Governor Joe Manchin III and First Lady Gayle Manchin honored Lynn Boggess of Parkersburg, W.Va., with the top honor, the Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, for his significant accomplishments in the arts at the 2010 Governor’s Arts Awards gala on Monday evening, March 15, at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The event was hosted by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Boggess received a bachelor’s degree in art education from Fairmont State College and a master’s degree in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He has been professor of art at Fairmont State College since 1990 and coordinator of the of the art department there since 2002.
His landscape paintings have been acquired by both public and private collectors, locally and internationally. He has been honored with several prestigious awards in West Virginia including the Higher Education Art Educator of the Year in 2001, Visual Artist of the Year in 1999 and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Painting in 1997.
Boggess’s work presents an untouched vision of nature that transports the viewer to the reflective and pure environment in which his landscapes are created. By means of plein-air techniques (painting on location instead of in the studio) and the use of cement trowels as brushes, an innovative approach to oil painting is realized, resulting in works that are simultaneously dynamic and soothing. In many ways, his paintings reflect the entire tradition of landscape painting with his own experiences creating a style uniquely his own.
Other awards presented on Monday included the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award given to Jeanne Mozier of Berkeley Springs for dedicating herself to cultivating the arts in Berkeley Springs and throughout the state. She is one of the founding members of the Morgan Arts Council, a member of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts for nearly a decade, a leader with Arts Advocacy, a Peer Assistance Network advisor, an advocate for quality arts and economic development and an educator of organizational development and leadership.
The Artist of the Year Award was given to Zachary J. Orcutt of Parkersburg, W.Va., who holds a master’s degree in sculpture from Bowling Green State University. He moved to Parkersburg in 2007 to teach at WVU-Parkersburg and in that time, he has been proactive in improving 3-D studios for Ceramics, Art Fabrication and Bronze casting. Orcutt has won multiple awards for excellence from the WVDCH and Tamarack, among others.
Arts in Education awards were presented to the Appalachian Education Initiative (AIE) in Morgantown and West Virginia Dance Company (WVDC) in Beckley. AIE has been dedicated to ensuring that quality arts education be a central part of the curriculum for every public school student in West Virginia since 2001. Its mission is to promote students’ personal development, academic performance and 21st-century workforce preparation by ensuring that educators, parents, business and community leaders and others understand the value of arts education and support its place from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The West Virginia Dance Company was founded by Toneta Akers-Toler 33 years ago and is the only professional touring dance company in the history of West Virginia. An average of 50,000 students are reached per touring season including public schools, colleges and universities. The mission of the WVDC is to provide projects and performances at a statewide level that will offer the best value and quality within the framework of West Virginia and 21st Century Learning Skills and multi-cultural perspectives.
The Leadership in the Arts awards were given to Oglebay Institute (OI) in Wheeling and the Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins. Since 1930, OI has served an average of 116,000 residents per year from the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and other locations throughout the region. The objective of OI is to be a leader in its disciplines by improving quality of life through education, recreation, culture and creative outlets for personal and professional growth and enrichment. OI operates six facilities in the Wheeling area: The Schrader Environmental Education Center; the Mansion Museum and the Glass Museum in Oglebay Resort; the Stifel Fine Arts Center and School of Dance on National Road; and Towngate Theatre and Cinema on Market Street. The Institute also operates Terra Alta Mountain Camp in Terra Alta, Preston County.
The Old Brick Playhouse is a non-profit educational theatre arts organization that was created in 1992. The mission is to enrich the lives of children, youth and adults in West Virginia by engaging them in the arts, teaching self-expression and encouraging positive change. One of its main functions is to tour original musical comedies for children to elementary schools, hospitals, and theaters. These plays expose students to the performing arts and provide resources and tools for them to use when confronting various social issues. Old Brick was presented the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, contact Jeff Pierson, director of arts for the Division, at (304) 558-0240, ext. 717.
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. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
Governor Joe Manchin III, Lynn Boggess (Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement Recipient) and First Lady Gayle Manchin