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2020 - Member of the Year Awards

The envelope please..... the awards this year go to:

Rita Dowler - Painters Guild

Rita is a very special member of our LexArt Community as seen through her beautiful, inspiring paintings, which she creates for every show, or through the inordinate amount of support and help she has given to the Painters’ Guild and the Society over the 30 years of her membership.

She has always answered the call when the Painters Guild or the Society has asked for help...sometimes the only person!!

Rita, in her quiet and modest way, has been available to sign in artwork, assist artists label their work, working at events, taking classes, supporting our demos, and foremost creating the exhibits!

Jean Hart recalls two perfect examples of Rita's dedication and exemplary help: one Guild Show while she was signing in work, Rita, along with Sue Nordhausen, were quietly taking the works to the Gallery. When Jean finally arrived downstairs, the show was already beginning to take shape in a very creative way. However, her most extraordinary memory was at one of the recent Painters' shows. Milton Schmidt and Rita were the only volunteers. Jean was signing in work, Milton was bringing the work to the Gallery, and when Jean and Milton went down to begin the setup, Rita had quietly hung the entire exhibit herself, and had done it beautifully!!!

Over the years, she is one who, with excellence, beauty, thoughtful support, and love of the Society, is a true representative of what it is to be "Volunteer of the Year!"

Bobbie Tornheim & Bruce Newman - 2019 Art of Collaboration Show

Our next two Volunteers of the Year, in recognition for their leadership in putting together the “Art of Negotiation” Collaborative Guild Show last year (2019) are Bobbi Tornheim & Bruce Neumann.

Bobbi had envisioned a new kind of show for LexArt for a number of years – instead of one centered around just one or two guilds and the work of individuals, it would be a show that would cross all guilds and encourage individuals to work in collaboration with others outside their own guilds.

Once the concept of the Collaboration Show solidified and was approved, Bobbi and Bruce quickly pooled their individual strengths and talents in order to make it happen.

The Art of Negotiation show was a big hit during the all-too-brief two weeks that it was up. Both long-time members and supporters thought it was some of the best and freshest work they’d seen exhibited at LexArt. This show helped us build and strengthen our community in new ways. Our artists forged new relationships across the guilds. As collaborators, they pushed each other to learn new techniques and see their work and the world in new ways. Many of the participating artists admitted to being daunted by the challenges at the outset, but incredibly grateful afterwards for having pushed through. Those collaborations have continued, and other members have been encouraged to seek out the artistic perspectives and experience of artists in other media. Our collective artistic vision has broadened, even as our community has drawn closer together. For their special contribution to making the Art of Negotiation happen, we’re pleased to recognize Bobbi Tornheim and Bruce Neumann as volunteers of the year.

Join us in congratulating this years recipients!


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