Gov. Shumlin and Arts Council Present 2016 Governor's Art Awards | Live Culture
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gov. Shumlin and Arts Council Present 2016 Governor's Art Awards

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge Gov. Shumlin with Excellence in the Arts award winner Eric Aho and family - RACHEL STEARNS
  • Rachel Stearns
  • Gov. Shumlin with Excellence in the Arts award winner Eric Aho and family
On Tuesday evening, November 15, Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Arts Council honored six Vermont artists with the annual Governor's Arts Awards. This year's ceremony took place at the Putney School, in Shumlin's hometown.  Eric Aho, who lives and works in nearby Saxtons River, received the 2016  Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.

It's no coincidence that the six award recipients are clustered in southern Vermont. As Kira Bacon, VAC communications and outreach manager, explained, awardees are selected from a pool of nominees through a nomination process that is open to the public.

Trustees review all nominations, consider staff input and then provide the governor with a list of suggestions for the Governor's Award. Once he has selected a recipient, Bacon said, "We see if we can find a cluster [of arts leaders] in the same part of the state" to increase community momentum. Last year, the "cluster" was focused on the Montpelier area; in 2014, it was St. Johnsbury.

click to enlarge Eric Aho - RACHEL PORTESI
  • Rachel Portesi
  • Eric Aho
Eric Aho is an internationally recognized painter who, in the words of poet and art critic Peter Campion,  paints the space "where nature and feeling fuse together."  Aho is represented by DC Moore Gallery in New York, and recently exhibited work in Vermont at the Shelburne Museum and in Hanover, N.H., at the Hood Museum of Art.


click to enlarge Peter Gould - COURTESY OF VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL
  • Courtesy of Vermont Arts Council
  • Peter Gould
Peter Gould of Brattleboro received the Ellen McCulloch-Lovell Award in Arts Education. The performer, director, teacher and author established the youth Shakespeare company Get Thee to the Funnery in 1998, and has been bringing theater to youth audiences as half of Gould & Stearns since 1980.


click to enlarge Robert McBride - KEN RUSSELL
  • Ken Russell
  • Robert McBride
Robert McBride of Bellows Falls received the Margaret (Peggy) L. Kannenstine Award for Arts Advocacy. McBride founded the Rockingham Arts & Museum Project in 1995 and continues to act as director. "Art Makes a Difference" is the organization's motto.

click to enlarge Stephen Rice - COURTESY OF VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL
  • Courtesy of Vermont Arts Council
  • Stephen Rice
Stephen Rice of Brattleboro received the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts. Rice began his career as a music teacher at Brattleboro Union High School in 1987 and became head of the music department in 2004. He has been an active leader in the Vermont Music Educators Association as well as the Vermont Alliance for Arts Education.

click to enlarge Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion - COURTESY OF VERMONT ARTS COUNCIL
  • Courtesy of Vermont Arts Council
  • Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion
Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion of Brattleboro received the Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. The identical twin acrobats have performed internationally as aerial and trapeze artists, settling in Vermont in 2003. In 2007, they established the New England Center for Circus Arts.




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About The Author

Rachel Elizabeth Jones

Rachel Elizabeth Jones

Bio:
Rachel is an arts staff writer at Seven Days. She writes from the intersections of art, visual culture and anthropology, and has contributed to The New Inquiry, The LA Review of Books and Artforum, among other publications.

More by Rachel Elizabeth Jones

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