Three Duluth arts supporters were honored at “Fusion: 1st Annual ArtWorks! Gwinnett Awards” for their contributions to the greater Gwinnett community.
The Vision Award was presented to artist and arts activist Margaret Parsons Andrews of Duluth. Surrounded by her children and grandchildren, Andrews accepted the award during a standing ovation to celebrate her lifelong commitment to the arts and her vision that resulted in the Hudgens Center for the Arts. Andrews initiated fund-raising for the center.
A tree will be planted this spring in the Hudgens Center sculpture garden in Andrews’ honor.
The inaugural award ceremony recognized achievements spanning decades as well as the community impact of individuals and organizations from Dec. 1, 2010, through Dec. 1, 2011. A crowd of approximately 250 arts leaders and enthusiasts, community and business leaders gathered for the Jan. 23 event at the Hudgens Center for the Arts and the Performing Arts Center at the in Duluth.
Ann Parsons Odum of Duluth, Cynthia Sutt of Duluth, and Barbara Howard of Peachtree Corners were presented Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Odum, Andrews’ sister and an accomplished artist well known throughout the Southeast, recently published “Duluth, Georgia: Through the Eyes of One of Its Own” containing 40 years of her oil paintings, acrylics and pastels depicting Duluth landmarks, homes, businesses, churches, and landscapes.
Sutt was recognized for her work over the past 26 years in the Gwinnett County arts including her collaboration in founding the Barefoot in the Park Fine Arts Festival. Her activities also include the Brick House arts co-op in Duluth, the Duluth School of Ballet, Down Right Theatre, Dunwoody Stage Door, and Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. She founded Rock, Paper, Scissors, a creative communication group, in 1986 in Duluth. The company moved to Lawrenceville four years ago.
Howard was honored because of her generous philanthropy and volunteer service in the arts, especially with the Hudgens Center and Aurora Theatre. She was a founding member of the Aurora Theatre and continues to serve on its board of directors. Its Barbara Award is named for her. She also supports the Duluth Fall Festival and the Barefoot in the Park Festival of Fine Arts in Duluth.
Corporate involvement in the arts was acknowledged with five “Corporate Arts Citizen Awards” that were given to Karen Fine Saltiel of Primerica Financial Services and the Primerica Foundation (individual category); Theresa Bullock of Metro Waterproofing Inc. (individual category); Chocolate Perks (small business category); Gwinnett Daily Post (mid-side business category,) and Primerica Foundation (big business category).
Winners were presented with certificates and glass art from the Hudgens Center’s shop, Gwinnett glass artist Cord Hicklin or Matt Janke of Janke Gallery.
Arts Educator category winner Robert Andrews, director of fine arts for Gwinnett County Schools, was surprised with a $2,000 voucher for art supplies donated by DecoArt Inc. for use in local schools at his discretion.
A selection committee comprised of six Gwinnettians representing a variety of industries chose the winners. The committee reviewed more than 50 nominations obtained through an open, public call for nominations by Artworks! Gwinnett.
“The inaugural ArtWorks! Gwinnett awards showed the strength and diversity of Gwinnett’s arts community through what was shared on stage by performers, presenters and winners and through the behind-the-scenes work of tireless, passionate volunteers,” said ArtWorks! Gwinnett Executive Director Sally Corbett. “The process of creating this arts celebration had a galvanizing effect for many participants.…It is already inspiring future collaborations and a greater awareness of the scope of Gwinnett’s arts assets.”
In keeping with the “Fusion” theme, performers represented diversity. They included the Dan Coy Trio, the Malaysian Association of Georgia, and Duluth-based Zephyr Instrumental. DJ Ernest Rogers, also a multi-instrumentalist, entertained as guests arrived.
Vince “The Voice” Bailey of Buford acted as master of ceremonies. Serving as stage manager was Kelley Cody-Grimm of the OTC Comedy Troupe in Duluth. Her husband, poet Max Grimm of Duluth, captivated the audience with a dramatic reading of his “When Leonardo Sat on the Hill.” Dancer Christina Leamon of Suwanee performed a new work by Suwanee Performing Arts choreographers Melissa Dittmar Joy and Sarah Stokes.
Food samplings were provided by Chocolate Perks of Duluth, Ippolito’s of Suwanee, Olde Towne Tavern of Suwanee, Purple Rain of Gwinnett Place in Duluth, Taco Mac of Suwanee, Trattoria 141 of Johns Creek, Park Café of Duluth, Athens Kouzzina of Lawrenceville , Cakes by Shupan of Lawrenceville, Gimme Some Suga Bakery Bar of Suwanee, Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts in Tucker, and Mellow Mushroom of Suwanee.
A drawing featured works by artists Barbara McGuire, Rosa Rosae, LaTrecia Raffety, Vickie Johnson and Jason Kopydlowski (Jay Scott Studios). An “Arts and Eats Silent Auction” tempted bidders with fun pairings donated by the Northeast Atlanta Ballet, McCray’s Tavern on the Square in Lawrenceville, Marlow’s Tavern in Duluth, the Hudgens Center, Steverino’s in Duluth, New Dawn Theater in Duluth, Dominick’s in Lawrenceville and the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre.
TVGwinnett recorded the event for a future ArtWorks! Gwinnett television program.
Here is a list of winners, honorable mentions and other nominees:
Section 1: Community Impact Awards
Winner: Vickie Johnson, visual artist
Honorable mention: Latifah Shakir, visual artist
Other nominees: Ashley Jones, actress; Brandon McCormick, filmmaker; Chuck Mason, actor; John Laszlo, actor; Lee Bivins, visual artist; Mavis Stevens, visual artist; Max K. Grimm, poet; Theresa Kelly, actress; Vernon Smith, visual artist
Winner: Robert Andrews, Gwinnett County Schools
Honorable mention: Debi West, North Gwinnett High School
Other nominees: David Cook, Georgia Gwinnett College; Heidi Creed, Glenn C. Jones Middle School; Kay Fairchild, Lakeside High School & Pope High School & Emory University; Marie Thomas, Brookwood High School; Marissa Yurko, W.C. Britt Elementary School
Arts Ensemble or Collective
Winner: The OTC Comedy Troupe
Honorable mention: New Dawn Theater Company
Other nominees: Northeast Atlanta Ballet
Winner: Teresa Osborn, Executive Director, Hudgens Center for the Arts
Honorable mention: Denise Brinson, Economic & Community Development Manager, City of Suwanee, Suwanee Public Art Committee & SculpTour
Other nominees: Ann-Carol Pence, Associate Producer, Aurora Theatre; Anthony Rodriguez, Producing Artistic Director, Aurora Theatre; Jennifer Gordon, Northeast Atlanta Ballet; Mark Knott, Owner, Suwanee Clayworks Studio & Visual Art Instructor, Creative Enterprises; Sherry Ingbritsen, Artistic Director & Board President, New Dawn Theater Company; Vernon Smith, Visual Art Instructor & Ceramics Studio Manager, Hudgens Center for the Arts
Winner: Aurora Theatre
Honorable mention: Gwinnett Ballet Theatre
Other nominees: Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center; New Dawn Theater Company; Suwanee Performing Arts
Winner: Accent South Media
Honorable mention: Mighty 8th Media
Other nominees: Biscardi Creative; Luv for Art; Tree Sound Studios; Zephyr Music Inc.
Winner: Barefoot in the Park and Various Artists and Community Partners
Honorable mention: Hudgens Center for the Arts and Gwinnett County Library
Other nominees: City of Duluth and Duluth Fine Arts League; City of Norcross and Norcross Arts Alliance; Georgia Gwinnett College and Aurora Theatre; Suwanee City Council and Suwanee SculpTour
Community Arts Program
Two-Way Tie – Winners: Gwinnett Public Libraries Arts Programs and Suwanee SculpTour
Honorable mention: North Gwinnett Arts Association
Other nominees: Barefoot in the Park, Duluth Fine Arts League, Gwinnett Ballet Theatre, New Dawn Theatre Camp Program, Norcross Arts Alliance
Section 2: Special Honorees
Corporate Arts Citizen of the Year – Individual
Karen Fine Saltiel, Executive Vice President, Primerica Financial Services; President, Primerica Foundation; and Board Member, ArtWorks! Gwinnett
Theresa Bullock, Owner and Corporate Officer, Metro Waterproofing Inc. and Chair, Aurora Theatre Board
Corporate Arts Citizen of the Year- Corporation
Small Business Category – Chocolate Perks
Mid-size Business Category - Gwinnett Daily Post
Big Business Category – Primerica Foundation
Arts Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Holley Calmes
Honorable mention: Charlie Riehm
Other nominees: Cynthia Sutt and Stan Hall
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Ann Parsons Odum
Margaret Parsons Andrews
Nominations are being accepted through 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 13 for a separate awards program for exceptional student achievement kindergarten through higher education.