Apologies come first because someone will get short-changed. The new crop of Arty Award winners brim with so many accomplishments, there isn’t room to list them. Forgiveness is sought.
Here are the honorees:
Danielle Juzan Performing Artist Award: Daniel Mainwaring is a multi-award-winning community theatre actor and director who has appeared in TV ads and on every stage and with every company in the Mobile area, including Theatre USA, Mobile Ballet and Mobile Opera.
Organization: The Eastern Shore Art Center has provided support since 1965 with classes, bimonthly exhibits, an annual open show and an annual juried show. Over 1,100 students attended their classes and workshops; their summer art camp had 242 children; and their award-winning outreach program brings art to underserved populations.
Art Soldier: RSVP of Mobile County connects individuals age 55 and older to a diverse range of community service. In 2019, 278 volunteers gave over 39,000 hours of service to 54 nonprofit agencies in our area, including Mobile Arts Council, Saenger Theatre, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Joe Jefferson Playhouse, Mobile Ballet, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile Opera, Mobile Symphony Orchestra and Mobile Theatre Guild.
Arts Educator: Eric Browne has taught theater for Mobile County Public Schools for 13 years and is currently at Baker High Schoo, Actor’s Edge Studio and Sunny Side Theater. At Joe Jefferson Playhouse, Eric directed 11 plays and was a guest director at the University of South Alabama.
Cultural Innovation: Courtney Matthews created Neu Dawn, an art-installation event melding visual art, music and fashion with over 70-plus creatives involved. This May marks its third year benefiting a local nonprofit’s summer arts programming. She created the Wild Maidens, avant-garde designer interpretations of Southern belles for Alabama Contemporary Art Center’s Wild Things Ball, and designed window installations with live models for the Haunted Book Shop.
Business: For 25 years, Ashland Gallery has been a place where serious collectors, students and those just curious about art are equally comfortable. Showing work by the region’s best artists and craftspeople, hosting art classes and finding fun gifts encourage creativity and fun.
Literary Artist: Writing under the pen name Angela Quarles, Angela Trigg is a USA Today best-selling author and winner of a prestigious 2016 RITA Award. She revived a family and Mobile tradition when she opened the Haunted Book Shop in 2018. It assumed the title of her grandmother’s legendary downtown shop that existed from 1941 to 1991.
Musical Artist: Professor Robert Holm heads the University of South Alabama’s piano division and has directed their summer piano camp since 2011. He has appeared as soloist with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Youth Symphony and Mobile Symphonic Pops. In 2006, Holm, violinist Enen Yu and cellist Guo-Sheng Huang formed the Archduke Piano Trio, which has performed over 40 standard chamber works throughout Alabama and Mississippi.
Patron: Lynn Oldshue’s blog, “Our Southern Souls,” tells the stories of artists, musicians, strangers and people she meets, showing how local art, music and stories of residents define Mobile and bring its citizens together. She recently partnered with the Mobile Arts Council, artist Ginger Woechan and Hayley’s Bar for the “Souls of Mobile” mural to enshrine integral Mobilians. She started the Facebook groups “Faces of Mobile” and “A Day in the Life of Mobile” to show the beauty in the daily life and small moments of the city.
Visual Artist: Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough uses texture, gesture and color in an open, spontaneous way. Currently represented by Sophiella Gallery in Mobile and Hall-Barnett Gallery in New Orleans, her themes include the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast, domesticity, gender fluidity, female archetypes and Carnival. She is widely revered for her instruction and lectures on art.
Lifetime Achievement: Bill Barrick became executive director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home in November 1999. He has been honored with numerous awards and commendations from state and national organizations. In 2018, he was inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame and in 2019 he was presented the Service Award from the American Public Garden Association. In February 2020, Dr. Barrick will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn University.
If you want the full breadth of the honorees’ measure, there’s only one solution: Attend the awards ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m. at The Steeple (251 St. Francis St.).
The evening features performances by the Chip Herrington Jazz Quintet, Power Lines Poetry, Mobile Ballet, Mobile Opera and Joe Jefferson Playhouse. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres are included.
Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. To purchase, call 251-432-9796 or go to mobilearts.org.
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