Tulsans honored for contributions to arts
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Thursday, November 11, 2010
11/11/10 at 6:06 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Tulsans Ann Graves and George Kravis II were honored for their contributions to the arts in Oklahoma at the 2010 Governor's Arts Awards for Excellence in the Arts, held Wednesday at the state Capitol.
Graves and Kravis were recipients of the Governor's Arts Awards, which are given in recognition of longtime leadership and support for the arts in Oklahoma.
Graves was honored for her work as a volunteer and fundraiser for a number of Tulsa arts organizations, including Tulsa Ballet, the Tulsa Historical Society, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Opera and Philbrook Museum of Art.
Kravis's work to help the Philbrook museum evolve from a historic house museum into a nationally recognized fine arts complex - including his donation to help establish the museum's industrial design collection - was singled out for praise, along with his philanthropic efforts on behalf of Gilcrease Museum and Living Arts of Tulsa, among other organizations.
Outgoing Gov. Brad Henry presented a total of 17 awards - 15 to individuals and two to nonprofit organizations - at his eighth and final time to preside over the ceremony.
Two other Tulsans and one Tulsa organization were among the honorees at this year's ceremony, which marked the 35th time these awards have been given.
The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and Beth Howard, an arts teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School, each received the Arts & Education Award, and James Coles received the George Nigh Public Service in the Arts Award.
Coles, a planner with the city of Tulsa, was recognized for his work with the Tulsa Arts Commission.
Suzanne Tate, executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council, which sponsors the Governor's Arts Awards, praised Henry as "a governor who recognizes the importance of the arts in our state."
Henry began his remarks by stating that he was "extremely confident that my successor will continue to be an important advocate for the arts in our state."
He added that it is "critical that we support the arts in education, because the arts can make all the difference in the world."
As an example, Henry mentioned that he had "discovered the artist within" and had taken up painting in recent months.
"I'm not very good," he said, "but I look at things differently today because of my attempts to paint them."
And this, he said, brought home more powerfully how the arts "improve our quality of life and help us experience the world on a broader perspective."
Henry also commented that each event he now oversees in "the waning months of my tenure as governor causes me to be a little wistful. I'm looking forward to the future with great anticipation, but I have loved every second of my job for the past eight years - leading the state of people I love so dearly."
Henry also was able to share this final ceremony with family, as his sister-in-law, Jan Henry, received the Marilyn Douglass Memorial Award, given in recognition of a distinguished member of the Oklahoma Arts Council.
Other recipients of Governor's Arts Awards were Bill Davenport of Lawton and Oklahoma City artist Michi Susan, whose work is regularly displayed at Tulsa's M.A. Doran Gallery.
The Earl Sneed Business in the Arts Award was presented to Larry Walker of Norman. Rick Rogers, fine arts editor of The Oklahoman, received the Bill Crawford Media in the Arts Award.
Dorothy Hays of Oklahoma City and Hyunsoon Whang of Lawton were recipients of the Arts & Education Award, and the Oklahoma Art League of Oklahoma City earned a Special Recognition Award for its century of work that led to the creation of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Four women were honored with the Community Service Award: Julie Bohannon of Chickasha; Sharon Burum of Duncan; Ann Johnstone of Oklahoma City; and Maxine Austin of Enid, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday and received a standing ovation from the crowd gathered in the Capitol's fourth-floor Rotunda.
James D. Watts Jr 581-8478
Ann Graves and George Kravis II: The Tulsans received the Governor's Arts Awards, which are given in recognition of longtime leadership and support for the arts in Oklahoma.
City planner, teacher
James Coles and Beth Howard: Coles received the George Nigh Public Service in the Arts Award for his work with the Tulsa Arts Commission. Howard and the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa each received the Arts & Education Award.