2014 Pennsylvania Governor's Arts Awards recipients
Speaker: Jeanne Gleason, vice chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; front row: Robert Qualters, Myron Hay Tomb, Jennifer Higdon, Governor Tom Corbett, First Lady Susan Corbett; back row: Eric Shiner, Michele Fabrizi, Mark Pasquerilla. See more photos.

“When a song, painting, play, or poem touches your heart, you’re the most important part of an artist’s work—you’re the recipient of the gift of art,” First Lady Susan Corbett said at the 31st Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts at Fisher Auditorium, IUP Performing Arts Center, on Sunday, September 28

Art as a transformational force, from cave-painting days to the digital era, and the urgent need to sustain it were prevailing themes as Governor Tom Corbett, the First Lady, and Jeanne Gleason, vice chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), recognized the 2014 recipients of the state’s highest arts honors.

The event was the work of a partnership led by Hank Knerr, director of IUP Lively Arts, that included the Jimmy Stewart Museum--Jimmy Stewart was the first ever Pennsylvania Governor's Arts Award recipient, in 1980
--and the Indiana County Tourist Bureau; Indiana Arts Council; Artists Hand Gallery; and other area organizations.

About 10 musical groups from IUP and the Indiana area performed, downtown cultural venues and campus museums welcomed visitors, and 35 works by the most accomplished k-12 art students in the Indiana area were shown in a special exhibit. Best in Show went to Kelsey Cunningham, Indiana Area Senior High School, for her painting "Family Tree."

“What a great day for Indiana,” said Tomb, an Indiana native and IUP alumnus who received the Arts Leadership and Service Award. “It would’ve never happened were it not for the immediate 'yes'  from IUP president Michael Driscoll when he was asked over a year ago about hosting the event." Driscoll emphasized that IUP's long history of excellence in the arts makes it particularly well suited as a host location.

Tomb is founder of the PCA's nationally recognized Arts in Education network, which every year provides thousands of Pennsylvania’s k-12 students hands-on art learning experiences through artist residencies in their schools.

“Anyone who knows me knows I believe in the power of art,” said Tomb, “Teaching the idea that you can create something is powerful,” he said, emphasizing that this applies in all areas of learning.

“I’ll use every ounce of my energy to keep fighting for arts education in schools,” Tomb said.

India Scott, Blacklick Valley High School studentIndia Scott, a student at Blacklick Valley High School, spoke movingly of the impact the PCA artist in residency program has had on her life.

“When I started in the arts program, the first thing I tried was the clay wheel, and the clay was flying everywhere,"
said Scott, who is blind.

"It seemed like a mess," she recalled with humor. “But I learned how to make something of it. It seems like a metaphor for life.”  Through the arts program, she said, "I’ve learned to make my disability a capability.”

Qualters, in accepting the Artist of the Year Award, noted the many colleges he's taught at, including IUP in the 1970s, and said he was the first PCA artist in residence at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School.

Qualters has had a banner year, with a new book, Autobiographical Mythologies by Vicky Clark; a retrospective at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and a documentary film, Bob Qualters: The Artist in Action. The Governor's Arts Award "is the capstone,” he said.

“If I hadn't been in Pennsylvania, I wouldn’t have had the career I have,” said composer Jennifer Higdon in accepting the Distinguished Arts Award. The Philadelphia resident cited four turning points.

These include a grant from the PCA; a Pew Fellowship that gave her the “time to study writing long-form music”; a commission by Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music that allowed her to write blue cathedral—now the most performed contemporary work in America; and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s “taking a chance on a young composer” in 2002 by commissioning her Concerto for Orchestra for the League of American Orchestras. This “changed my life overnight,” said the Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.

In accepting the Arts Innovation Award for the Andy Warhol Museum, Eric Shiner, museum director, and Michele Fabrizi, chair of the museum board, emphasized Warhol’s energy and vision for new art forms, including pioneering computer art in the ‘80s on an Amiga.

“Art organizations must
stay relevant and engaging if they’re to compete successfully with the many other entertainment options,” stressed Fabrizi.

In celebration of winning the Governor's Arts Award, they announced a free month of downloads of the Warhol DIY POP app, inviting everyone to “Warholize your photos.”

Great perspective was provided by Johnstown native Mark Pasquerilla, who received the Arts Patron Award for his support for many cultural organizations in western Pennsylvania, includng the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Pittsburgh Opera, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, and others.

Pasquerilla spoke about the 32,000-year-old cave paintings of Chauvet, France. Despite the immense struggle of living, he noted, “the Chauvet cave painters had a fierce human drive to express themselves and educate their offspring about their world and their dreams.

“Living in a small town, fighting to preserve our region’s arts and heritage, there are endless struggles--to maintain an audience, find funding, recruit committed and visionary management.

“But we can’t give up. We have a story to tell, our heritage to preserve. I’m a cave painter. We all are. We have to tell future generations our dreams, our story.”

--by Deborah Klenotic, photo by Keith Boyer, IUP Communications and Marketing

2014 Pennsylvania Governor's Arts Awards Honorees

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Share your Pennsylvania pride and celebrate the arts in our state as Indiana County and IUP host the 31st Governor's Arts Awards, Sunday, September 28!

Community arts activities begin at 11 am; the awards event begins at 4:00 pm; and a reception featuring western Pennsylvania's favorite foods begins at 5:00 pm. All events are free; tickets are needed to get into the awards. See the complete schedule and reserve your free tickets to the awards show!

2014 Pennsylvania Governor's Arts Awards Honorees

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)

R_Qualters-Self-Portrait-w_Mark_Perrott-4x5_300ppi_250.jpgRobert 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. (Portrait by Mr. Qualters in collaboration with Mark Perrott; image of the work © Mark Perrott)

Myron-Tomb200x251.jpgMyron Hay Tomb, Esq.
Indiana, PA
Arts Leadership and Service Award

Video interview: Myron's House of Art

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.

Come celebrate the work of the talented young artists in the Indiana community! See the visual artwork of some of the Indiana area's most accomplished k-12 art students in a special second exhibit of the award-winning works from the Indiana Arts Council's 7th Annual Youth Arts Celebration, April 30 - May 4.

Beginning at noon on Sunday, September 28, the grand lobby at IUP Peforming Arts Center will show the works of 35 student artists who were selected for recognition from among almost 500 participants from over 13 schools in the spring event.

This special second round of jurying as part of the Governor's Arts Awards further selects winners for additional cash prizes for art supplies in their school. 

Best in Show          

Through a Hero's Eyes, Brittany Smith, 11th grade, Marion Center Jr./Sr. High School; teacher: Cathy Paterson                                                 

Group I: Grades 10-12                                                         

First Place

Family Tree, Kelsey Cunningham, 11th grade, Indiana Sr. High School; teacher: Arlene Miller/ Beth Porter

Second Place

Dancing Shoes, Monica DeLoreto, 11th grade, Indiana Sr. High School; teacher: Arlene Miller/ Beth Porter

Third Place

Untitled, Mary Young, 11th grade, Punxsutawney High School; teacher: Jessica Green

Honorable Mentions                                   

HM1: Light My Fire, Natalie Cignetti, 12th grade, Indiana Sr. High; teacher: Arlene Miller/ Beth Porter

HM2: Knight In Rotting Armor, Bronwyn Kallsen, 12th grade, Indiana Sr High; teacher: Arlene Miller/ Beth Porter

HM3: Native Horse, Megan Yeckley, 12th grade, Penns Manor; teacher: Robert Paronish

HM4: Olifant, Laura Jones, 12th grade, Homer Center High School; teacher: Gary Wyant 

HM5: The Arrow, Josh Felton, 10th grade, United Jr./Sr. High School; teacher: Jill Shinsky

HM6: Skull, J.D. Faser, 10th grade, Blairsville Md./High School; teacher: Courtney Scherf

HM7: Ugh, Sam Cope, 12th grade, Indiana Sr High; teacher: Arlene Miller

Group II: Grades 7-9                                                

First Place

Beware of the Jabberwock, Talia Mastalski, 7th grade, Indiana Jr. High School; teacher: Bonnie Kurcsics

Second Place

Soaring, Maria Kololis, 9th grade, Indiana Sr. High School; teacher: Arlene Miller/ Beth Porter

Third Place

Carissa, Brianna Askins, 9th grade, Marion Center Jr./Sr. High School; teacher: Cathy Paterson

Honorable Mentions                                                 

HM1: Untitled, Nabeeka Affan, 8th grade, Indiana Jr. High School; teacher: Bonnie Kurcsics

HM2: Untitled, Mea Cash, 7th grade, Indiana Jr. High School; teacher: Bonnie Kurcsics

HM3:  Untitled, Brendan Lawton, 9th grade, Jill Shinsky, United Jr./Sr. High School; teacher: Jill Shinsky

HM4: Untitled, Lauren Krecota, 8th grade, St. Bernard Regional Catholic School; teacher: Cynthia Canton (retired)/ Kristen Geer 

Group III: Grades 4-6                                                           

First Place

Untitled, Nicole Hill, 6th grade, United Elementary School; teacher: Lora Marsh 

Second Place

Flower, Mia Herman, 6th grade, Indiana Jr. High School; teacher: Molly Weber

Third Place

Untitled, Emily Zerfoss, 5th grade, Homer Center Elementary; teacher: Greg Hartnett     

Honorable Mentions                                                 

HM1: Untitled, Kara Marshall, 4th grade, Seeds of Faith Christian Academy; teacher: Jeniece Duchon

HM2: Untitled, Lauren Berezansky, 6th grade, Indiana Jr. High; teacher: Molly Weber

HM3: Matisse Cut Out, Sydney Zias, 6th grade, Blairsville Md./HS; teacher: Courtney Scherf

HM4: Untitled, Ashlyn Bowers, 6th grade, United Elementary; teacher: Lora Marsh

HM5: Untitled, Amelia Kuzneski, 6th grade, Indiana Jr. High; teacher: Molly Weber

Group IV: Kindergarten and Grades 1-3                                                       

First Place

Untitled, Gradden Lych, 3rd grade, United Elementary; teacher Lora Marsh

Second Place

Purified Water, Joseph Baunoch, 2nd grade, Eisenhower Elementary, IASD; teacher: Jennifer Rinkevich

Third Place

Wiener Dogs, Isabella Bernard, 1st grade, Homer Center Elementary; teacher: Greg Hartnett

Honorable Mentions                                                

HM1: Between the Lines, Rebekah Marshall, kindergarten, St. Bernard Regional Catholic; teacher: Cynthia Caton (retired)/ Kristen Geer

HM2: Untitled, Jacole Kandell, 2nd grade, Seeds of Faith Christian Academy; teacher: Jeniece Duchon

HM3: Untitled, Autumn Boldin, 2nd grade, United Elementary; teacher: Lora Marsh

HM4: Untitled, Peyton Tomas, kindergarten, United Elementary; teacher: Lora Marsh 

HM5: China King, Jenna Lin, 1st grade, Eisenhower Elementary, IASD; teacher: Jennifer Rinkevich   

Share your Pennsylvania pride and celebrate the arts in our state

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Thank you to faculty Mark Piwinsky and Brittany Pavolik and students of the IUP Communications and Media Department for creating this awesome video for us.

Reserve your free tickets now, and see you at the celebration on September 28!

Free tickets for the Arts Awards event are now available!

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Free tickets to the Governor's Arts Awards event at 4:00 pm at the IUP Performing Arts Center are now available: Reserve your tickets here!

See the complete activities schedule, including open studios in Indiana County, open houses at cultural venues in downtown Indiana, a bandstand and exhibits on the IUP campus, and a public reception after the awards event. All activities are free.

See you on September 28: We're looking forward to celebrating the arts in Pennsylvania with you!


Governor's Awards for the Arts in Pennsylvania 2014

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