2013 ArtsUp Winners
Gallery System Art Displays Announces Four Recipients of 2013 Gallery System ArtsUp Award Prizes
Philadelphia’s Fleisher Art Memorial is Grand-Prize winner; other awards to arts-in-healthcare program, drum circle, high school
WELLESLEY, Mass. – 13 May 2013 -- Gallery System Art Displays today announced the winners in the company’s 2013 Gallery System ArtsUp Award program, which recognizes and rewards outstanding community-oriented arts program in the United States.
The winning programs are the Fleisher Art Memorial of Philadelphia; the Creative Center at University Settlement of New York City; the Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences in Granada Hills, Calif.; and the Waccamaw Siouan Drum Circle in Bolton, N.C.
Because of the extremely strong group of nominations received from across the country, this year’s award program was expanded from one to four prizes, with the total award prize pool doubling to $2000 worth of art hanging system equipment from Gallery System product lines.
The Gallery System ArtsUp Award seeks to improve the display capabilities of a deserving program (such as a school, arts association, or arts education program) that provides exceptional support and nurturing for the arts in its community. The nomination period ran from January through March, with dozens of nominations received from across the U.S.
The winning programs will select equipment of their choice from Gallery System’s product lineup, including the Original Gallery System and the sleek GalleryOne.
“Everyone we heard about was doing outstanding work; it was very difficult to narrow the field,” noted Ron Orner, president of Gallery System Art Displays, a provider of art-hanging equipment to galleries, museums, offices, schools and homes. “In addition to the awards, we’re glad to have the opportunity to publicize the work of many of the nominees via profiles on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/gallerysystem.”
Grand Prize ($1000 in hanging equipment)
Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia. Since 1898, the Fleisher Art Memorial has sought to "make art accessible to everyone, regardless of economic means, background, or artistic experience." It offers a huge range of free classes for kids and adults, provides community programs in Philadelphia's schools and neighborhoods, operates a mobile art studio that engages people with opportunities to do creative work, and has an extensive exhibition program.
“The Fleisher Art Memorial exemplifies the spirit of community creativity. Every day, they actively reach out to schoolchildren, teens, adults and seniors, provide creative opportunities for people of all experience levels, and help make visual art and art making a more prominent part of their city. We’re proud to support their efforts with this award, and wish them continued success in their many endeavors,” said Orner.
“We are thrilled that Fleisher has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Gallery System ArtsUp Award,” said Fleisher executive director Elizabeth Grimaldi. “At Fleisher, we believe that within every individual are the ingredients for original artistic expression. Our exhibitions are at the core of our mission to make art accessible to everyone – they provide opportunities for the community to come together to celebrate the creative achievements of artists diverse in age, background, and experience.
“New art-hanging equipment will have a tremendous impact on our exhibitions program for years to come, allowing us to present a range of artwork by a greater number of community members throughout our historically significant campus.”
Runner-Up ($500 in equipment)
The Creative Center at University Settlement, New York. The Creative Center is focused on the use of the arts in healthcare, especially for cancer patients and other chronic illnesses. It provides artist-in-residence programming for hospitals and other care facilities, holds exhibitions of work done by patients and survivors of illness, and operates a large national training program, which educates members of the health care community on how to create effective art programs. In recent years, the Creative Center has also established a focus on "creative aging," to help provide the beneficial effects of creative work at all stages of life.
“People have a deep-seated need to express themselves, and never more so than when they’re facing the challenges of a major illness,” said Orner. “The Creative Center is there for thousands of people in that situation every year, and by propagating their knowledge across the country, they’re helping to reach thousands more. It’s a tremendous program and we’re honored to be able to recognize them.”
“This generous award will allow The Creative Center to exhibit and highlight the artwork of our participants in a more professional way,” said Center director Robin Glazer.“These are people who are living with cancer and other chronic illnesses, as well as many older adults who participate in our art classes, and showcasing their work demonstrates how the arts enable people to be more than their disease. We are so fortunate that our gallery, located in a community center, is viewed by so many people and that our new Gallery System equipment will raise the bar for artists and viewers alike!”
Honourable mentions ($250 in equipment each)
Waccamaw Siouan Drum Circle, Bolton, NC. The Waccamaw Siouan tribe provides a number of youth-oriented programs, including its Drum Circle, which offers music and art education to help cultivate leadership skills, prevent diabetes and drug and alcohol abuse, and build cultural retention. Dozens of young people in the rural North Carolina area participate, creating a wide variety of visual artwork that reflects their experience and heritage.
The Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences, opened by the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2011, will use its ArtsUp Award hanging system to equip a student gallery in its handsome building.
Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences, Granada Hills, Calif. This innovative high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District offers its 1200 students an interdisciplinary college-preparatory visual and performing arts curriculum. Now concluding its second year of operation, the school has a mission to “develop all students’ intellectual skills and creative talents in order to attain measurable artistic and academic excellence.”
“Both of these organizations are dedicated to encouraging and nurturing young peoples’ creativity – a profoundly important aspect of education,” commented Orner. “The Valley Academy and the Waccamaw Siouan Drum Circle are building a better future for everyone they work with, and for their communities; they both represent the exact kind of program that the Gallery System ArtsUp Award was designed to recognize.”
Mickey Patrick, Waccamaw Siouan tribe member and artist, said, “Our drum circle brings our Native American youth together once a week to learn more about our heritage. We attempt to encourage them to grow and develop into mature adults, and promote healthy living, drug awareness, county 4-H activities, arts and crafts, and participation in our annual pow-wow. On behalf of our youth and our tribe we thank you for this award.”
Lynette Ryan, community arts and sciences liaison for the Valley Academy, noted, “We are thrilled to be recognized by Gallery System and to have help, through the Gallery System ArtsUp Award, in developing our gallery space. Our mission at Valley Academy is to bring our school and local community closer together around the arts and sciences, and to provide enriching experiences for all of our stakeholders. This award allows us to continue that process and to create a space that showcases our artists’ work in a professional and authentic way. We thank Gallery System for their support.”