It was a who’s who in the arts community Tuesday night, as many gathered for the 50th anniversary of the Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.
Longtime sculptor Don Green was honored with the Eve Tilley Lifetime Achievement award. Deborah Thornton and Dan Wecks were deemed Arts Champion(s) of the Year, Edward Longfield was given the Future of the Arts award and Christine Flores was named Rising Star.
Green, 87, is the artist behind the plated steel bison and American Indian on horseback sculptures at the entrance to the Colorado Springs Airport; “Eos,” the 1998 stainless steel and glass structure at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus; and the rearing stallion outside Pikes Peak Center.
Flores caught PPAC’s attention with her illustrations of life experiences and conversations. She works in dry media, with pencils, pens and markers, and in a journal-like fashion. Her work has been featured in several exhibits around town and one solo show at Proof Gallery at Ladyfingers Letterpress.
“It’s recognition that I’m doing the right thing,” said Flores, 26. “It means I chose to follow my passion, and people are recognizing that.”
Twenty-three awards were handed out, in categories such as music, theater, dance, film, poetry and visual arts. Recipients included TheatreWorks’ production of the musical “Oklahoma,” Theatre ‘d Art’s production of “Angels in America,” the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Triple Nickel Tavern, the band Tigerwine and artists Cymon Padilla and Abigail Kreuser.
“It means a lot to me,” Kreuser said about her nomination in the established artist category. The photographer and owner of Kreuser Gallery last displayed her work in December and January in “Lucere,” a solo show at Manitou Art Center that featured black-and-white photos of 116 people in the arts community. The photos eventually were turned into a book.
“It caught me off guard,” she said. “I thought this must be a mistake. I work with so many amazing artists, and there’s so much talent in the city. I don’t hold myself in the same caliber as some of the artists we have here.”
PPAC advocates for and supports the arts and artists in the Pikes Peak region. Membership is open to the public and includes invitations to quarterly mixers and discounted tickets to events such as the PPAC Awards and the annual Pikes Peak Art and Music Festival.
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