23rd Annual Napkin Art Contest Seeks Submissions

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The 23rd Annual Napkin Art Contest sponsored by Mama's Royal Cafe in Oakland, CA is seeking submissions and will award a top prize of $300 to the winner.

Ever doodle on a napkin? We all have, but “Napkin Art” is more than doodles at Mama’s Royal Cafe in Oakland, California. “Twenty-three years ago I started collecting the artistic napkin doodles left behind at the cafe,” said Mama’s owner George Marino. “They were just too creative to throw out.”

According to Marino many came from the artists in the community. Soon after he decided to give incentive to this creativity by sponsoring a napkin art contest. Now 23 years and 22 contests later the cafe has more than a thousand pieces in its napkin art collection, including work by local artists Claire Cotts, Julia L. Kay, Mark Ziemann and Michele Montez. The collection also includes hand painted napkins from the 1890's by the San Jose Parlor of The Daughters of the Golden West.

Now it’s time for the 23rd annual competition and Marino expects over two hundred new submissions. “Most of the entries still come from the Bay Area”, he says, “but the contest has received entries from as far away as New England and Japan.” Different artists judge the contest each year. Judges have included accomplished artists such as Raymond Saunders, Mike Henderson, Jerald Silva, Don Farnsworth, and Louise Stanley.

Amateur, student and professional artists are all encouraged to enter. According to Marino, “The absorbency and fragility of paper napkins are an equal challenge to everyone”. Last years winners are currently on display at the cafe. This year’s contest is accepting submissions through the end of March. Judging takes place soon after with awards announced on April 15th.

1st prize $300, 2nd $150, 3rd $75, (25) honorable mentions - breakfast or lunch for 2 at Mama's.

Contest Rules:    

1. Any paper napkin can be used.    

2. Send entries to: 23rd Annual Napkin Art Contest, Mama’s Royal Cafe, 4012 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

3. Entries must be received by March 31, 2005.

4. Limit 5 entries per person.

5. Decisions of judges final.

6. All entries become property of Mama’s Royal Cafe.

Mama’s Royal Cafe, adjacent to Piedmont, Rockridge and Berkeley, has been dishing-up scrumptious breakfast and lunch since 1974. The cafe has received "best" awards from San Francisco Focus, East Bay Express, Bay Guardian, S F Magazine and the S F Chronicle. The great food is an inspiration for loyal patrons and napkin artists too.

Digital pictures of past napkin art & Mama’s Royal Café cafe are available upon request.

George Marino, Mama’s owner and founder of the Napkin Art Contest, is available for interviews.

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Michael Scippa
415 435-3359
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