2018 Arts Awards Winners
The Arts Council of Northeast Louisiana held its 33rd annual Northeast Louisiana Arts Awards at 6:30 p.m. March 1 at the Vantage Health Plan, Inc. Banquet Room. Origin Bank sponsored the event. In attendance was Louisiana Division of the Arts Executive Director, Cheryl Castille, who gave remarks.
The Edmund Williamson Artist of the Year Award went to the visual artist ensemble of EmJ Cruz and Ali Hijazi, nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance and presented by Arts Council board chair Michael Sawyer. Cruz and Hijazi are debuting a public art piece at the Monroe Regional Airport this month. They received a stained glass sculpture made by local artist Bruce Fleming. Other nominees included:
- Dr. Scot Humes, nominated by the Monroe Symphony Orchestra
- Gretchen Jones, nominated by the Twin City Ballet
- Michael Levine, nominated by the Louisiana Delta Ballet
Visual artist Accie Sullivan won the Dorothy Bassett Emerging Artist Award, presented by Arts Council board member and professional artist Courtney Wetzel. He was nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance. Sullivan received a stained glass sculpture by local artist Bruce Fleming, as well as a $1,000 cash prize to further his professional career as an artist. Sullivan will graduate from ULM in May and is applying to various graduate school programs across the nation. Other Dorothy Bassett Emerging Artist Award nominees were Krislynne Flowers of the Twin City Ballet, and Taylor Smith of the Louisiana Delta Ballet.
Arts Council Administrative Vice Chair Ashley K. West will announce the nominees of Volunteer of the Year Award. Bobbye Legan of the Monroe Symphony League won, and she received a handmade wooden bowl by local artisan Audie Maxey. Other nominees included:
- Jen Brister, nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance
- Marilyn Koepke, nominated by the Monroe Symphony Orchestra
- Lacy Miletello, nominated by the Louisiana Delta Ballet
- Celeste Shivers, nominated by The Princess Theatre
- Darris Waren, nominated by the Twin City Ballet
Patti Nelson, Origin Bank senior vice president of retail banking and past Arts Council board chair, presented the BART Award. The BART Award, or Business Art Award, recognizes the importance of corporate participation in stabilizing and expanding the arts.
Evans Oil Company, nominated by the Louisiana Delta Ballet, took home the BART Award and the lidded raku jar prize made by local artist Gary Ratcliff. Other 2018 BART nominees were Flying Tiger Brewery, nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance, and Plunk’s Wrecker Service, nominated by the Twin City Ballet.