15th ANNUAL ARTS AWARDS
The Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester proudly announces the recipients of the 15th annual Arts Awards.
The 1998 recipients are:
Lifetime Achievement as an Artist:
Borinquen Dance Theatre
Canandaigua Wine Company
Averell Council of the Memorial Art Gallery
Geva Theatre for its 25th Anniversary Season
A 30-member Selection Committee, chaired by Virginia R. Cornyn of Xerox Corporation, selected the award recipients. The 15th annual Arts Awards are sponsored by Nixon Hargrave Devans & Doyle, Stickley, and the Hurlbut Foundation.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Wendell Castle, born in Kansas in 1932, is an internationally known sculptor, artist and craftsman who makes his home and his artwork in Scottsville, New York. He has received many awards, including four National Endowment for the Arts grants, fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and honors from the American Craft Museum, the Tiffany Foundation, and the American Craft Council. His innovative art furniture has been the subject of numerous books and magazine articles. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the American Craft Museum. In Rochester, Castle's work can be found at the Memorial Art Gallery, the Greater Rochester International Airport, and the Bausch & Lomb Wintergarden. Castle holds an Artist-in-Residence Professorship at the School for American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Albert Paley, who has lived and worked in Rochester for over 25 years, is the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Institute Honors Award from the American Institute of Architects. This is the AIA's highest award given to a non-architect. At his workshop in downtown Rochester, Paley works in a variety of metalworking disciplines. Paley has completed more than 40 major architectural works, including Portal Gates at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and for the New York State Senate Chambers in Albany. Recently installed works include a 65-foot sculpture for the entry court of Bausch & Lomb's world headquarters in Rochester, and architectural metalwork throughout San Francisco's new courthouse. Pieces by Paley can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the art museums in Boston and Houston, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Paley received an honorary doctorate from the University of Rochester in 1989, and he holds the Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Distinguished Professorship in Contemporary Crafts at the School for American Crafts at RIT.
Nan Westervelt is being recognized for her achievements in bringing the arts to young people. Since 1985, she has guided Young Audiences Rochester through an extraordinary period of growth as its Executive Director. Over the last 13 years, programming has increased more than ten-fold, as Young Audiences has gone from providing 400 arts programs in 30 area schools to over 4,700 programs in over 300 schools. She has effectively changed the way many educators, parents and artists understand the way we learn, but more importantly, she has motivated school administrators to allocate increasingly more resources for sequential arts education and artist residencies. Constantly going above and beyond her job, Westervelt gives an enormous amount of energy and expertise to advancing arts education in New York State and beyond, thus bringing recognition to Rochester as a strong center for leadership in arts education. She is a founder of the Rochester/Finger Lakes Arts in Education Roundtable. She is currently President of the Board of the New York State Alliance for Arts Education, and a member of the Leadership Conference of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education. With her infectious enthusiasm, good humor and administrative skills, Westervelt has had an impact on countless thousands of young people and hundreds of artists, and has made a lasting contribution to education in the arts in Monroe County.
Borinquen Dance Theatre and its founder and artistic director, Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez, receive the Cultural Organization Award. Founded in 1981, Borinquen has introduced Puerto Rican folk culture and contemporary Latin movement to audiences throughout the northeast. Despite the lack of resources - which over the years have ranged from lack of rehearsal space to minimal financial support - and the overwhelming odds against regional ethnic dance companies, Borinquen dancers have truly soared. Performances are a blend of the African, Taino, and Spanish influences which make up Puerto Rican culture. Under the upbeat direction of Padilla-Rodriguez, the young performers meet the challenge of participating in a demanding activity that requires discipline, mental concentration and agility. Over 80 percent of the high school aged troupe members go on to attend college. In addition to the senior company, Padilla-Rodriguez founded a junior company five years ago for eight and nine year olds. Borinquen has been an ensemble-in-residence at the Hochstein Music School since 1984.
Canandaigua Wine Company receives the Business Award in recognition of the company's significant support of the arts in the Rochester area for many years. A wide variety of arts organizations, large and small, have benefited from cash, people and product provided by Canandaigua Wine. The company currently contributes to Garth Fagan Dance, Rochester Broadway Theater League, Geva Theatre, George Eastman House, Sonnenberg Gardens, Bristol Valley Playhouse, and the Finger Lakes Symphony. In particular, the company has partnered with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for many years. Marvin Sands, Chairman of Canandaigua Brands, was instrumental in gathering support to build the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center as the summer home for the RPO. Since the Center opened 20 years ago, Canandaigua Wine has underwritten the RPO's summer residency. In addition, the company donates many dozens of cases of wine and champagne for RPO special events, works with the staff and board to expand the RPO's presence in the Finger Lakes, and helps garner greater support from other area businesses.
The Averell Council of the Memorial Art Gallery receives a Special Citation in honor of its ten years of success as a support organization that attracts young adults, mostly in their 20s and 30s, to the arts. The purpose of the Averell Council is two-fold: to sponsor educational and social programs and to provide fundraising support for the Gallery. Programs include the Averell on Art lecture series and the annual Rochester Print Fair, as well as the wildly popular First Fridays at the MAG, which draws many new faces to the Gallery. The Averell Council's volunteers have raised more than $400,000 for the museum over the past five years. These gifts have met administrative needs, such as a new voice mail system and a telemarketing campaign - items that would ordinarily be difficult to find funds for - as well as larger grants for exhibition underwriting. Most importantly, the Gallery is involving the hardest group of people to attract to volunteer service: busy young professionals, many with families. The Averell Council is the envy of art museums throughout the country.
Geva Theatre receives a special citation for its recently completed 25th anniversary season, conceived by artistic director Mark Cuddy. To celebrate its first 25 years, Geva collaborated with seven Rochester cultural organizations. The George Eastman House, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Museum Science Center, Strong Museum, and WXXI all partnered with Geva on different major productions, from "Radio Gals" to "The Illusion." Geva closed its anniversary season with two performing arts collaborations on a significant scale. With the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, it presented Tom Stoppard's "Every Good Boy Deserves Favor", with music written by Andre Previn. This powerful, yet rarely performed, theatrical work received its first Rochester performances, with the RPO onstage at Geva. The triumphant climax of the season teamed Garth Fagan Dance with Geva. Garth Fagan choreographed a world premiere, "Famous Orpheus," by the playwright OyamO. Fagan's superb company of dancers graced Geva's stages eight times a week for an extended run of seven weeks.