craftsmanship ends and art begins. It is just as well that I don’t judge Comprehensive Kitemaking. I do however appreciate kites that are interesting, unusual, and attractive. And I think Lee Toy did as well. For that reason, […]


2009 – John Pollock

Nomination letter: I have often been awed by the creativity and artistry of kites I seen at events around the world. But seldom have I been as moved as when I toured the AKA kite art gallery several years ago in Ocean City. I found there the remarkable kites of John Pollock. Any of the […]


2008 – Jon Burkhardt

Nomination letter: We wish to nominate for the Leland Toy Memorial Kite Artist of the Year Award our longtime friend JON BURKHARDT. We first met Jon and his kites at the 1979 Maryland Kite Society annual meeting in Baltimore. He flew a beautiful kite, named Blackfoot’s Magic Ground, and it was surprising because it was […]


2007 – Ron Gibian

Nomination letter: When I think of the Lee Toy award, I am forced to pause. I know many wonderful kitemakers, but few that rise to the next level. What is that next level? When you see a kite you have never seen before, yet recognize immediately the artist you know to be at the other […]