Artist Advocate of the Year is Ann Novacek

Annethea (Ann) Novacek of Greenbush was awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year in Warroad

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Artist Advocate Ann Novacek with NWMAC Board Chair Katya Zepeda and NWMAC Director Mara Hanel

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipient for the Artist Advocate of the Year Award is Ann Novacek of Greenbush. Novacek received the award at a program in Warroad on August 26.

Novacek is a prolific painter from Greenbush and has encouraged many others in art. In the 1960s Ann joined Artists Unlimited, a group of artists from the region who she has learned with and shared her talents. She remains a member of this group today and serves as its secretary. She has displayed her work in numerous art shows hosted by the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and Artists Unlimited and displays at the Roseau and Greenbush libraries. 

Arts Advocate of the Year Ann Novacek

According to fellow Artists Unlimited member Bernie Wilebski, Ann is an “extraordinary watercolorist. She has been active in the community, church, Ladies Auxiliary, as well as worked on four large projects with our group – Lifecare Center in Roseau, Greenbush swimming pool, Hallock Senior Center, and the Kennedy Center.”

Her sister Loreen Hanson of Thief River Falls shared, “Ann is an encourager to everyone who has an interest in the arts. She has worked with many children, instilling the love of art and appreciation of the beauty that is all around us. Ann’s influence has enriched and influenced so many.”

Artist Margaret Anderson said that Ann has been promoting the arts for more than 35 years in her community and the region. “With Artists Unlimited, Ann has set up and taken down numerous shows and mentored new artists to create paintings. Ann is one of the quiet doers working behind the scene making a project, no matter what it was, proceed without a hitch. Without these quiet doers no project would succeed.”

Asked about the impact of the arts on individuals or society, Ann explained, ‘It’s necessary for one thing if you are artistic at all. Art makes people happy and relaxed and so many things that are positive. If you have a finished product that people like, it’s uplifting, as well. However, you learn disappointment, too. There is lots of art that you throw away or there’s no hope for. It’s not always a success.”

Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is given each year to recognize arts advocates within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” award winners were nominated by area residents. This award comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.