The Arts Council of Northeast Louisiana held its 34th annual Northeast Louisiana Arts Awards at 7:00 p.m. March 7 at the Vantage Health Plan, Inc. Banquet Room. Origin Bank sponsored the event.
The Edmund Williamson Visual Artist of the Year Award went to the visual artist Drek Davis, nominated by the Twin City Art Foundation/ Masur Museum and presented by last year’s winner, Emj Cruz. He received a stained-glass sculpture made by local artist Bruce Fleming. Jason Byron Nelson, nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance, was the second nominee for this category.
The Edmund Williamson Performing Artist of the Year Award was also presented by Emj Cruz. Joe Istre, nominated by the Twin City Ballet Company, was the winner! He received a lidded-banded, raku jar made by local artist Wayne Horton. Runner up and second nominee was Colette Boutwell, nominated by the Louisiana Delta Ballet.
Performing artist Margaret Ann Zentner won the Dorothy Bassett Emerging Artist Award, presented by Arts Council board member Chris Hyde. She was nominated by the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. Zentner received a stained-glass sculpture by local artist Bruce Fleming, as well as a $1,000 cash prize to further her professional career as a performing artist. Other Dorothy Bassett Emerging Artist Award nominees were Krislynne Flowers of the Twin City Ballet, Christina Gray of the Strauss Theatre Center, and Katenlyn Vaughan, nominated by Downtown Arts Alliance.
Arts Council Board Chair Ashley K. West announced the nominees of Volunteer of the Year Award. Daphanie Dailey of The Princess Theatre won, and she received a handmade wooden bowl by local artisan Audie Maxey. Other nominees included:
• Amanda Roe, nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance
• Mike Gibbons, nominated by the Strauss Theatre Center
• Jorenda Stone, nominated by the Monroe Symphony League
• Diane Howard, nominated by the Louisiana Delta Ballet
• Marsha Powell, 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.
Flying Tiger Brewery, nominated by the Downtown Arts Alliance, took home the BART Award and the lidded raku jar prize made by local artist Gary Ratcliff. Other 2019 BART nominees were:
• Marion State Bank, nominated by the Louisiana Delta Ballet
• Bennett Seymour Insurance, nominated by the Twin City Arts Foundation/ Masur Museum