Tile Heritage Award, 2010
Designed and produced by Frank Giorgini
Freehold, New York
18" x 18" x 1/2"
Tile Heritage Collection
Gift of Frank Giorgin

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Tile Heritage Award

In July 2010 the Tile Heritage Foundation presented the family of Joe Koons (1948-2010) with the Tile Heritage Award, an honorary tribute conferred by the Foundation’s board of directors to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the tile world. The award itself, titled “Koons to the Moon,” is an 18” x 18” custom tile produced especially for Joe by tile maker Frank Giorgini of Freehold, New York, a longtime friend. The award tile was given to Julie Koons, Joe’s wife, and his daughters Amber and Jennifer at a special celebration held at the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona, California where Joe had been a trustee.

Sheila Menzies, co-founder of Tile Heritage, presented the award:

“Today it is my privilege to present the Tile Heritage Award posthumously to Joe Koons. Joe was an amazing ceramist and glaze master, a teacher and tile maker and a cheerleader for historic tile and for the work of contemporary tile artists as well. His contribution to the field is enormous. He was the ‘go to’ guy for thoughtful advice, encouragement and solid solutions, always delivered with a joyful attitude and genuine interest. We hold his memory close to our hearts.”

The incised tile portrays a grackle, a gregarious, chatty, free-spirited creature favored by Giorgini. The red bird and yellow moon are cone 6 glazes, the red honoring Joe’s work successfully developing brilliant red glazes. Frank named the piece “Koons to the Moon” reflecting the energy flowing from the beak into the universe.