Riks Siemons exemplifies everything that this prestigious award represents. The artistry and the generosity of Lee Toy himself are standards by which Riks Siemons has carved his place within kiting. For well over 30 years, Riks Siemons has set the bar, raised the bar, reinvented the bar, and – most importantly – even widened the bar by sharing his knowledge and his own learning processes as widely as possible. His influences have been most widely assimilated amongst the European kite community and, even without the same familiarity and name recognition as is apparent in Europe; those influences are widely shared throughout the rest of the world.
Artistically, Riks has a very long and wide history of creating and displaying kites which define the diversity of colour, contrast and geometry.
Technologically, Riks has an uncanny way of taking something – anything – and making it better by identification, dissection, and embellishment. Riks has managed to raise the level of both the technology and the creativity of the art and the sport of kiting.
Riks creativity has seen no boundaries. No one looks up in the sky and identifies a “Riks Siemons’ kite” by it’s design. Rather, people look in the sky and ask, “Who came up with that amazing, incredible kite?” Riks’ Siemons kites always cover the entire gamut of kite genres.
But what sets Riks apart, above and beyond what he puts into it, is what he gives away. No visitor leaves his Space Art showroom empty handed. He gives away kites, and books, and magazines, and kite plans, to anyone who expresses an interest. Expounding on the opportunities to share his knowledge, he coordinates with youth groups and schools for exhibits, in-house workshops, hands-on instruction, and show-and-tell demonstrations; all followed, of course, by a trip to the closest field to fly kites. Riks shares the knowledge and the joy of kiting openly and copiously with all who are fortunate enough to discover his world.
By his intensions and his actions, he also CARRIES the bar – he carries the bars for all of us. Because of who Riks Siemons is and what he brings to the world of kiting, he makes all of us better. These qualities make Riks Siemons an ideal candidate for receipt of the Lee Toy Award.
Katja & Markus Flender (D)
Sonja & Dirk Krüger (D)
Bernhard Dingwerth (D)
Christian Baden Powell