Friday, September 12, 2014

Kendig Award for the Arts Nominees Selected

Jack Avis and Ginger Poole Avis.
Keith Ferrell

Twelve artists and arts advocates are among the nominees for the 2014 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards scheduled to be presented Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at Hollins President Nancy Gray's home. The awards are sponsored by Hollins and Roanoke College and they recognize exemplary individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Roanoke Valley that support excellence in the arts. 

(Full disclosure here: I've won two of them, one while with the Business Journal for support of the arts, the second a few years later for "literary achievement".)

 Here are the nominees for the 2014 Kendig Awards (one award will be presented in each category):

Individual Artist

Keith Ferrell – Former editor of Omni magazine and author of nearly 20 books, including the New York Times bestseller History Decoded, he is known locally for his work with the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference.

Charlene Graves – A native Roanoke artist, art teacher, and arts administrator who has become a key leader and volunteer in the Roanoke arts community. She currently works with the Parks and Arts program and has served on the Roanoke Arts Commission.

Joseph Mackereth – He has produced graphic design and illustration work for local non-profit organizations such as Opera Roanoke, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, Mill Mountain Theatre, and Center in the Square, as well as for The Roanoker and Blue Ridge Country magazines.

Page Turner – An assemblage/sculpture artist who grew up in the Roanoke Valley and is gaining regional and national recognition for her work, including her latest series, “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine,” representing women who have influenced her life. 

Bill White – A painter, educator, leader, and facilitator who has contributed to the arts in Roanoke for decades. He has earned acclaim for his artistic technique, his commitment to teaching, and his organization of exhibits at local museums. 

Individual or Business Arts Supporter

Jack Avis/Ginger Poole – Avis has used his business acumen as head of Avis Construction Company to support Mill Mountain Theatre. Poole, Avis’s wife, has served with distinction as MMT’s creative director. 

James W. Hyams – A contributor to the local arts community through service work, education, mentorships, and board memberships; loaning his personal collection to local and national galleries and museums; and curating and supporting local exhibits. 

Member One Federal Credit Union – Member One has continually supported arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley financially and through leadership, volunteer initiatives, and business practices. 
The Dr. Robert A. Keeley Healing Arts Program at Carilion Clinic – This program enables Carilion Clinic to collaborate with the local arts community to provide literary, performance, and visual art experiences for patients and their families.

Arts and/or Cultural Organization

Mill Mountain Theatre – Despite challenges during its almost 50 years of existence, MMT has succeeded through tenacity and perseverance. At the same time it has given back to the community through education and partnerships with other arts organizations. 

Roanoke Arts Commission – This all-volunteer body has worked to support and lead the development of arts and culture in Roanoke, developing the nationally recognized Park and Arts Program and overseeing funding for local arts and cultural organizations.

Roanoke Ballet Theatre – Serving a diverse population, presenting three large-scale performances each year, and actively promoting community outreach and education, the RBT encourages students of all ages to learn, grow, and perform dance.

Also highlighting this year’s ceremony will be the presentation of a new honor. The Harriett Stokes Memorial Award commemorates the life and work of the Salem artist who was called the “grande dame of art in the valley” by LinDor gallery owner Dorsey Taylor. Stokes, who passed away in May, was one of the originators of Art in the Alley and was an exhibitor at Roanoke’s Annual Sidewalk Art Show for more than 50 years. Last October, she received the Kendig Award in the Individual Artist category.

Named for the late Perry F. Kendig, who served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts, the Kendig Awards were established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. 

For more information about the Kendig Awards, contact Brook Dickson at Hollins University, (540) 362-6287 or

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