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Ten fellowship awards totalling $35,000 to be presented to West Virginia artists on July 9 at the Cultural Center in Charleston


On Monday, July 9, $35,000 will be presented to a group of Mountain State artists who have been selected as recipients of the 2001 West Virginia Artist Fellowship Grant Awards. Nancy P. Herholdt, commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and West Virginia Commission on the Arts Chairman William Maxwell Davis will present the awards at a 10 a.m. ceremony in the State Theater of the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston immediately following a 9:30 a.m. reception in the Great Hall.

At the ceremony, ten Artist Fellowship Awards of $3,500 each will be made to artists from Cabell, Greenbrier, Jefferson, Kanawha, McDowell, Monongalia, Roane, Taylor and Wayne counties. Works were chosen in the categories of choreography, crafts, fiction, music composition, photography and playwriting. The six professionals who judged the entries included the founder of the Ohio Dance Theatre, the Kentucky Arts and Crafts Foundation curator and director of exhibitions, a professor at the University of Charleston and West Virginia State College, the chairman of the composition department at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, an independent filmmaker, and the chairman of Oberlin College Theatre and Dance.

Fellowship recipients include Jean Battlo of Kimball, playwriting; William Bland of Shepherdstown, music composition; Ace Boggess of Huntington, fiction; Jeff Fetty of Spencer, crafts; Keith Lambertson and Cat Glazer of Lewisburg, crafts; Stephen Lawson of Morgantown, photography; Paul Martin of Huntington, fiction; Michael McGowan of Fairmont, choreography; Sarah Sullivan of Charleston, fiction; and John Wesley Williams of Clintonville, crafts. Biographical information about each winner can be found at the end of this news release.

The fellowships are intended to support working artists for the purpose of artistic development. Use of funds is up to the recipients’ discretion including, but not limited to, creating new work, purchasing supplies and materials, travel, research, and defraying expenses incurred in the presentation of work or documentation.

As part of the July 9 event, the Commission also will announce more than $1.17 million in grants to arts organizations and individual artists across the state for arts programming, professional development for artists, Arts in Education and staff support programs.

General operating funds are available to Major Institutions (groups with an operating budgeting of $1 million or more) as well as Mid-sized Arts Organizations (those with budgets of $150,000 to $999,999). Touring, performing arts, visual arts, media arts, and folk and traditional arts grants are available to smaller organizations for arts projects.

Professional development grants can be used to expand or improve the artists’ own work or to share that expertise with others. Arts organizations as well as individual artists are eligible for these funds.

The Arts in Education program encourages the development of comprehensive arts programs that affect the educational environment for students and members of the community and includes artists’ residencies, tours and special projects.

The staff support program offers funding for professional staff positions and arts management interns. Arts and community organizations, currently with or without professional staff, which have been in existence for at least two years, are eligible.

The West Virginia Commission on the Arts of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History directs state policy and allocations for arts programs in West Virginia. Funds for the Artist Fellowship Awards are appropriated by the West Virginia Legislature as part of a $1 million allocation for competitive arts grants. For more information about the Fellowship Awards, call Gordon Simmons at (304) 558-0220, ext. 717. Information and application forms for all available arts grants are posted on the Division’s website at

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

2001 Artists Fellowship Recipients

Jean Battlo is a playwright whose published works include “The Little Theater’s production of ‘Hamlet,’” (Samuel French Inc., 1999), “Appalachian Gothic Tales” (McClain’s) and “McDowell County in West Virginia and American History” (McClain’s). “Terror on the Tug,” based on the Hatfield-Chambers murders, the subsequent coal field conflicts and the establishment of the UMWA, was staged by McArts Players in McDowell County. Her play “#8” was a finalist in the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Competition in 1990.

Composer William Bland teaches private music lessons and serves as the organist/choir director of First Baptist Church in Martinsburg. His chamber music and guitar recordings include “Warm Country Night” (Bridge Records), “Intrada and Sarabande” (Dorian Records) and “Nouveau Rag” (Bridge Records). Bland has composed commissioned works for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Bar Harbor Arts Festival and the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. He is currently working on a piece for period instruments for the Monticello Foundation in Charlottesville, Va.

A freelance writer and editor, Ace Boggess’ published works include a play, “Socrates Said” (Grimpenmire Press, 1996), and two collections of poems, “Desire’s Orchestra” (Three-Legged Dog Press, 1993) and “Compost Heap” (Naked Press, 1994). His work also has been published in Bryant Literary Review, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review and American Poetry Monthly.

Blacksmith Jeff Fetty creates high-end custom metalwork. His award-winning work has been exhibited in the Wheeling Artisan Center, the West Virginia Juried Exhibition, the Huntington Museum of Art and at galleries across the country. Fetty has done commissioned work for former president Bill Clinton, the Elizabethan Globe Theatre in London, Marshall University Graduate College, Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, former governor Gaston Caperton and the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis.

The husband-wife team of Keith Lambertson and Cat Glazer has been working together as jewelry designers and craftsmen since 1985. Their work has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions, including the West Virginia Juried Exhibition and the American Craft Council Southeast Juried Exhibition, and is carried in many of the top 100 fine craft galleries in the country. In 1996, Lapidary Journal featured the couple’s cloisonne enamel pin “The Floating World.”

The work of Stephen Lawson, photographer, is represented in a number of collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. His photographs have been exhibited at the Cultural Center, Sunrise Museum, Garo in Morgantown and the Stifel Art Center in Wheeling. Lawson’s work has been published in several national publications, including Graphis Fine Art Photography 2 and Aperture #150.

Paul Martin’s short stories have been published in The Cosmic Unicorn and Dogwood Tales. He is the winner of the 1997 Dogwood Tales short story contest, and received a third place and two honorable mentions in the 1997 West Virginia Writers’ competition. He also was named the 1990 West Virginia English/Language Arts Teacher of the Year and in 1996 was honored with the Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Award.

Dancer/choreographer Michael McGowan is the founder and artistic director of the Kitchen Sink Dance Company in Clarksburg. His recent works include “Smear the Blue Peach Moon” which premiered in April 2000 at the Rose Garden Theater in Clarksburg. McGowan has toured nationally and internationally as a guest artist and for several years was featured as the male dance soloist in the “Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.”

Sarah Sullivan’s stories for children have been published in Chickadee and Bereavement magazines. She received the Russell MacDonald Creative Writing Award for her short story “Out Far and In Deep” in 1999 and her children’s novel “Wishbook Christmas” received third place in the West Virginia Writers’ contest.

John Wesley Williams is a furniture designer and craftsman. His work has been exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the West Virginia Juried Exhibition, the American Craftsman Gallery and the American Craft Council Spotlight. He has received a number of awards including a Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship and recognition at the Richmond Craft Show, Boca Raton Museum of Art and Pittsburgh Art in the Park.