City Director Dr. Dean Kumpuris was given the Arts Community Development Award, one of eight Governor’s Art Awards announced today by the Arkansas Arts Council. Kumpuris was recognized for his devotion to Riverfront Park and the installation of public art there and in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.
Others winning awards:
Painter R.B. McGrath of Jacksonville won the Individual Artist Award. Her portrait of President Clinton is part of the Clinton Foundation Collection and her portrait for former Gov. Mike Beebe is part of the Governor’s Mansion permanent collection. She also designed the “The Fallen Heroes Memorial Garden and Monument” on the grounds of the fire and policy departments in Jacksonville.
The Folklife Award went to Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers rockabilly band formed in Newport in 1955.Today’s band members are Sonny Burgess on guitar and vocals, Kern K. Kennedy on piano, Bobby Crafford on drums and vocals; Jim Aldridge on sax, harp and vocals; and Fred Douglas on bass and vocals. The band is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Europe; the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, Tenn.; the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, and the Walk of Fame in Hot Springs.
Susan Vining Kunkel, who has taught art for 33 years in Little Rock, Conway and Mayflower, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. As a student herself, she designed the official school seal for Little Rock
Central High school. In 2001, she was named Middle School Art Educator of the Year by the Arkansas Art Educators association.
Timmons Art Foundation director Theresa Timmons-Shamberger of Maumelle won the Judges Recognition Award for her non-profit that provides instruction in all the arts to at-risk children. The foundation since 2014 has offered a month-long summer arts camp at no cost to students.
A Patron Award went to Dr. Thomas Bruce, who with his wife has given generous gifts to arts organizations in Arkansas and who is chair of the Advisory Task Force for Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts.
Organizations winning awards were the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff, which won the Arts in Education Award; and Deltic Timber Corp. of El Dorado, which won the Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award.
The winners were nominated by the public and then selected by a panel of Arkansas arts professionals from. There will be an award ceremony in the spring, where each recipient will receive an original work of art created by Arkansas artist Kelly Edwards of North Little Rock.