Tag Archives: NWMAC Star Artist of the Year

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. Many times people serve in both roles. Of the Year Award winners were nominated by area residents.

2020 Of the Year Award Winners include:

Rob Burkel of Thief River Falls will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for theater arts. Rob has been involved in theater in the Thief River Falls area for 30 years. His dedication and talent is well known and admired. 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.

NW Artist of the Year Rob Burkel in The Boys Next Door

Bruce Piersol of Red Lake Falls will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Piersol is a musician and a strong advocate for the arts. He has performed and organized numerous musical groups bringing music to people who otherwise might not be able to experience it. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Bruce Piersol

Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls will receive the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Wavra is a self-taught wood carver, creating life-size animals, Vikings, and trolls with a chainsaw. His carvings can be found throughout the area. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once as a lifetime achievement award.

NW Star Award Winner Joe Wavra

These awards will be presented on Tuesday, August 18 in Red Lake Falls. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our celebration of these wonderful artists and leaders in our area will be limited to close friends and family.

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.

NW Star Award Recipient George French

Northwest Star Award Winner is George French

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that George French of Crookston has been selected as the 2019 Northwest Minnesota Star Artist of the Year for his lifetime achievement in music, specializing in piano and organ.

French is an Associate Professor and Director of Music/Theater at the University of Minnesota Crookston and has been there for 39 years. Early in his career, he taught elementary and junior high school music.  He is the church organist at Trinity Lutheran church and part-time organist at First Presbyterian church. He has been involved with the Crookston Community Theater, directing and acting in musicals and plays, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club, Crookston Rotary and Masonic Lodge. 

French disclosed that he feels fortunate. “I never really feel like I go to work”.  He explained that “Arts are critical in the development of students; development of the person. The arts are part of the whole educational process that will fulfill a need in all people. The arts and arts organizations like the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council are terribly important, especially in a rural area.”

Asked if he had any advice for aspiring artists. He said, “Grab onto the opportunities when they come. Know your limitations, but you can grow and learn. Set new goals and aspirations.” 

Sandy Perkins explained, “George’s influence in the arts in the area of NW Minnesota and throughout the state is widely known and appreciated. His talents and influence are exceptional to all who know him and work with him.”

Reverend Gregory Isaacson shared, “George affirms people in their gifts and helps them to shine in their own performance.” Finally, former Chancellor at UMC Charles Casey praised French’s work at the college. “Each year it was amazing to watch George find and support the talents of the students coming to campus from across the country and around the world. Before long he would have them performing for the enjoyment of the campus, community, and region.”

The Northwest Star Artist Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. “Of the Year” Award winners are nominated by area residents. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. Funding for the Northwest Star comes from the McKnight Foundation.  

Congratulations George French on winning the Northwest Star Award!

Of the Year Awards

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.

Of the Year Award Winners include:

NW Artist of the Year Jean Honl

Jean Honl of Roseau will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for fine craft of rosemaling. 

Jean has been rosemaling for over 45 years. Her work is currently exhibited in our gallery in East Grand Forks. 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.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Winner Sherri Kukowski

Sherri Kukowski of Badger will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. 

Ms. Kukowski is a mosaic artist and a strong advocate for the arts. She created the Heritage Wall at the Badger Community Center — a 26 ‘ X 12 ” glass mosaic public art installation showcasing rural life in northern Minnesota. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Star Award Winner George French

George French of Crookston will receive the Northwest Star Award.

Mr. French is a musician, specializing in piano and organ, and head of the music and theater departments at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He has directed numerous theater productions and is a dedicated and active volunteer in his communityThis award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

These awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Sunday, March 31in Badger at the Badger Community Center at 111 North Main Street, Badger, MN  56714. Refreshments will be served at 2:15 pm with the program beginning promptly at 3:00 pm. Local entertainment will be featured during the program. In addition, the 2019 Creative Minnesota survey results for our region will be presented, followed by a brief discussion of the impact of the arts and culture in the region. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information about the Arts Exhibit see our website: http://www.northwestminnesotaartscouncil.org/2019/03/2019-nw-annual-art-exhibit/

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.

“of the Year” awards open, nominate an artist or arts advocate!

Nominations Now Accepted for

“Of the Year” Awards

 including

Northwest Artist of the Year Award $500

Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award $500

Northwest Star Award for $5000!

NWMAC is accepting nominations for our “Of The Year” Awards. The nomination form is on our website.

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. Many times people serve in both roles. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500.00 and often goes to a local leader who lives in the area where the artist reception will be held.  But anyone is eligible to be nominated.  Arts includes all disciplines.

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 to use however they see fit.

Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. This award is for $5,000.00 and can be a wonderful gift to those who have chosen a hard career path related to artistic expression.

Our deadline for nominations is always Feb 28 each year. Please consider nominating someone who you view as a deserving candidate from our seven county service area in northwestern Minnesota. Persons who believe their nominee would qualify for this award and have questions should contact the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council office at (218) 745-9111 or email mara@nwrdc.org for more information.  Again, the deadline for nominations is February 28, 2019.

Awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit  Reception on Sunday, March 31 in Badger, Minnesota at the Community Center. For more information about the Arts Exhibit click here.

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.


“Of the Year” Award Winners & Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Reception

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is Pleased to Announce

“Of the Year” Award Winners

Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Reception

 

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 Gayle Moen of Shelly, Jane Vigness of Climax, and Annelee Woodstrom of Ada!

These “Of the Year” awards and the NW Art Exhibit awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Sunday, April 30 in Halstad at the Norman County West High School cafeteria and small gym at 2:00 pm. Please come starting at 12:00 noon to view the 100 pieces of high quality regional artwork on display in the NCW library and vote for people’s choice.  At 1:15 enjoy a snack and music entertainment in the cafeteria.  The program will begin promptly at 2:00 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, the 2017 Creative Minnesota Report about Northwest Minnesota will be given by Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Sheila Smith, followed by a brief discussion of the impact of the arts and culture in the region. Craig Dunn from VSA Minnesota will be attending to meet and greet and talk about the Americans for Disabilities Act. He will have information that helps arts organizations work towards inclusion for people with special needs. Kathee Foran will be attending as a program director at the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB).  She will have materials related to grants and services of MSAB. The public is welcome to attend. RSVP for the reception at 218-745-9111. For more information about the Arts Exhibit see our website: http://www.northwestminnesotaartscouncil.org/2017/04/northwest-minnesota-arts-council-annual-exhibition/

Of the Year Award Winners include:

Gayle Moen, Shelly MN, will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award. Ms. Moen is a musician. She plays the piano and organ. She is a long-time educator in the Crookston Public School System. 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.

Jane Vigness of rural Climax will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Ms. Vigness is the librarian in Climax and is active in the Sandhill Historical Society. She is also active in the Association of the French of the North and as a board member helps organize their arts festival each year in August. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

Annelee Woodstrom of Ada will receive the Northwest Star Award. 

Ms. Woodstrom is a writer and previously an award-winning school teacher in Twin Valley. She has written about her life in War Child: Growing Up in Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Empty Chairs. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

Please come on April 30 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.