Six individuals and one organization have been named recipients of the 1998 Governor's Awards in the Arts. The recipients will be honored at the 9th Annual Governor's Awards in the Arts Gala on Friday, Feb. 27, at the historic Union Pacific Depot, 400 W. South Temple. The presentation of awards will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception where guests and the public, free of charge, can mingle with the recipients.
The gala is held annually to recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding contributions through artistic achievement and/ or distinguished service to the arts or cultural quality of life in Utah. This year more than 80 nominations were received statewide. A selection committee representing the governor's office, the Utah Arts Council and the arts community from throughout the state reviewed the nominations and made the final selections.This year's recipients are Robert Peterson, artist; Harry G. Taylor, artist; Clay Christensen, folk artist; Ruth R. Draper, patron; KRCL-FM 91, community; William A. "Bert" Wilson, special citation; and Jay E. Welch, special citation.
- A native Utahn, Peterson graduated from the University of Utah, continued his studies at the Juilliard School and made a successful career as an actor and singer in New York. After he replaced Robert Goulet as Lancelot in the original Broadway production of "Camelot," Peterson became extensively involved in Musical Theatre all across the United States, appearing in "South Pacific," "Man of La Mancha," "Music Man," "Brigadoon," "My Fair Lady," "The Sound of Music" and many others.
In 1969 he became a resident artist with the Pioneer Theatre Company, performing in more than 60 PTC productions.
- A noted printmaker, painter and publisher, Taylor was educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, receiving his master's of fine arts from De Paul University in 1948. When he retired from publishing, Taylor discovered he had the crippling illness ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Though it progressively and permanently weakens his arms and legs, Taylor has remained creatively vibrant, refusing to surrender his love of being an artist.
Taylor continues to show his work throughout the nation. In the past 10 years, he has exhibited in Utah at the Salt Lake Art Center, Bountiful/Davis Art Center, Art Access Gallery and Courtyard Gallery, among others.
- Christensen is a young ranch artist who moved from braiding reins, bridles or lariats from strips of rawhide to making the same items from horsehair. Gathering hair from the tail or mane of a horse and hitching or braiding it into complex designs is a very old craft that is slow and painstaking. By studying old horsehair work, talking with other braiders and through trial-and-error, Taylor mastered this beautiful occupational folk art over the past 10 years.
Today, Christensen's work is known throughout the region. Within Utah's ranching and Western art communities, the Lehi resident is recognized as a master of this intricate art form.
- For 11 years, from 1974-85, Draper served as director of the Utah Arts Council. Under her direction, the Council experienced incredible growth with its state appropriation growing from $282,300 to $2,568,200 per year. During her years at the Council, she oversaw the funding of the Utah Media Center, the U.S. Film/ Video Festival, the Sun-dance Playwriting Conference, the Utah Arts Festival and the Public Art Program.
Draper served on numerous boards and committees in Utah, including the Children's Dance Theatre, the Repertory Dance The-ater, the Salt Lake Arts Advisory Board, and the Salt Lake Airport Arts Advisory Committee. A recipient of many awards, Draper also received a Distinguished Alumna Award from the U. of U. where she graduated with a bachelor of arts with honors in 1947.
- KRCL-FM 91, also known as Listeners' Community Radio of Utah, through radio programs, community media sponsorships and community programming, has provided Utahns with unparalleled access to issues on the arts, environment, health, education and ethnic diversity. KRCL actively promotes local gallery openings and literary readings. The station airs more than 36,000 public service announcements and sponsors community events every year from local concerts to community arts festivals such as the Asian Festival, Cinco de Mayo, Utah Hispanic Festival and the Living Traditions Festival.
- Wilson, who holds a Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University, is an indefatigable promoter of art and the artfulness of everyday living. He has spent years teaching, lecturing and publishing on the relationship of art to ongoing social life and to the condition of being human. Wilson has taught thousands of students to appreciate the artistic communications of their lives and has preserved these experiences in the BYU Folklore Archive, which he founded.
- A native of Salt Lake City, Welch is a professor emeritus of Music at the U. of U. and Music Director of the 20 year-old Jay Welch Chorale and Orchestra. Under his direction, Welch's various choirs and orchestras have traveled throughout the world, performing in Vienna, Toronto, Prague, Budapest, Tacoma, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for the president.
Further information is available from Anne Kowallis at 236-7547.