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'We Need To Let Them Shine.' First-Ever Awards Honor Local Artists

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www.artsconnectlex.org
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Lexington artists, educators, and art benefactors were honored Thursday at the first of what's expected to become an annual awards event.

Over a hundred people showed up for a luncheon at the Lyric Theatre to attend Lexington's Arts Awards. The event was hosted by Arts Connect.

The 2021 Arts Connect winners include:

LaVon Williams Jr. / Visual Arts

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LaVon Williams, Jr.

Jenny Fitzpatrick / Performing Arts

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Jenny Fitzpatrick

Katrina Stoykova-Klemer / Literary Arts

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Bill Schloemer accepted the award on behalf of Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Larry and Vivian Snipes / Arts Educator

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Larry and Vivian Snipes

Councilperson Kathy Plomin & Former Councilperson Jennifer Mossotti / Arts Benefactor

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Jennifer Mossotti and Kathy Plomin

From the Arts Connect news release:

LaVon Williams, Jr. is known for his woodcarving. He adopted the distinctive African-inspired carved sculpture tradition of the Carolina coastal Gullah/Geechee people to find his voice, and considers himself an Urban folk artist, drawing inspiration from blues and jazz. Sports fans will remember him as a talented UK and pro basketball player. Jenny Fitzpatrick is the Founder and Artistic Director of Blackbird Dance Theatre which she launched in 2013. Since its' inception, Blackbird has produced 22 dance theatre productions and 5 musicals/musical reviews. Katerina Stoykova-Klemer is a poet, publisher, radio show host, teacher, and mentor. She is an advocate for women’s rights through her voice and through the opportunities she provides other women writers in this community Larry and Vivian Snipes recently retired as Producing and Artistic Directors of Lexington Children’s Theatre. Generations of Kentucky’s young people have had the privilege of learning the values, ideals, and integrity that have made the Snipes such remarkable educators and leaders for the last forty-two years. Former Councilmember Jennifer Mossotti and Councilmember Kathy Plomin mobilized an effort to bring a significant and commemorative piece of public art to Lexington, in response to the glaring lack of female representation in the national public art landscape and using the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment as a catalyst. Artist Barbara Grygutis' illuminated, monumental aluminum sculpture, entitled STAND, was installed in August 2020 to coincide with the celebration of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Kate Savage is the executive director of Arts Connect.

"I marvel every day at how many people are in Lexington who produce really good work—really good work—and we need to let them shine, we need to find ways to honor them, and recognize them, and encourage them— I guess maybe encourage[ment] is the biggest thing they need."

Savage says next years’ event, like this one, will ask Lexingtonians to nominate artists and art supporters who deserve the recognition of their community.

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