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. Attendance was notably lighter than at the first two presentations, but the crowd was no less chatty sharing drinks beforehand or appreciative when the "Fearings" – named to honor the late, great Texas artist Kelly Fearing – were hung about the winners' necks. That said, the acceptance speeches were among the briefest – and most modest – I've ever witnessed at an awards show. Sam Coronado set the tone right away by saying he shared the Lifetime Achievement Award with all the artists who had taken part in his 25-year-long Serie Project. Katie Rose Pipkin thanked Ink Tank Collective and Colin Doyle, her fellow nominees 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 creative culture 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 Artist of the Year 2-Dimensional Art award, Leah Haney spoke 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.
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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