2017 North Shore Awards Show Recap
On Saturday, July 8th, the North Shore studio held our annual Awards Show. Per the artists’ request, this year’s event was moved from winter to summer so we could enjoy a warm, breezy evening together. Our gallery was full of new work, featuring one piece from each of our current artists. Dinner was provided by Il Forno with support from LuAnn Hamel and artist Ted Hamel. Desserts were generously donated by Sweet Ali’s Bakery. Our friends at Granite City Brewery brought us two delicious varieties of beer to enjoy. And the highlight of the evening was the awards presentation, honoring each artist for their accomplishments and highlighting several of our weekly supplemental programs – Poetry Club, Wellness and Drama.Below is a recap of this year’s awards and recipients. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a gallery of images from the special evening, captured by local photographer Cynthia Conte-Jones of CynVision Photography.Many thanks to those who attended the event, as well as our generous sponsors. You all made this amazing evening possible. —
BUILDING COMMUNITY AWARDS
NIKOLE HEUSMAN: A strong community requires strong members to hold up the walls. From helping her coworkers set up to providing artistic feedback, Nikole is important glue that binds our community together. Through her actions, she inspires confidence and encourages others to connect. For these reasons and so many more, we are honored to present Nikole Heusman with the Building Community Award.
RAINA CARTER & TED HAMEL The Circle Award is presented to the artists who complete our community circle. They are an integral piece of our larger studio community and their presence makes our community distinct and whole. Whether they’re seasoned veterans or fresh new faces, we can’t imagine The Arts of Life without them. We are proud to present Raina Carter & Ted Hamel with the Circle Award.
RUSSELL COPENHARVE: Like a true leader, Russell generates excitement for events, meetings and new projects within our community. He is the first person to approach a visitor and explain the impact the community has made on his life while campaigning for our core values. Both in and out of the studio Russell carries the message of Arts of Life and for this reason, we are honored to present him with the Ambassador Award.
BECKY KUBICA: In previous years, Becky has been named Miss Congeniality and was presented with the Kindness Award. This year, Becky has taken her warm spirit and care of others to the next level, growing into one of the studio’s emerging leaders. Always one to lend an ear or shoulder to those in need, Becky has added to her repertoire. Nowadays, she also reflects back the things that make each person valuable to the community and encourages us to be their best selves. She shares her own struggles in ways that motivate. For these reasons, we are honored to present Becky Kubica with the Leadership Award.
BRIAN REED: Brian shows a deep interest in the well being of every member of the Arts of Life community, peppering us all with questions about our lives, our families, and the things we value most. Each day, he reminds us what it means to be empathetic, altruistic and compassionate. It is our pleasure to present Brian Reed with the Friendship Award.
JACK O’SULLIVAN: The Veronica Cuculich Award is a special honor presented to artists who share the creative energy and artistic instincts of our founding artist. They remind us why we opened the studio and what’s at the heart of our community: ART. Jack is a maker, through and through. His focus is admirable and challenges the rest of us to focus, too. We are honored to present Jack O’Sullivan with the Veronica Cuculich Award
MARCELO ANON: The Veronica Cuculich Award is a special honor presented to artists who share the creative energy and artistic instincts of our founding artist. They remind us why we opened the studio and what’s at the heart of our community: ART. Marcelo’s creative practice is as structured and architectural as the drawings it produces. A strong foundation of experience and dedication give rise to the vaulted ceilings of Marcelo’s imagination running wild. We are honored to present Marcelo Anon with the Veronica Cuculich Award.
DEVELOPING INDEPENDENCE AWARDS
ANDREW SLOAN: Through his creative practice and as a member of the community, Andrew has gained a sense of inner freedom which has enabled him to take risks and trust his own judgment. We believe no artist has embodied our value of Developing Independence this year as well as Andrew Sloan and we are happy to present him with the Developing Independence Award.
AMANDA GANTNER: Amanda is one tough artist. Need proof? Just watch her flex. This year, Amanda’s emotional fortitude was even more impressive than her physical strength. In the face of life’s many challenges, Amanda continued to thrive as a maker, a colleague, a friend and a professional. For these reasons, we are honored to present Amanda Gantner with the Strength Award.
OLY TRINDL: Speaking up on your own behalf is a difficult and courageous act, but Oly makes it look easy. She is able to express her wants and needs with grace. For her ability to act in accordance with her beliefs and desires, even in the face of resistance, we present Oly Trindl with the Advocate Award.
QUINN ZENNER: Quinn views the Age of Enlightenment as an attitude and values his ability to think deeply and philosophically on a variety of topics. Anyone who sits next to him is bound to learn something new about Quinn’s view on the world. For his love of big thinking, we are pleased to present Quinn Zenner with the Enlightenment Award.
TED GRAM-BOARINI: For many artists, it’s easy to get excited about a new idea, but harder to see that idea through to fruition. Ted has often been involved in new projects at The Arts of Life and his interest in them hasn’t waned as they’ve become more routine and established. He continues to remain engaged in evaluating, shaping and administering programs like Teaching Artist Residency and Van Go Go. For his commitment and passion, we honor Ted Gram-Boarini with the Professionalism Award.
YORDAN YANEV: Introduced last year, the “Crazy New” Award is given to the artist who faces life-changing circumstances head on. This year, Yordan radically changed his life when he sought out and accepted a competitive employment position at a local grocery store. Now a member of the workforce, Yordan is learning to balance his creative practice with his other professional endeavors. We are honored to present Yordan Yanev with the Crazy New Award.
LAURA GREENBERG: The Mendel Bronfeld Award is given each year in recognition of the value of going at your own pace. Through the constant presence of these award recipients, our community has learned to respect them and has a better sense of who we are because of our relationship with them. Thanks to Laura, we know the value of deliberate project planning through careful communication. It is our great pleasure to present Laura Greenberg with the Mendel Bronfeld Award.
ED RAWSKI: The Mendel Bronfeld Award is given each year in recognition of the value of going at your own pace. Through the constant presence of these award recipients, our community has learned to respect them and has a better sense of who we are because of our relationship with them. Ed has taught us the value of taking coffee breaks and deep breaths in between brush strokes. It is our great pleasure to present Edward Rawski with the Mendel Bronfeld Award.
PROMOTING SELF RESPECT AWARDS
COLE FOX: This year, Cold Fox opened up a new side of himself to the community. Through writing and communicating with his dynavox, Cole gained a better understanding of his strengths, weaknesses, and preferences, and was able to contribute these insights to the community. For these reasons, we are pleased to present Cole with the Promoting Self-Respect Award.
EVAN MADSEN: Evan is unapologetically himself. Unafraid to say what is on his mind, Evan always speaks his truth. In recognition of these characteristics, we are happy to present Evan with this year’s Authenticity Award.
AARON KLEEBLATT: Though it’s not always apparent at first glance, Aaron is a man of great passion. When he gets excited about a topic, his quiet stoicism melts away and underneath is a person who can’t wait to discuss facts and theories and interpretations. His interest in art history has been especially valuable to the studio community. We look forward to watching his enthusiasm continue to grow and we are honored to present Aaron Kleeblatt with the Enthusiasm Award.
ALICIA PORTER: Last year, major life changes forced Alicia to take a break from the studio. None of us knew when (or if) she would return. But Alicia and her family were determined she would continue her vocation as an artist, so despite many challenges, Alicia rejoined the studio in the fall. Although much had changed in her months away, Alicia’s creative drive and ability to make work were undiminished. For that reason, we are honored to present Alicia Porter with the Determination Award.
DAVID JONAITIS: The term gentleman refers to any man of good, courteous conduct. From giving tours to lending a hand, David is proper and polite in all his actions. Because being a true Gentleman never goes out of fashion, we are happy to present David Jonaitis with the Gentleman’s Award.
HECTOR JONES: Integrity is a personal choice. Hector brings his true & authentic character regardless of the circumstance. He holds himself to consistent moral and artistic standards and leads the community with honestly and fairness. For a man who demonstrates consistency we present Hector Jones with the Integrity award.
SAEMEE KIM: Each year the Ann Gunsberg Award is presented to artists from who we learn the most. Because of their presence in the studio, we have learned to be better people and artists. Driven and capricious, these artists are always only themselves, demonstrating authenticity to the broader community. Each day, Saemee teaches us to be more aware of those around us and to listen and speak carefully. This year, we are happy to present the Ann Gunsberg Award to Saemee Kim.
REBECCA TURNER: Each year the Ann Gunsberg Award is presented to artists from who we learn the most. Because of their presence in the studio, we have learned to be better people and artists. Driven and capricious, these artists are always only themselves, demonstrating authenticity to the broader community. Through Rebecca, we have learned when to lead, when to follow, and just how far a warm tone and kind word can go. This year, we are happy to present the Ann Gunsberg Award to Rebecca Turner.
INSPIRING ARTISTIC EXPRESSION AWARDS
BILLY BORGERD: Billy’s actions, words and consistency make it clear he’s committed to his creative practice. He’s comfortable incorporating both familiar methods and new techniques into his pieces and knows that there are no mistakes in the creative process. We’re honored to present Billy with Inspiring Artistic Expression Award.
RENATA BERDES: It is often the social role of the artist to transcend traditional ideas, rule and patterns. Renata consistently questions the world around her, exploring new subjects and experimenting with new mediums. She takes creativity to a new level by turning an ordinary subject and day to day living into an extraordinary project. It is with great pleasure that we present Renata Berdes with the Creativity Award.
CHRIS VIAU: Chis Viau has dedicated years to The Arts of Life in his unique role as Archivist. He has spent thousands of hours entering data and cropping photos. His work is vital to the success of the studio and our artists. In recognition of all Chris has contributed to our studio community, we are honored to present him with the Dedication Award.
DANIEL FROWNFELTER: Daniel is one of those rare artists who excels across modes and mediums. He is a capable visual artist as well as a singer/songwriter. In addition, he loves using his body to preform as both dancer and actor. Because of those three talents (and so many more), it is a pleasure to present Daniel Frownfelter with the Triple Threat Award.
LAURA McMANUS: Always communing with her environment and unafraid to let her impulses take control, Laura McManus approaches her arts practice driven by intuition. Continually making and reacting to her decisions, Laura relies on spontaneity to bring her interior landscape onto the surface. In recognition of these abilities that Laura has cultivated, we present her with the Intuition Award.
PHIL GAZZOLO: Watching a fellow artist come into their own is a rare privilege. We owe Phil Gazollo our thanks for giving the studio community the opportunity to watch his transformation from creative dabbler to driven artist. Over the course of this year, Phil has solidified his arts practice and found focus. His new geometric paintings and weavings form a cohesive body of work and give Phil a clear path forward. Because he has honored us by sharing his growth, tonight we honor Phil Gazzolo with the Most Improved Award.
SEAN KREMER: Sean Kremer’s dedication to his creative practice is unparalleled. Very few artists have spent as much time putting pencil to paper as he has. It seems that nothing can keep Sean from making work. The cumulative effect of his many hours of dedication is clear in his thousands of lively, chaotic drawings. In August, Sean will celebrate his seventh anniversary with The Arts of Life. He is among just a handful of artists who’ve been at the North Shore studio since the beginning. In recognition of his dedication to his craft and his studio community, we have the great pleasure of naming Sean Kremer 2017’s Artist of the Year.