Saugerties, NY- The Saugerties Performing Arts Factory (SPAF) was the setting for the 2017 Ulster County Executive’s Art Awards. Arts Mid-Hudson hosted the gala event which drew more than 150 people to witness County Executive Mike Hein present awards to 10 artists for their outstanding contributions to the art community. The County Executive was proud to be joined by Linda Marsten-Reid, Executive Director of Arts Mid-Hudson, who continues to provide vision and leadership to support thriving and diverse arts in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
“Ulster County has a rich history and deep appreciation for the arts, and with more artists per capita than anywhere else upstate, there is certainly no shortage of extraordinary artists with world-class talent present," said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. "This year's group of honorees is a testament to both the quality of art being produced in Ulster County and the community's commitment to our thriving arts sector."
Award recipients are chosen based on their important contribution to the growth of Ulster County’s cultural life over a significant period of time, the extraordinary support they show of the arts, and/or their vision and leadership in using the arts to enhance community life.
The 2017 honorees are:
- Art Organization – Woodstock Film Festival was launched in 2000 and it has quickly become one of the premier events in the film industry.
- Arts in Education – Center for Creative Education has uniquely blended arts such as dance, music, and theater with education for over 20 years.
- Business Corporation – RUPCO, Inc. recognizes the importance of Arts in Kingston’s economy as demonstrated by its opening of the nationally recognized Lace Mill project which includes 55 rental homes that are preferenced for artists.
- Individual Artist – Jane Bloodgood Abrams is a landscape painting master whose work has been exhibited all over the world including Germany, Austria and Italy – and her work was chosen to hang in the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Bangkok.
- Art in Public Places – Norm Magnusson is a world-renowned artist and his works grace many museum collections including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
- Patron – Katharine L. McKenna is a highly accomplished artist in her own right, with her painting being held in the permanent collections of several prominent museums, but she also finds the time to serve as a trustee of the Pratt Institute, Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and the Lemur Conservation Foundation.
- Special Citation – Lynn Woods & Stephen Blauweiss for “Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal” which is a collaboration between a journalist and author, Lynn Woods, and a filmmaker, Stephen Blauweiss who together created a powerful, moving film that captured the destruction of downtown Kingston.
- Volunteer - Barbara Bravo has volunteered as the Chair of the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour since 2004, and the tour has been so successful that other towns are replicating its model – a true testament to her tireless work.
- Student with Exceptional Promise in the Arts – Niaya DeLisi is a senior at Onteora High School and a very talented photographer who will be attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan in the Fall.