ACHOF Breaking News for January 6, 2023 – Special Award Show Updates

Special Award Show updates posted January 6th, 2023 by Mike Goldstein,

a) With the voting for the 18th annual Best Art Vinyl awards having finished in mid-December, we’ve all had to sit and wait impatiently for the announcement of who were the top vote-getters. Well, the waiting is now over, with the winners announced at a ceremony held on the 5th of January 2023 at the Hari London Belgravia.

According to the press info on the Best Art Vinyl site, the top vote-getters in this year’s competition were as follows:

1st place was awarded for artwork done by Simon Monk for Black Country, New Road’s album ‘Ants From Up There’;

2nd place was awarded for the artwork produced by Bart Balboa for Birds In Row’s album ‘Gris Klein’

3rd place was awarded for the Illustration done by Jake Blanchard for Richard Dawson’s album ‘The Ruby Cord

According to the contest’s producers, “The winning ‘Ants From Up There’ sleeve design, is just one image from a series of still life paintings inhabiting two worlds at once – one being an every-day reality and one filled with fantasy and imagination.

The album artwork brought the ‘plastic bag paintings’ to a new audience and, for the artist, started as a solution to the problem of how to make a still life oil painting in the 21st century, without it being old fashioned, whilst demonstrating how a painting can dignify a cheap or otherwise insignificant object. Monk’s mission has certainly been achieved here and is enhanced by the additional paintings in the series, which feature on the album’s deluxe box set.

Huge Congratulations to our winner and to the equally engaging artworks for the Birds In Row and Richard Dawson sleeve designs.

A big thank you goes out to our nominations panel and to all of you who voted for your favourites.

You can look at the winning entries on the Best Art Vinyl site via this link –

As mentioned in the previous coverage of this competition, this year’s award efforts are being augmented by the fact that, in addition to a public display of the 50 nominated covers, the team at Best Art Vinyl (in conjunction with The Civic Barnsley) has curated an exhibition now on display (running through the 22nd of January, 2023) at The Collection and Usher Gallery in Lincoln (Lincolnshire), U.K., a museum of art and archaeology located about 150 miles north of London and about 110 miles east of Manchester.

As I also mentioned previously, this display will travel later in the Spring to other venues to be announced.

I do hope that you all had the chance to see the nominated covers and vote on your favorites. I’m sure that you’ll agree that this year’s 50 nominated works of art were excellent examples of the wide range of musical and graphics/photo talent that contributed to the past year’s retail/self-published record releases. As always, a group of noted judges from the worlds of art and music spent many hours sifting through the hundreds of packages submitted, with their favorites then voted on by album art fans from all over the world.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and this year’s winners for jobs well done!

b) Last-minute addition – also in today’s news was the notice that famed musician/photographer/gallerist (and 2012 inductee in the “Photographer” category in the Album Cover Hall of Fame) Henry Diltz will be presented with a Trustees Award from the Recording Academy (AKA the Grammy Organization) on February 4th as a part of the Recording Academy®’s annual GRAMMY® Week ceremonies. According to the pre-show PR, “This Special Merit Award is presented to those who have made significant contributions in the music industry during their careers” and, with over 250 album cover credits, including those for recordings by The Doors, Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor, George Harrison, Jackson Browne, Dan Fogelberg and many others, it’s great to see the Academy bestowing this honor to this very talented and influential individual.

Born in Kansas City, MO in 1938, Henry was a founding member of the Modern Folk Quartet, formed in 1962 in Hawaii, before moving to Los Angeles to become regular performers at The Troubadour, tour the club circuit throughout the U.S.  and release two albums on Warner Bros. Records before disbanding in 1966. His experience as a musician on tour gave him a unique perspective as he’s worked as a visual historian of the last five-plus decades of popular music. The rapport he’s developed with his musician friends, along with his down-to-earth-grin and frequent laugh, enables him to capture the candid shots that convey a rare feeling of trust and intimacy with his subjects. For Diltz, the pictures began with a $20 second-hand Japanese camera purchased while on tour with the Modern Folk Quartet. When MFQ disbanded, he embarked on his photographic career with album covers for The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Monkees, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and, as he’s remained active as a photojournalist, over 80 other acts. For over 50 years, in addition to his album cover images, his work has been featured in books, magazines and newspapers. His unique artistic style has produced powerful photographic essays of Woodstock, The Monterey Pop Festival, The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix and scores of other legendary artists.

Despite his lack of formal training, Diltz easily submerged himself in the world of music: the road, the gigs, the humor, the social consciousness, the psychedelia, the up and down times. Henry Diltz is a partner in and is exclusively published and represented by the Morrison Hotel Gallery. Biographical information excerpted from Mr. Diltz’s bio, along with a portfolio of his work, is available for viewing at

Congratulations, Henry, and keep up the great work.

Stay tuned for our regular monthly news summary – much more to come.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2022-2023 Mike Goldstein and – All Rights Reserved. All of the trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

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