Recipients of Utah's fourth annual Governor's Awards in the Arts will be honored at a gala celebration in Symphony Hall on Sept. 11.
Award categories and their recipients are artist, Mark Strand; folk artist, Joe L. McQueen; patron, Werner Weixler; arts education, Gene Pack; community, Blanding; business, Kennecott Corp.; arts organization, Utah Shakespearean Festival; and special citations to George S. Dibble (posthumous), Sherwin Howard, and Ray Kingston.Those receiving awards were chosen by a selection committee representing a broad spectrum of the arts community, said Bonnie Stephens, director of the Utah Arts Council.
Special recognition is also accorded to Gov. Norman H. Bangerter for his supportive stance toward the arts.
In proclaiming September Utah Arts Month, Bangerter observed that since its earliest days, Utah has supported the arts as a high priority. He also noted that Sept. 20-26 is National Arts Week. "Our identity as a people, a culture and a nation is expressed through the arts," he said, suggesting that all citizens conduct appropriate arts programs and activities during the month.
Artist: Mark Strand, a faculty member at the University of Utah, is author of eight books of poetry, also short stories, children's books, and many articles and essays. A Fulbright scholar to Italy, his numerous awards include the 1987 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, known as the "genius grant." In 1990 he was appointed United States poet laureate and poetry consultant to the Library of Congress.
Folk artist: Joe McQueen of Ogden played tenor saxophone in several bands, criss-crossing the country, before settling in Utah in 1945, where he played in various clubs. He continues to communicate to the jazz enthusiast and novice alike, at dances, festivals, weddings and many other musical occasions.
Arts education: Gene Pack is morning host for classical music on KUER-FM at the University of Utah. He's worked at KUER since 1960, when the station came on the air, and he's now program director and assistant general manager.
Well known as an actor and narrator, he's performed in more than 50 shows at Theatre 138, plus appearances with the Salt Lake Acting Company, Lagoon Opera House, Park City Performances, Pioneer Theatre and Broadway Stage, among others. He's acted in several films, and appeared three times with the Utah Symphony. Previous honors include 1983 Honors in the Arts of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, and the 1990 Madeleine Award.
Patron: Werner Weixler was born and raised near Stuttgart, Germany, where he apprenticed as an upholsterer. From there he's expanded his expertise to interior design, art, architecture, landscaping, restoration and preservation. He was employed by ZCMI before opening his own business, combining art gallery, furniture and interior design. At F. Weixler Co. near Trolley Square he also promoted musical artists and sponsored concerts. He continues in business on E Street in the Avenues.
The community of Blanding promotes the arts in the Four Corners area, via the Kigalia Fine Arts Council, Edge of the Seaters community theater, and the biennial historical journal Blue Mountain Shadows and associated lectures. There's a community Shakespeare festival, museum exhibits, San Juan High theatrical productions, Fourth of July celebration that includes an art exhibit, quilting show and crafts demonstration, and an active music program in the schools and community.
Kennecott Corp. has traditionally supported the arts in Utah, through its community relations and charitable contributions program. In 1992 Kennecott will contribute to 25 arts organizations, large and small.
The company has interested itself in dissemination of arts in the schools, particularly Ballet West for Children and performance of the Repertory Dance Theatre's "Separate Journeys," built around the cultural experiences of five ethnic groups in Utah. It will assist in filming "Separate Journeys" for telecast on KUED Ch. 7 in 1993, and distribution to the public schools.
The Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, now more than 30 years old, has an annual budget of more than $2 million. It is currently recognized as one of America's leading summer repertory companies and has gained worldwide artistic stature. The 1990s will see completion of the expanded Festival Center for the Performing Arts.
Among recipients of special citations, George Dibble worked as a painter, art critic and professor at the University of Utah. He was trained at Columbia University, wrote a popular textbook entitled "Watercolor: Materials and Techniques" and among many other awards received the Distinguished Alumni Award at the University of Utah in 1990.
M. Ray Kingston, AIA, has left a lasting impression of beauty and order in Utah, through numerous public and private buildings. As a founding principal of FFKR, an architectural and design firm, he's either designed or had a hand in such buildings as Symphony Hall, the Jewett Center, Snowbird Ski Resort and the Marriott Center for Dance. He served on the advisory council to the National Endowment for the Arts, on the Utah Arts Council board, and a wide variety of arts boards in the state. He received the 1992 distinguished Alumni Award at the U. of U.
Sherwin Howard has authored 32 published works of poetry and was recognized as Utah Poet of the Year in 1988. His plays and musicals have been produced at universities all over the United States. Howard currently serves as president of Deep Springs College in California, but is best known in Utah for his work on behalf of arts education.
He was dean of arts and humanities at Weber State University for 12 years, where he encouraged many new programs, and contributed expertise to many community and state organizations. Howard holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Yale and Utah State University.