The University of Southern Indiana is proud to once again count faculty, alumni and friends of the University among the recipients of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana’s annual Arts Awards. The 2014 awards were presented Wednesday at the Arts Council’s Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation Gallery at Innovation Pointe in Downtown Evansville.
Dr. Hilary Braysmith, associate professor of art history, was recognized with the 2014 Art Educator Award for her project Sculpt EVV, a partnership with the City of Evansville. The third annual Sculpt EVV Community Art and Music Festival was held in early June, and involved USI students and area youth in art projects in the Haynie’s Corner Arts District.
Braysmith is an award-winning art historian who has challenged and inspired hundreds of students in her humanities and art history courses. Sculpt EVV encourages a diverse and sometimes underserved community members to interact and connect with contemporary art and feel pride of ownership in an enhanced and energized neighborhood.
“It was Hilary’s vision, hard work and organizational skills that made Sculpt EVV a unique educational experience for the citizens of Evansville and the region. It is her goal and passion to promote art to all, and her labors have caused Evansville to be recognized as a vibrant arts community at the regional, state and even national levels,” said Anne McKim, executive director of the Arts Council.
In her remarks following the announcement of the award, Braysmith acknowledged former and current Evansville Mayors Russell Lloyd, Jonathan Weinzapfel and Lloyd Winnecke for their support of the arts and thanked her students for serving as an inspiration.
Artists of the Year
The co-winners of the Artist of the Year award were Tom and Andrea Drury. Tom is as an instructor in USI’s Performing Arts Department and is staff accompanist. He also serves as organist and director of music at Trinity United Methodist Church and has played keyboard with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. Two years ago, he formed the Tom Drury Jazz Quartet. He’s also a composer.
His wife Andrea has sung with orchestras and opera companies across the United States and is the choral music instructor at North High School. She also conducts the Philharmonic Chorus and the Trinity United Methodist Choir.
“Southwestern Indiana has been blessed by these exceptional musicians. They give generously and share their passions with all who work under their leadership and are privileged to listen,” said McKim.
Art Advocate of the Year
Matthew Rowe ‘05, who calls Braysmith a mentor, is the recipient of the 2014 Arts Advocate Award. He is the executive director of the Reitz Home Museum and is a long-standing member of the Evansville Historic Preservation Commission. He is past president of the Evansville Museum Contemporaries and serves on the boards of the Evansville Public Art Commission, Alhambra Theatre, Inc., Friends of Willard Library and the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science.
“Matt does all he does for the love of arts,” McKim said. “He is a young man who deeply loves his hometown and can be credited for working in myriad ways to make the fine, decorative and performing arts community the very best it can be.”
Mayor’s Arts Award
Mary Bower, interim director and curator of collections for the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, received the 2014 Mayor’s Arts Award. Beginning in 2010, Bower - wife of David Bower, president of the USI Foundation - became project manager for the museum’s recently completed expansion project. She has served on the boards of the Arts Council, A Network of Evansville Women, Reitz Home Preservation Society and the Evansville Public Art Commission. She also was a member of Historic New Harmony’s Collection Review Committee. Historic New Harmony is a unified program of USI and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.
The Arts Awards will be presented at the annual banquet on August 21 at Tropicana Evansville Casino. For more information and tickets, call the Arts Council at 812-422-2111.
Photo Credit: Wendy Bredhold
Dr. Hilary Braysmith accepts the 2014 Art Educator Award.