The 2017 Phoenix Awards will be presented on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center. The reception is open to the public.

The 2017 Phoenix Awardees are:

  • Steve Richardson, Artist and Arts Administration | Nominator: Lawrence Arts Center Staff and Board of Directors
  • Nicholas Ward, Visual Arts | Nominator: Sara Taliaferro
  • Jane Pennington, Design Arts | Nominator: Mary Doveton

For questions about nominations, contact Porter Arneill, or 785-832-2402

About the Phoenix Awards

There are 10 categories for five awards: Arts Advocate, Arts Administrator, Arts Education, Design Arts, Literary Arts, Musical Arts, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Volunteer in the Arts, and the Phoenix Award for Exceptional Artistic Achievement. There is also a “Creative Spaces” Award category which recognizes outstanding achievement in imaginative and environmentally forward-thinking place-making. The Phoenix Award Committee will accept nominations for public or business places whose design and/or function advance the artistic environment of the Lawrence community.

The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission members may select more than one winner in any one category and may choose not to present all five awards. A previous winner may be considered for an award in a different category from the first.

Each year an outstanding area artist is asked to create the Phoenix Awards in the medium of his or her choice. The artist is compensated from the Arts Commission’s Phoenix Award budget. Prior Phoenix Award art is on public display in the lobby of the Lawrence Arts Center.

The Phoenix Awards are presented at an annual fall ceremony. The ceremony and the reception that follows are open to the public.

Since the inception of the Phoenix Awards, more than 100 local artists, sculptors, photographers, dancers, musicians, vocalists, educators, writers and literary supporters, administrators, and volunteers have been recognized by their peers and fellow Lawrencians. Nomination instructions are annually available online and solicitations for nominations are typically made over the summer months.

1st Annual
1996 Award by Artist: Ron Hinton; Medium: Metal
Literary Arts: Jim McCrary
Musical Arts: Bill Crahan
Performing Arts: Mary Doveton
Visual Arts: Wayne Wildcat
Arts Education: Sarah Oblinger
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Robert Sudlow
Special Commissioner’s Award: Herk Harvey


2nd Annual
1997 Award by Artist: Dick Rector/Free State Glass; Medium: Glass
Literary Arts: Luci Tapahonso
Musical Arts: Stan Shumway
Performing Arts: Ric Averill
Visual Arts: Ardys Ramberg
Arts Education: Alan Brummell
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Mike Ott
Special Recognition Award: John Clifford


3rd Annual
1998 Award by Artist: Patricia Shebola; Medium: Ceramics
Literary Arts: Brian Doldorph
Musical Arts: Cornel Pewewardy
Performing Arts: Candi Baker
Visual Arts: Judi Geer Kellas
Arts Education: Ann Evans
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Matt Kirby


4th Annual
1999 Award by Artists: Linda Samson-Telleur and Cathy Ledeker; Media: Bookmaking/Calligraphy
Literary Arts: Sandra Wiechert
Musical Arts: Lewis R. Tilford
Performing Arts: Paul Stephen Lim
Visual Arts: Jim Brothers
Arts Education: Lynn Green
Arts Volunteer: James Seaver
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Peter G. Thompson


5th Annual
2000 Award by Artist: Jon Blumb; Medium: Photography
Literary Arts: Denise Low-Weso
Musical Arts: Robert A. Reid
Performing Arts: Joan Stone
Visual Arts: Jon Havener
Visual Arts: Louis Copt
Arts Education: Barbara Kelly
Arts Volunteer: Jack Riegle


6th Annual
2001 Award by Artist: Chris Wolf Edmonds; Medium: Textiles/Quilt
Musical Arts: Winnefred Gallup/Larry Maxey
Performing Arts: Deborah Bettinger
Visual Arts: Jan Gaumnitz
Visual Arts: Joe Skeeba
Arts Education: Betsy Starman
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Hobart Jackson


7th Annual
2002 Award by Artist: Jan Gaumnitz; Medium: Ceramics
Literary Arts: Priscilla Howe
Performing Arts: Cohen/Suzeau
Visual Arts: Laurie Culling
Visual Education: Maria Martin
Arts Volunteers: Gunda & Dave Hiebert
Arts Volunteer: Sidney Roedel
Special Recognition Award: Jan Biles


8th Annual
2003 Award by Artist: Lisa Grossman; Medium: Oil on Panel
Musical Arts: James S. Ralston
Visual Arts: Diana Dunkley
Visual Arts: Rick Mitchell
Performing Arts: Jennifer Glenn
Arts Volunteer: Jean Lominska
Special Recognition Award: Judy Billings
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Chris Wolf Edmonds


9th Annual
2004 Award by Artist: Grace Carmody; Media: Metal, Wood, Rubber
Musical Arts: Steven Mason
Visual Arts: Henry Fortunato
Arts Education: Linda Reimond
Literary Arts: Elizabeth Schultz
Literary Arts: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Arts Volunteer: Karl Gridley
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Stephen Johnson


10th Annual
2005 Award by Artist: Celia Smith; Media: Wood, Canvas, Paint
Musical Arts: Joyce Castle
Educator in the Arts: David Loewenstein
Educator in the Arts: Sue Kwak
Visual Arts: Paul Hotvedt
Visual Arts: Barry Coffin
Performing Arts: Jack Riegle
Volunteer in the Arts: Brad Levy
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Janet Hamburg


11th Annual
2006 Award by Artist: Edward C. Robison, III; Media: Photography
Educator in the Arts: Laurie Mclane-Higginson
Literary Arts: Pat Kehde and Mary Lou Wright
Musical Arts: Clyde Bysom
Performing Arts: Karen Christilles
Visual Arts: Mary Anne Jordan
Volunteer in the Arts: Jane Malin
Volunteer in the Arts: Dan Sabatini
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Bob and Trish McWilliams


12th Annual
2007 Award by Artist: Catherine Hale Robins; Media: Sculpture
Musical Arts: Janeal Krehbiel
Arts Advocate: Ted Johnson
Performing Arts: Vince Gnojek
Visual Arts: KT Walsh
Volunteer in the Arts: Joyce Schild
Volunteer in the Arts: Linda Frost
Arts Administrator: Kathy Pryor
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Barb Wasson


13th Annual
2008 Award by Artist: Kristin Morland; Media: Sequins and beads
Literary and Visual Arts: Barbara Brackman
Literary Arts: Lee Chapman
Performing Arts: Annette Cook
Arts Educator: Anne Patterson
Visual Arts: Celia Smith
Film: Kevin Willmot
Photography: Mike Yoder
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Elden Tefft


14th Annual
2009 Award by Artist: Bob Gent; Media: Glass
Arts Administrator: Linda D. Baranski
Design Arts: Richard Klocke
Literary Arts: Stan Lombardo
Performing Arts: Doug Weaver
Arts Advocate: Margaret Weisbrod-Morris


15th Annual    
2010   Award by Artist:  Vernon Brejcha; Media: Glass and Print
Visual Arts: Carol Ann Carter
Design Arts: Ron Chinn
Special Commissioners’ Award: Dalton Howard
Educator in the Arts: Anthea Scouffas
Performing Arts: John Staniunas


16th Annual
2011 Award by Artist: David Van Hee; Media
Visual Arts: Toni Brou
Arts Advocate: Sally K. Davis
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: Kate Dinneen
Volunteer in the Arts: Rose Lawson
Educator in the Arts: Susan Ralston


17th Annual
2012 Award by Artist: Sally Piller, Print media
Exceptional Artistic Achievement: John Hachmeister
Visual Arts: Lori Norwood
Literary Arts: David Ohle
Performance Artist: Wayne Propst
Volunteer in the Arts: Mary Ann Saunders


18th Annual
2013 Award by Artist: Alicia Kelly, paper and mixed media
Educator in the Arts Cathy Ledeker
Visual Arts Ben Ahlvers
Exceptional Artistic Achievement Laura Ramberg
Musical Arts John Jervis
Creative Spaces Theatre Lawrence


19th Annual
2014 Award by Artist: Kim Brook – Medium: Ceramic
Educator in the Arts Dr. Marilyn Stokstad
Visual Arts Lora Jost
Performing Arts Lawrence Civic Choir
Musical Arts Lauralyn Bodle
Creative Spaces Heidi Raak and The Raven Book Store


20th Annual
2015 Award by Artist: Marie McKenzie – Media: Wood, Glass
Educator in the Arts Dr. John Derby
Exceptional Artistic Achievement Marty Olson
Creative Spaces The Committee on Imagination and Place
2015 Phoenix Awards Summary


21st Annual
2016 Award by Artist: Kyla Strid- Media: Ceramics
Exceptional Artistic Achievement Dr. John Derby
Musical Arts Marty Olson
Art Education/Visual Arts Shellie Bender
Design Arts Marla Jackson
Visual Arts Sally Piller
Visual Arts Bill Snead
2016 Phoenix Awards Summary


The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission has full discretion in the selection of Phoenix Award winners. Preference will be given to those who have not been prior award recipients; nonetheless, prior award winners will be considered.