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Art awards to honor outstanding achievers

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

Artists, businesses, patrons and movers and shakers within the arts community are scheduled to be recognized next month at the 43rd Annual Art Awards dinner.

The event will be Nov. 1 at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, 400 W. Douglas. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards.

The annual award dinner is sponsored by The Arts Council, a local nonprofit organization. Since 1999, the Arts Council has served as a focal point for coordinating and promoting the visibility of all cultural arts in Wichita. It works closely with the city’s Department of Arts and Cultural Services.

Tickets for the annual dinner are $50 per person. Tickets are on sale at WichitaTIX.com or by calling 316-219-4849.

This year, 11 recipients will be recognized.

Individual Artist: Chris Gulick for outstanding achievement for his hanging mobile artwork known as “visual kinetics of sculpture.” Gulick has also done work with the Wichita Art Museum, is a supporter of the Go Away Garage and young artist movement of graffiti art.

Arts Advocate/ Individual Award: Dan Rouser for his work in furthering the cause of an art form or the arts in general. Rouser has long been an advocate for the arts. He has served on Wichita’s Cultural Funding Committee and Design Council, the Wichita Arts Council and the Wichita Art Museum. Other groups he has been involved with include the Wichita Symphony, Music Theatre of Wichita and Opera Kansas.

Arts Advocate/Group Award: Jester Awards of Music Theatre of Wichita for their work in furthering the arts through promotional, volunteer, administrative, legislative or professional efforts. For more than a decade, the group has honored south-central Kansas high school students for excellence in musical theater performance.

Arts Educator: Richard Crowson for devoting his career to teaching the arts in an educational environment. Former Eagle editorial cartoonist and editorial commentator for KMUW, Crowson is also a talented musician. He has developed programs with Arts Partners for presentation in Wichita area schools. He teaches both visual and music classes at CityArts.

Arts Organization Award: Wichita Center for the Arts. This award is given to a public, not-for-profit organization that provides arts opportunities for the Wichita community and region. For more than nine decades, the center has been leader in Kansas arts, promoting both visual arts and theatrical performances.

Burton Pell Award: Marilyn Killian for outstanding individual achievement in music. In 1992, Killian helped co-found the Wichita Community Children’s Choir, which is made up of about 100 singers from Wichita area schools.

Special Recognition Award: Karla Burns for outstanding achievement and development in the arts. Wichita-native Burns, a 1972 graduate from West High School and 1978 grad from Wichita State University, is known for her powerful mezzo-soprano that won her an Olivier Award in London and a Tony nomination on Broadway.

Business Award: Clifton Square, Jo Zakas for a business or foundation that provides a broad-based and continued support of the arts through its operation or other foundation funds. A longtime promoter of jazz and the arts, Zakas announced earlier this year that Clifton Square at 3700 E. Douglas would be the new home of the Wichita Jazz Festival’s office. Zakas has also been a longtime supporter of the arts by giving local artists a forum to perform or highlight their works.

Youth Recognition Award: Molly Gardner, who as a student has shown outstanding achievement and development in the arts. Gardner, a student at The Independent High School, has excelled in Irish dancing and is being recognized as a young emerging artist.

Chris Cherches Award: Coleman Rotary Plaza – LawKingdon Architecture for excellence in public art. The whimsical tower, at Second and St. Francis, features a movable wind sculpture at its top and chimes every quarter-hour.

Gordon W. Evans Award: Mike Michaelis for outstanding leadership and support for the arts. Michaelis, a local art collector, is the chairman of Emprise Bank. He’s amassed a collection of Kansas art that includes about 1,700 pieces. He has also contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, the Wichita Art Museum and the Kansas Watercolor Society.

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