Bears&Buds Second Annual Contest

URSA 2007 Awards

Worldwide Major Award Contest open to all Bear and Soft Sculpture Artist.

Reach Beyond The Stars!

Voting begins
July 10

World Competion!

New categories!

Great awards!


Contest is now official closed for 2007 entries.


between design

and completion

is the perfect blend

of artistic balance...


In the tradition of the greatest fine arts

establishments, Bears&Buds announces its second annual major awards contest, the URSA Awards.

URSA is not just another name for bear or a constellation; URSA is an acronym for the criteria by which we ask readers to judge and vote for each entry:

Unparalleled Beauty

Rarity of Vision

Style beyond Compare

Artistic Merit

Point of Difference

While we strive to acknowledge the excellence of artists in the teddy bear world, we also wish to recognize the abilities of our readers to pinpoint those artistic works worthy of the highest honors.

The collecting public will be the only judges and they will have an opportunity to view all entries and vote. WE have no judging panels.

The other major difference between the URSA Awards and other contests pertains to our overall emphasis on both bears and buds (animals other than bears).


You can enter a different bear or a bud in every category. For those of you who specialize in animals other than bears, you are no longer limited to just one category but are eligible to enter all categories. One unique bear/bud per category only.

Notice to Our Readers


We bestow upon you, our readers and collecting enthusiasts, the privilege to choose the artists you believe have ventured beyond where others have ever dared to tread, blazing trails to the next age of fine bear art, knowing that the path less-traveled will soon become the road to follow.

A bear artist follows the call of their inner being as it cries out to create.  They follow their own path and stretch the wings of their talent.

Creating appreciation for visual beauty, they breathe life into designs that appeal to our very core, making us yearn to own the piece of inspiration made tangible.

You, as a reader-judge, will vote for the one creation in each category which you believe possesses the indefinable quality that frees your own creativity and dreams - the piece that "speaks to you" as it will to others - one that also reveals aspects of the artist who created it.

You will also be evaluating whether the artist has "gone beyond" and "reached outside the box" with their work and reward those you feel have done so, with your vote. 

First round of voting begins in July 2007

Ursa Major


The constellation Ursa Major contains the group of stars commonly called the Big Dipper.

The handle of the Dipper is the Great Bear’s tail and the Dipper’s cupisthe Bear’s flank.

Not a constellation, the Big Dipper is actually a distinctive group of stars, called an asterism.

Another famous asterism is the Little Dipper in the constellation, Ursa Minor.

Myths and Legends

The Greeks say that their highest deity, Zeus fell in love with Callisto, a river goddess. Together they had a boy named Arcas.

When his wife, Hera, found out her husband had been unfaithful, in blind anger, she brought divine wrath down on the poor nymph.

Hera turned Callisto into a bear; forever cursed to wander the wilds as an animal.

Callisto’s hands twisted into massive paws, her body became covered with fur, her face twisted into a muzzle and she was transformed into a terrible bear.

Arcas was devastated at the disappearance of his mother. He did not realize she had been cursed.

One day, while hunting, Arcas came upon a great bear drinking water from a stream, unaware of his presence.

Not realizing the bear was his mother, Arcas notched an arrow and waited for the best moment to fire.

Discovering Arcas was about to slay his mother,Zeus (who knew what Hera had done), took pity on the pair and transformed Arcas into a bear as well.

Zeus plucked up the two bears and hurled them safe up into the sky, to wander forever as the asterisms Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

According to Native American legends, the bowl of the Big Dipper is a giant bear; the stars of the handle are three warriors chasing it.

The constellation, low in the sky in autumn evening sky, is said to represent hunters who injured the bear and its blood caused the trees to change color to red.

Although the whole of Ursa Major is difficult to see without very dark skies, the Big Dipper is one of the most recognized patterns in the northern sky.

In other cultures, it was identified as a wagon or cart, a plow, a bull’s thigh, and (to the Chinese) the government.

Historical Impact

The Big Dipper played a very important role in the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves escape from the South before the Civil War.

There were songs spread among the slaves, which included references to the “Drinking Gourd.”

The songs said to follow

the “ Drinking Gourd” to find a better life. This veiled message for the slaves to flee north was passed along, as songs.

Written by: Staff Writer

One of the criteria's is that entrants create something different than what they normally would. The difference can encompass style, size, medium, whatever; even subject matter - maybe a cat instead of a bear, mohair instead of faux fur, a new design perhaps, but is not limited to something new. A standard favorite bear/bud can be entered too. Reach for new heights with your imagination and create a winning entry.


Basic Contest Rules  

The Ursa Awards are an International contest and open to all teddy bear and soft sculpture artists from around the world. There is no prerequisite that the artist must be a Professional Member of Bears&Buds to enter the URSA Awards.

If you would like to become a Professional Member, simply proceed to our Join page for an online form and view the total membership benefits.

For Original Artist entries, each entry must be 100% designed and produced by the submitting artist as a limited edition, an open edition, or a one-of-a-kind. 

If the work is dressed, the clothing needs to be designated as to whether it was made by the submitting artist or the clothing was purchased. If the clothing is incorporated, it is considered a dressed bear/bud.

For Manufacturer Entries, the submitted piece must be 100% designed by one of the manufacturer’s original artists or an original artist who will need to co-sign the entry form to indicate their agreement with the entry.  The photos of the finished entry must be created from a prototype 100% produced by the original artist.


Except for the Best Friends-Pairs and the Vignette Category, entries must depict only one bear or bud.

To determine size, measure the work in an upright, standing position (unless the work is designed to be on all fours), the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.

Entries can be sent via eMail with the specified jpg photo requirements, or by regular mail with 4x6 colored photographs which will not be returned unless a self-address stamped envelop is included. All entries must be in our office or in our email box by June 20, 2007.

Bears&Buds has the right to ask for supporting documentation of original work such as concept sketches, explanation of inspirations involved in the work, preliminary designs, or a paragraph on how the work was developed, would be appropriate.

Entry Fees

The Worldwide non-member fee for the URSA Awards is $60.00 for each entry.

Bears&Buds Professional Members, (with membership paid at the time of the awards), fee is $20.00 for each entry.

You may enter as many categories as you wish with a different bear/bud for each category. One bear/bud can not appear in multiple categories.

One eMail per entry. In the body of the eMail, place the description plus the three required photographs. In the subject line state the category and name of the bear or bud. Or use the regular mail; address below.

Fees due to cancellation are non-refundable.


The URSA Awards Contest is won by popular vote. Readers, collectors, artists and friends will cast their votes for their favorite bear or bud in each category. There will be two rounds of voting. The first to determine the top five in each category; the second round will determine the winning positions. The winner of the grand prize, the URSA Major Award, is the one entry with the most votes. In case of a tie a non affiliated person will cast the final vote .


Top Award: URSA Major (formerly known as the Ursa Prime) is not a category because the the URSA Major Award is the Grand Prize Winner. Voted the best overall. All winners are chosen by popular vote from the Top Five Winners in each category, which will be the second round of voting.

First Place Winner in each category receives a prestigious acrylic engraved award.

Second and Third Place winners in each category receives a rosette ribbon, plus a few extra surprises too.

Special Recognition Awards from several leading businesses, to be announced soon.

Bears&Buds reserves the rights to publish all photographs submitted for the URSA Awards contest in Web publication format for voting as well as for marketing campaigns for all Webzine features.


URSA Contest Categories

Category Choices (Gollies are considered Buds):


1.    Wee Little Bear or Bud - under 6"  Dressed or undressed.

2.    Medium Bear or Bud   - 8 to 14" - Dressed or undressed.

3.    Big Bear or Bud - 15" and over - Dressed or undressed.

4.    Four on the Floor - Bears standing on all for legs.


5.    Best Friends - Pair of bears or buds or combination of each.


6.    Good Golly! - Gollies in all sizes.


7.    Wild and Zany - A walk on the wild side - any animal in the kingdom.


8.    Bear or Bud Needle Felted - any size - dressed or undressed.

9.    Bear or Bud Amigurumi Japanese-Style - any medium.

10.  Bear or Bud - Crocheted - Made from threads.

11.  Vignette - Bears or Buds in a scene - all by the same artist.

12.  Manufactured Bear or Bud - all sizes and styles.


Timetable  Contest is now official closed for 2007 entries.

April 5 to June 22, 2007 - Entry forms and fees accepted during this period. Placement on the voting pages, in each category, is on a first come, first serve basis.

EXAMPLE OF PHOTO LAYOUT SHOWN BELOW which is not an actual entry.

July 10 to July 30, 2007 - First Round of voting begins. Readers vote for their favorites in each category. Round one determines the top five entries in each category. You can campaign for votes Send the link to customers, family, friends and post the link on your web site too!

August 10 to August 30, 2007 - Second round of voting.  Votes are tabulated and determine the top winners of each category. The winner with the most overall votes wins the URSA Major Award.

September 29, 2007  The URSA Award Winners will be announced on our web site and awards are mailed/shipped on October 1, 2007.

Special Note: Specific Top Five Winners within categories will not be designated nor disclosed until the URSA Awards announcement is posted on our web site on September 29, 2007

Submit three photographs with each entry.

Submit via eMail one large photo plus two smaller ones in each eMail or attached to an eMail. The large photo measures 500 pixels wide and 300 dpi. Or mail a 4x6" colored photograph. Please remove all text from the photos.

No computer printed photos will be accepted, only professionally printed 35mm glossy photographs mailed to us.

Right side photo, sized 245 pixels wide and 300 dpi.

Left side photo, sized 245 pixels wide and 300 dpi. Please crop out the unnecessary background as to bring attention and focus to the bear or bud you are entering.

Or two photo that help describe your entries.

Please name your photos as follows:

Your business name-name of bear or bud. This is how it should look for the three photos shown above. No symbols or spaces in the photo name.




How to write a description

Submit a paragraph (up to 100 words) describing your entry. Include then Name of your piece, size, fabric, paw pads, eyes, construction features, stuffing and additional details. Sign the paragraph with your name, business name, email and web site addresses. Please do not use "w/" or "appox." or "&" in your descriptions. No abbreviations. Replace 'appox.' with the word 'about' and 'w/' spell out 'with'  Please only capitalize proper name, trade names or titles.

More details are listed in the:

Official URSA Awards Entry Form
Link has been deactivated.
Contest is now official closed for 2007 entries.


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