First Lady Susan Corbett announced the recipients of the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts at a press conference at the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, PA, on July 24.

The annual event honors outstanding Pennsylvania artists, arts organizations, cultural leaders, and patrons who have made signficant contributions to the advancement of the arts.

“It is especially meaningful to announce the honorees of this year’s Governor’s Awards for the Arts in the hometown museum that celebrates the first recipient of a Pennsylvania Governor’s award, actor Jimmy Stewart,” Mrs. Corbett, the chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, said.

“This year’s list includes people revered in classical music and the visual arts, those dedicated to advocating for arts in education, a noted patron of many outstanding arts institutions and a world renowned museum celebrating one of Pennsylvania’s most famous artists.”

Governor Tom Corbett will present the awards on Sunday, September 28, at 4:00 p.m. at the Fisher Auditorium of the IUP Performing Arts Center. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public and will be followed by a public reception. The event is part of a September 27-28 weekend celebration of the arts in locations throughout Indiana County.

The 2014 honorees are:

Andy-Warhol-Museum-200.jpgAndy Warhol Museum  
Arts Innovation Award

The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a comprehensive redesign of its permanent collection galleries. Taking Warhol’s legacy of technological innovation as an inspiration, The Andy Warhol Museum has made the thoughtful use of technology a hallmark of the museum’s physical presence and also uses technology to expand its audience globally.

New cutting edge installations encourage an interactive experience for visitors.  Some of the museum’s most innovative experiences include The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which is a small-scale recreation of Warhol’s traveling multimedia show from the 1960s that combined film, projections, performance and live music by the Velvet Underground. The installation brings alive the art and culture of an experimental era in the United States.

The museum’s Screen Test Interactive similarly encourages visitors to insert themselves into the art making process.  In a gallery reminiscent of Warhol’s Silver Factory studio where Warhol created film portraits of his friends and celebrities, museum visitors are invited to create their own screen test utilizing a computer touch screen, a moveable backdrop, a specially modified vintage camera, and twin studio lights. Upon completion, the visitor’s screen test is transformed digitally from real time to slow motion and pushed to the Internet, where their work of art will be available on a custom webpage.

The screen test can then be shared on various social media channels.  Museum Director, Eric Shiner, describes the museum’s goal as “both engaging and educating guests so that everyone leaves with a true understanding of who Andy was and why he matters so much.”

The Warhol displays works of art, films and videos, and extensive archives that document all periods of Andy Warhol’s life. It shares this wealth with the international arts community through a highly trafficked website and regularly traveling museum collections around the globe. The museum has been an early adopter of social media channels of communication and new technology. Its’ Twitter feed now has more than half a million followers. It also has an array of mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and other platforms. 

Higdon-Gate_200.jpgJennifer Higdon

Distinguished Arts Award

Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. The Washington Post described her as “a savvy, sensitive composer with a keen ear, an innate sense of form and a generous dash of pure esprit.” She received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, with the committee citing Higdon’s work as a “deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.”

Her works have been commissioned and performed by orchestras throughout the world, and are enjoyed by audiences at several hundred performances a year and on over three dozen CDs. Her orchestral work blue cathedral is one of the most performed contemporary orchestral compositions with more than 400 performances worldwide since its premiere in 2000. 

Her list of commissions is extensive and includes The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, The Atlanta Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Santa Fe Opera, as well as such groups as the Tokyo String Quartet, eighth blackbird, and the President’s Own Marine Band. 

Higdon’s commitment to the highest level of artistic achievement and the quality of her work across a diversity of musical genres has earned her many national and international honors. These include a Pew Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. A gifted teacher, she has inspired a generation of young composers and musicians at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she holds the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies. (photo: J. Henry Fair)

Robert Qualters
Artist of the Year

Robert Qualters is an American painter, installation artist and printmaker. His work encompasses traditional painting, as well as murals, and collaborations with other Pittsburgh-based artists across several disciplines. A recent celebration of his career and legacy started with a retrospective exhibition titled “Robert Qualters: A Life” at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. The exhibition was curated by Vicky A. Clark, who also authored the new book “Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies,” published by the University of Pittsburgh Press and launched in March of 2014.

A documentary film by Joe and Elizabeth Seamans, “Bob Qualters: The Artist in Action” debuted that same month at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. All in time for Qualters’ 80th birthday. In a Pittsburgh Magazine feature, Richard Armstrong, former director of Carnegie Museum of Art and current director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York said “As a conjurer of life in 20th-century industrial Pittsburgh, painter Robert Qualters has no peers. Possessed of a distinctive style and palette, Qualters’ work stands as rich testimony to his long life of observation matched by great powers of evocation.”

Qualters’ work is represented in the permanent collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Oakland California Museum of Art, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art; as well as the main offices of PPG Industries, Alcoa, Hillman Company, the Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments; and many other corporations, schools, agencies and private collections. Qualters has completed more than two-dozen public murals and site-specific installations. He is associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement of Representational Painting.

Myron-Tomb-200px.jpgMyron Hay Tomb, Esq.
Indiana, PA
Arts Leadership and Service Award

Myron Tomb receives the 2014 Leadership & Service Award for his work promoting the benefits of arts in education for all Pennsylvanians. One of the longest serving members on the governing council of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), the state arts agency, from 1992 to 2011, Tomb was founding chair of the Council’s subcommittee on arts in education (AIE). Throughout his tenure, he worked diligently to foster participation in the creative process in schools and community settings throughout Pennsylvania.

Tomb’s leadership helped build the PCA’s nationally-recognized infrastructure of exemplary local and regional cultural and educational organizations that serve as the PCA’s regional partners statewide. The goal of the PCA partnership is to improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness and satisfaction. As a result of this vision, AIE Partners now provide services across the state that include artist residencies, workshops, teacher training, professional development, consultant and referral services, and educational and promotional publications. AIE Partners have served on prestigious national panels, received local, state and national awards, and leveraged additional funding from leading private foundations.

In addition to Tomb’s advocacy for arts in education, he is a founding member of the Indiana law firm of Tomb, Mack, Kauffman & Fritz. He’s served on many local and regional boards, including The Foundation for IUP, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Indiana Arts Council, and he received the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Mark-Pasquerilla-200.jpgMark E. Pasquerilla
Johnstown, PA
Arts Patron Award

Mark E. Pasquerilla is CEO of Pasquerilla Enterprises, a private investment company and was formerly the CEO of Crown American Realty Trust, a NYSE REIT. He is being recognized for his support for numerous cultural organizations in Johnstown and the Western Pennsylvania region.

Continuing the significant philanthropic activities of his parents, the late Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla, he has extended and deepened his family’s tradition of arts and cultural giving with his own leadership and service. He is an advocate for the importance of history, arts, culture, and heritage in driving economic development and is described as “a tireless fundraiser and advocate for the arts.”

Among the many organizations that have benefited from his generosity and leadership are: the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the Pittsburgh Opera, River City Brass Band, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, the Johnstown Concert Ballet, and Johnstown Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Notre Dame University, he completed a Master of Science degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics, and served as a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar.

PCAlogo-ko_75.jpgThe Governor’s Awards for the Arts are administered by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The state agency works to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania, and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state through more than one thousand grants a year, with support for every county in the state.

Tomorrow Is the Big Day: 2014 Award Recipients Announced!

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Word on the street: The Harrisburg media crew will soon arrive in Indiana to prepare for First Lady Susan Corbett's visit tomorrow. We're excited to soon learn this year's PA Artist of the Year and Distinguished Arts, Arts Innovation, and Arts Patron awardees!

Think a western PA artist will be included?

#IndianaProud #PennsylvaniaProud

All We Need Is You: Governor's Arts Awards - Coming September 28

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IUP Communications Media students invite everyone to the big event on Sunday, September 28!

Come celebrate Pennsylvania's amazing cultural talent with the wonderful small-town America spirit Indiana is known for.


  • 11 am: Arts events begin in locations around Indiana County
  • 4 pm: Awards ceremony, IUP Performing Arts Center
  • After the ceremony: Public reception

See our events schedule. All events are free and open to the public!

Community Art Flag Project Gets Underway!

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Teachers Heidi Higbee and Ashley Rosendale and their students at East Pike Elementary School are excited about the Governor's Arts Awards. They're some of the first participants in the flag decorating project.

See more student flag decorating photos on our Facebook page.

Artistic spirit will fly high in hundreds of decorated flags in the Oak Grove at IUP on September 28, celebrating Indiana as the Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth for the day.

Students in k-12 schools began decorating flags in early June, more schools will participate in August/September, and flags will be available for adults and kids to decorate at the Indiana County Fair (August 24-30), the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival (Indiana, September 5-6), and more locales this summer. Decorate a flag--show your true colors!

An exciting event schedule is taking shape!

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An exciting preliminary event schedule for the Governor's Arts Awards is beginning to take form, like a work of art in its earliest, inspired phase.

There'll be hundreds of flags flying...

Celebrating Indiana as the Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth for the day on September 28, artistic spirit will fly high in hundreds of decorated flags in the Oak Grove at IUP.

Students in area k-12 schools began decorating flags in early June, more schools will participate in August/September, and flags will be available for adults and kids to decorate at the Indiana County Fair (August 24-30), the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival (Indiana, September 5-6), and more locales this summer.

and an Open Studio Tour and open houses at cultural venues...

  • At 11:00 am the annual Open Studio Tour begins, with acclaimed and up-and-coming artists throughout Indiana County welcoming you to see their work in progress. The tour will also be available Saturday, September 27.
  • At noon, discover Indiana's artsy side in open houses at cultural destinations, including the Indiana Theater, Artists Hand Gallery, and more.
The works of 35 of our most accomplished k-12 student artists will be exhibited and juried for prize money...

  • The artwork of 35 Indiana-area k-12 students who were recognized in this spring's seventh annual Youth Arts Celebration will be displayed at the IUP Performing Arts Center. A special second round of jurying will further select recipients for cash prizes for art supplies for their school.
and a great lineup of Indiana-area musical talent will fill the air with festive sound...

  • At 2:00 pm, bandstand performances in the Oak Grove begin, with a lineup including the IUP Jazz Ensemble, IUP Chorale, Marion Center Area High School Choir, and much more of the great musical talent in the Indiana area.

Check out the preliminary Events Calendar, and stay tuned for further details.

--Deborah Klenotic
Kathleen Mulcahy and Ron Desmett are innovative studio glass artists and founders of the Pittsburgh Glass Center, a nonprofit, public access school, gallery and state-of-the-art glass studio dedicated to teaching, creating and promoting glass art.

"Surprise, tenderness, flow, a kind of cleansing feeling, ancient excavations, newness, childlike curiosity, beauty and play" -- This is what Kathleen says she hopes to inspire in viewers. We think she succeeds beautifully! What do you think?

Kathleen Mulcahy Ron Desmett glass 510.jpg