Homer arts council honors local creators with Community Arts Awards

The annual Community Arts Awards began in 2005 as a way to support local artists.

Homer Council on the Arts last Friday night during its annual meeting honored the recipients of this year’s Community Arts Awards, recognizing the artists’ achievements and contributions to the Homer arts community.

The annual Community Arts Awards began in 2005 as a way to support local artists.

“We started these awards because they not only recognize individuals who do SO much for the community but these awards also successfully advocate for the arts as a powerful local force for community economic and educational development,” Diane Borgman, a longtime HCOA board member, said.

Award recipients are nominated by community members for each category, and finalists are chosen by an awards committee and the HCOA board of directors.

“Looking at the whole slate of recipients, it struck me that they are all doing significant work not only in their own craft but for the betterment of our community and world,” HCOA Director Scott Bartlett wrote in an email to Homer News.

This year’s recipients are:

Mary Epperson Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Dungan

Artist of the year: Kim McNett

Arts Advocate: Little Foot

Mary Langham Volunteer of the Year Award: Abe Abrahamson

Jill Berryman Art Educator Award: Carly Garay

Diane Borgman Youth Artist of the Year Award: Mariah McGuire

Kathy and Mike Pate Business Award: Bodett & Co.

“I was struck by how many of the awardees are multidisciplinary in nature; how they connect to other important aspects of our community,” Bartlett wrote.

“Kim McNett is deeply involved in conservation work through her art; Carly Garay works toward social justice along with arts advocacy recipient Little Foot, who is dedicated to supporting youth homelessness through the arts,” Bartlett continued. “Paul Dungan is not only a master artist but has a long history of formal and informal teaching through mentorship and support of young artists. Youth artist Mariah McGuire embodies the high caliber of art possible in such a supportive community. Tom Bodett summed this up well in his acceptance remarks, noting how Homer was such a supportive and fostering community when he started writing and developing his craft.”

For more information, contact HCOA at 907-235-4288 or visit www.homerart.org/.

Reach Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com.