Gov. Bevin names 2017 Governor’s Awards in the Arts Recipients

The 2017 award is a framed magnolia photo collage created by Lexington artist Mary S. Rezny.

Gov. Matt Bevin has selected six individuals and five organizations whose contributions have raised the level of quality and awareness of the arts in the state as recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Awards in the Arts.

This year’s awards include two new categories. The Emerging Artist award recognizes up-and-coming artists from the Commonwealth, and the Youth Artist award honors a student artist for outstanding achievement.

The Governor’s Awards in the Arts ceremony, coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council in cooperation with the Governor’s Office, will be 10 a.m., Feb. 2 at the State Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.

The 2017 Governor’s Awards in the Arts recipients include:

  • Milner Award – Ruthie Bale, Barren County
  • Artist Award – Roger Cooper, Lewis County
  • Business Award – Kroger-Louisville Division, Jefferson County
  • Community Arts Award – Norton Center for the Arts, Boyle County
  • Education Award – RiverPark Center, Daviess County
  • Folk Heritage Award – Jennifer Zurick, Madison County
  • Government Award – Lexington Parks & Recreation, Fayette County
  • Media Award – Western Kentucky University Mountain Workshops, Warren County
  • National Award – Jahi Chikwendiu, native of Fayette County
  • Emerging Artist – Jordan Smith, native of Harlan County
  • Youth Artist – Adrian Partridge, Fayette County

The 2017 Governor’s Award was created by Mary S. Rezny. The Lexington artist is a member of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted directory.

“For the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, I chose to study a southern symbol that is very familiar to all of us, the magnolia tree,” Rezny said. “I am drawn to it because of the simplicity and beauty of the blossom and its most interesting and unusual seed pod. I photographed it throughout the spring, summer and fall as the blossom and seed pod developed. The collection is a study of a beautiful flower and the metaphor of transitory change.”

Nominations for the Governor’s Awards in the Arts are accepted annually from the public. The Kentucky Arts Council coordinates the nomination and selection process for recommendation to the governor.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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