Montana State University

MSU School of Art hosts World Champion Belt Buckle competition and exhibit

May 7, 2013

"Space Cowboy," a buckle made by Daniel Icaza of Escazu, San Jose, Costa Rica, was the first place winner in the MSU World Champion Belt Buckle competition. Icaza's buckle, as well as buckles made by other finalists, will be exhibited online throughout 2013 at A selection of finalist entries will also be exhibited at the MSU Renne Library this summer.   High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

A belt buckleand hand-tooled leatherbelt made by Costa Rican artist Daniel Icaza was the winner of the second annual World Championship Belt Buckle Competition hosted by the Montana State University School of Art. 

Bryan Petersen, professor in the MSU School of Art and one of the event's organizers, said the contest attracted 120 buckle entries from countries throughout the world.

"The second annual World Championship Belt Buckle Competition is a juried online exhibition inviting all one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, wearable examples in the belt buckle format including western, modern, fashion, narrative and conceptual," Petersen said.

Last year's champion, Nancy Anderson of Sweetbird Studios in Boulder, Colo., visited MSU to judge this year's competition and spoke to MSU metalsmith students about the "art of business." Entries were all one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, wearable examples in the belt buckle format. All styles and interpretations were welcome, including western, modern, fashion, conceptual and narrative. Entrants submitted photos of their entries online.

Icaza's first place entry, "Space Cowboy," was made of sterling silver, copper, brass, bronze, imperial jasper (variscite) and employed a Japanese lamination technique known as Mokume-Gane. Icaza's winning entry and the 60 finalists' entries will be on display throughout 2013 at  A selection of finalists' entries will also be on exhibit at MSU's Renne Library this summer

Petersen said first, second and third place winners received money awards and Icaza will receive a world champion title buckle made by Mary Klacza.

Petersen organized and juried the competition while MSU alumni Ben Fjare and Jason Johnson of Prime Incorporated developed the online gallery and prospectus. The Web concept was developed by alumni Alex Rich. MSU graphic design student Jessica Lohmeier edited images for the photographs.

Second place winner John Winston of Bunnell, Fla., will create the champion buckle for the competition's 2014 winner.

For more information on the contest, go to




Bryan Petersen (406) 994-2952, (912) 531-4625

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