The Mendocino County Arts Council Board of Directors is pleased to announce the recipients of the 19th Annual Mendocino County Arts Champion Award. The Arts Champions, nominated annually by community members and selected by the Arts Council Board of Directors, will be officially recognized by a proclamation from the Supervisory Board on November 9, 2021.
The 2021 Arts Champions in the following categories are: Artist Category: Corine Pearce; Artistic organization: Gualala Arts Center; Company: Café Black Oak; Educator: Blake More; Individual: Larry R. Wagner; Honorable mention: Galerie MOYENNE.
Corine Pearce, Champion of the Arts in the Artist category, is a basket maker, herbalist, dancer, storyteller and cultural educator who has taught classes on basket weaving, traditional uses of native plants, land stewardship, land ecology. fire and traditional ecological knowledge for over 25 years. . She is the author of Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction, and her basketry has been featured in numerous newspaper articles, art galleries, and museum exhibits, including an upcoming collaborative exhibit at the San Francisco de Young Museum (see www .corinepearce.com).
The Gualala Arts Center is being honored for its years of diverse artistic programming and for responding to the challenges of the pandemic with grace, never abandoning its mission to support and encourage the arts in the South Coast community. In the words of its proponents, “Gualala Arts has set up online exhibitions, outdoor concerts and kept art alive in our community even during the pandemic” and “with the rage of COVID and the centers art closing their doors, reinvented itself by using low cost tools to create an online platform,… dedicated resources to help artists in the transition to the Web, (and) share this knowledge and experience acquired with other arts organizations. “
Black Oak Coffee, the 2021 Business Arts Champion, is an award-winning local roaster that has supported over 100 community organizations that are making a difference in Mendocino County and beyond. In the words of their proponent, “They provide inviting and well-visited gallery space for free to local artists (and) have organized gallery exhibitions for advanced art students at Ukiah High School.” It’s a place that feels like it belongs to young people as much as to anyone else in our community.
Blake More, winner in the Education category, elevates the teaching of art and poetry to rock star status for her students. She radiates energy and skill in a dizzying number of categories: literary arts, digital media, performing arts, fashion design, clothing construction, and more. She might arrive to lead a poetry aloud workshop in a dazzled art car, dressed in a handmade costume. She ignites a passion for high school poetry recitation year after year, evoking the dreams, hopes and feelings of students in classrooms across the county in original poetry.
Larry R. Wagner, this year’s arts champion in the individual patron category, “lives and breathes supporting the arts,” according to his nominee. He has been a major donor, supporter and volunteer for the arts since moving to Fort Bragg in 1993. Larry has donated thousands of hours over many years as a professional photographer for many local nonprofit organizations. lucrative, including Symphony of the Redwoods, MeCCA (Mendocino Center for Circus Arts), Flynn Creek Circus, Winesong !, Mendocino Music Festival and Mendocino Film Festival. He has published three volumes on Mendocino Coast Artists and has just completed the design of Lost and Found: Assemblage Artists of Northern California, showcasing the work of eight assemblage artists from Mendocino County. He assisted in the development and formation of the Mendocino Promotional Alliance, consulted the Mendocino Art Center management team to ensure its survival during the pandemic, and teaches photography classes for the MAC and the Botanical Gardens of the Mendocino coast.
The MEDIUM gallery, a new exhibition space in Ukiah which presented its first exhibition, Prologue, in July 2021, received an honorable mention for the courage, determination and inclusive vision of its three founders: Chris Pugh, (a CCMA Board Member) Lillian Rubie and Meredith Hudson. In the words of their community nominator, “This group of residents of Inland Mendo have worked to achieve their goal of a new community space allowing artists of all levels and styles to share their work for free…. They engage the community with stimulating calls for applications, and it’s great to have a new place for more art in Ukiah. The more voices we hear and see, the better!
The Mendocino County Champions of the Arts Awards are announced each October to coincide with National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. For more information on the Mendocino County Art Champion Awards and other Mendocino County Arts Council programs and services, visit www.artsmendocino.org or call 707-463-2727.