ARTSConnect is preparing for a big night celebrating the arts on October 29th in Topeka. That evening, the arts community will come together for the 2016 Arty Awards where the best and the brightest of the arts in Topeka will be recognized for their contributions. Winners of The Liz Stratton Arts Patron Award are Judith & Frank Sabatini. The Topeka Art Guild will receive the Legacy Arts Award in recognition of their 100 years of arts in Topeka. Winners in other categories will be announced on the night of the awards event. The finalists are as follows:
GLENDA TAYLOR VISUAL ARTS AWARD
John Holcomb: Emerging local artist with incredible talent. Former artistic director for jones huyett Partners. http://johnholcomb.com/bio-cv/
Britta McKee: Owner of Tobias Designs, Britta produces a broad line of jewelry sold in 4 states including works made of original copper from the statehouse dome. http://www.tobiasjewelrydesigns.com/
Larry Peters: Sculptor and graduate of WU, Larry is a nationally-known sculptor and was the original director of the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.
COMMUNITY ARTS AWARD
Downtown Topeka, Inc.: They are recognized for their commitment to offering high quality, free entertainment to support the renovation and rebirth of downtown Topeka. https://www.downtowntopekainc.com/
Restoration of Animal Land @ Gage Park: Jim & Debbie George spearheaded the effort to restore the cement animals at Gage Park which had been severely damaged by graffiti and vandalism. It was a great community effort which benefits us all.
The Unspoken Violence Project: Artist George Mayfield leads a group of artists in a photography and multimedia collaboration to explore and raise awareness about domestic violence. http://cjonline.com/news/2016-02-27/project-uses-art-shed-light-domestic-violence
LITERARY ARTS AWARD
Microburst Kansas: A zine created by a collective of local and regional artists in response to the demise of state funding for the arts. http://microburstkansas.org/
Leah Sewell: A notable Kansas poet from Topeka with strong ties to our community. She authored the grant which garnered the library its 2016 designation of the Best Library in the Country! http://leahsewell.com/
Nancy Sprowell Geise: Author of Auschwitz #34207 The Joe Rubinstein Story, which details the life of of an Auschwitz survivor. The book is included in the National Holocaust Museum. More information here: http://cjonline.com/news/2015-04-26/surviving-holocaust-thriving-life.
PERFORMING ARTS AWARD
Martinez Hillard: Local Hip Hop and Indie recording artist who performs currently solo and with Ebony Tusks. Previously, he was a member of popular Midwestern band, Cowboy Indian Bear. Bringing up young musicians, inspiring audiences and putting his powerful stage presence to use in highlighting issues of social justice. https://twitter.com/ebonytusks
Last Minute Folk: This dedicated group brings nationally and internationally known singer-songwriters to Topeka to perform original music and represent the best in folk, Americana, and traditional music genres, including blues, Americana, bluegrass, contemporary, and world-inspired, to name but a few. http://www.lastminutefolk.org/
Topeka Blues Society: Founded in 2008 to promote blues in Topeka and surrounding areas. Heavily involved with community efforts to expose youth to blues, artists to audiences and increasing access to and understanding of the blues. http://www.topekabluessociety.org/wp/
DESCRIPTIONS OF CATEGORIES
- Community Art Award: This award goes to an effort within the city that raises the standard of arts in our community. A neighborhood, a parish, a school or other community effort within our city all would qualify.
- Performing Art Award: This award goes to a performing artist, company or group that has exhibited a commitment to increasing the quality of performance, audience engagement and makes Topeka a more entertaining place to live, work and play.
- Glenda Taylor Visual Art Award: This award goes to an individual artist or group of artists who have exhibited a commitment to our community through their creation of visual artwork.
- Literary Art Award: This award goes to a writer or group of writers who have a Topeka connection or who write about the city.
- People’s Choice: Favorite First Friday Artwalk Location: Ballots are being collected across the city through October 9th. Ballots will be tallied and the winner will be announced at the 6th Annual Arty Awards!
Tickets to the event are $55 and attendees can expect complimentary beverages, dessert, seating for the award presentation. Following the awards, DJ Johnny Quest will be on the turntables and so dancing shoes are encouraged. Thanks to the Halloween weekend, attendees are encouraged to participate in the “black and white” costume contest and wrap up their evening by attending the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Jayhawk Theatre.
Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2581094