2018 Of the Year Award Winners Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is Pleased to Announce

“Of the Year” Award Winners

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients are Jim Kent of Crookston, Betsy Saurdiff of Grygla and Scott Pream of Thief River Falls!

These “Of the Year” awards and the NW Art Exhibit awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Saturday, April 28 in Thief River Falls at the Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA) at 2:30 pm. Please come starting at 9:30 am that day to view the 99 pieces of high quality regional artwork on display in the REA lobby and vote for people’s choice.  At 2:00 enjoy a snack and music entertainment in the cafeteria.  The program will begin promptly at 2:30 with the main focus being the recognition and celebration of artists and the arts in Northwest Minnesota.  Everyone is welcome to this free event.

In addition, there will be an Arts Expo starting with a VSA presentation by Craig Dunn at 11:00 in the Dakota Room. This is for artists with disabilities as well as Arts Leaders or other organizations trying to provide access to people with disabilities. Round table presentations representing numerous arts organizations will be held from noon to 2pm in the Imperial Room. See here for more information.

Of the Year Award Winners include:

Scott Pream of Thief River Falls will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award. Mr. Pream is an extraordinary actor who also works behind the scenes to help others shine.  Our Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00.

Betsy Saurdiff of Grygla will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Ms. Saurdiff is an art teacher in the Goodridge School District. She is passionate about the visual arts, an accomplished artist who works primarily in ceramics and encourages art exploration in her community. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

Jim Kent of Crookston will receive the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Kent is a musician and previously a school teacher in the Crookston School District.  He is active in the Crookston arts community through the community theater, civic music league, Pirate Fine Arts Boosters and Community Oratorios.  He shares his music skills with his church, the school and the community. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

Please come on April 28 to show support for our artists.  Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.