ROCHESTER — Paint Creek Center for the Arts recognized eight individuals and one organization that encourage art and culture in their communities during the third annual Regional Arts & Culture Awards June 13 at The Royal Park Hotel.
“We started the award because we realize the importance that arts and culture has on individual communities, and we wanted to help recognize individuals who are doing great things in their communities to help create a stronger arts and cultural network,” said PCCA Executive Director Suzanne Wiggins.
Each year, the nonprofit organization asks the officials of eight communities within its region to nominate a person or organization that understands the importance of having art in a community. The nominees either had to create art, donate toward an artistic or cultural cause, or work to maintain art and culture in their community.
Wiggins said the PCCA is delighted with the incredible support each municipality has given to the event and was thrilled to honor the individuals and groups for their dedication and commitment.
“Paint Creek is proud to host this annual event that allows us, and our local communities, to honor community members who are doing very generous and creative things to make their community a better place to live,” Wiggins said.
This year’s Arts and Culture Awards recipients hail from Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Auburn Hills, Orion Township, Shelby Township, Troy and Washington Township.
Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson selected Don Jagoda to receive the award in recognition of his “care and skill” in creating the Rochester Carriage House Bed & Breakfast — investing his time, financial resources, expertise and energy in repurposing and restoring part of the Lysander Woodward Estate. In his nomination, Bikson said the B&B takes its inspiration from the 1849 original structure, while offering all of the modern-day amenities to make for a successful business.
“After touring the completed bed-and-breakfast, I was in awe with the care and thought put into every detail. It truly is a work of art and will contribute to the fabric of our community for many years to come,” Bikson said in his nomination.
In Rochester Hills, Geoff Upward was selected to receive the award for his work as the executive director of Meadow Brook Hall — the fourth largest historic American house. As the educational cornerstone of Oakland University, the hall serves the campus of more than 19,000 students and faculty and an international research community as a robust cultural and historical center, according to Rochester Hills officials.
In Oakland Township, officials chose Libby Dwyer, a graphic artist and owner of Studio 1234. Dwyer is being recognized for the time and work she put into designing and creating panels on the history of the Mill in Goodison, which is currently on display on the Paint Creek Cider Mill.
Other award winners include Woodland Elementary School art teacher and prior chair of the Oakland County Chapter of the Michigan Art Education Association Candace DeTone for Auburn Hills; Custom Welding Studio owner Steve Leach, who welded the sculpture that stands at the Orion Veterans Memorial, for Orion Township; Shelby Township Nature Center Coordinator JoAnne Burgess for Shelby Township; Belian Art Center Gallery Director and artist Zabel Belian for Troy; and Romeo High School theater and drama teacher Kendra Walls for Washington Township.
The Paint Creek Center for the Arts also honored a Distinguished Regional Arts and Culture Award winner — Skidmore Studio in Detroit, which PCCA officials said was chosen because it has exemplified what it means to contribute to arts and culture.
Each award winner was presented with a commissioned piece of artwork designed by Phil Parks, a nationally renowned illustrator from Clarkson who also serves as a longtime faculty member at PCCA’s Art School.
For more information, visit www.pccart.org or call (248) 651-4110.