The 2012 Austin Visual Arts Awards

This year's honorees showed a lot of love for what they do

Cold-Blooded: New AVAA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sam Coronado
Cold-Blooded: New AVAA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sam Coronado
Photo by Bret Brookshire

After a one-year hiatus, the Austin Visual Arts Association resumed its annual tradition of honoring outstanding local artists in a ceremony at the AT&T Education and Conference Center on Thursday night &ndash and you could tell the honored artists love what they do.

Attendance was notably lighter than at the first and second AVAA presentations, but the crowd was no less chatty during the pre-ceremony cocktail hour or appreciative when the "Fearings" &ndash named in honor of the late, great Texas artist Kelly Fearing &ndash were hung around the winners' necks. That said, the acceptance speeches were among the briefest I've ever witnessed at an awards show and likely the most modest as well. Sam Coronado set the tone for the evening straight away when he said that he shared the Lifetime Achievement Award with all the artists who had taken part in the Serie Project that he's been running for the past 25 years. Katie Rose Pipkin went on to thank Ink Tank Collective and Colin Doyle, her fellow nominess for Artist of the Year Early Career, for "raising the bar" for visual art work in Austin. Winners repeatedly paid tribute to the city's culture of creativity and expressed their ardor for what they do. President's Award winner Jack White called his studio "the most beautiful space I know," adding: "I just can't stop making work." And accepting the final award of the night, Artist of the Year 2-Dimensional Art, Leah Haney summed up the sentiment for many when she said: "It's an honor to be recognized with an award for something you're madly in love with doing."

Here's the full list of winners.

The 2012 Austin Visual Arts Awards Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award: Sam Coronado

President's Award of Excellence: Jack White

Service to the Arts Award: Bob Coffee

Collectors Circle Award: John Christensen

Artist of the Year New Media: Wura Nathasha-Ogunji

Artist of the Year Early Career: Katie Rose Pipkin

Artist of the Year Photography: Barry Stone

Artist of the Year Printmaking: Miguel Aragón

Artist of the Year 3 Dimensional Art: Michael A. Garcia

Artist of the Year 2 Dimensional Art: Leah Haney

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