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Posted on: September 27, 2017

Brighton Cultural Arts Commission announces 2017 Excellence in Arts Awards Honorees

The Brighton Cultural Arts Commission is pleased to announce the “cultural arts champions” in our community who will be recognized with the Excellence in Arts Awards. These individuals will be honored at a special ceremony at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, at the Eagle View Adult Center.

Beyond Brighton: An individual, group, or business from outside our community who has strengthened Brighton’s cultural arts.

  • Ed Hawkins gives his heart, soul, creativity, and hard work to our city all the time. As one of the primary artists at Main Street Gallery, Ed has been a spokesperson for that gallery, but even more he has been a champion for all the arts in our community. Ed teaches a variety of classes at the Gallery, both for youth and adults. He opens his studio to students who are homeschooled, to those on summer vacation needing something creative to do, and to adults from beginners to those who are refining their talents. Ed has been one of the organizers of many artist salons and open houses at Main Street Gallery, and one of his most recent projects was the elephant public art piece in Downtown Brighton.

Visionary: An individual, group, or business who has been a leader in the Brighton cultural arts scene.

  • Ever since Lisa Garbett opened her business Creative U on Main Street, she has brought a vitality back to Historic Downtown. She has a created a vision for North Main that brings people from various walks of life to an area that has not had a lot of street activity for years. When Lisa opened her business, she offered “painting and sip” classes to the community, but then she started branching out forming partnerships with other local entities. She now opens her doors to provide art classes for students who are home schooled, she offers creative art opportunities at a nearby small brew pub, and Creative U is now the only coffee shop on Main Street. Lisa is working with the Downtown Partnership to bring a parklet to the downtown area. This will provide a pleasing visual area in which to sit and relax. She was also a recipient of a $500 grant from the City’s Big Little Idea Contest and has painted a traffic control box on the corner of Bridge Street and Main Street.

Master of Cultural Arts in Education: An individual, group, or business who has offered some form of creative arts activity to the youth within our community.

  • Alex Lisman is not only an accomplished sculptor with pieces on display in galleries such as the Urban Richie Gallery in New York, but he also is an excellent teacher for the students at Eagle Ridge Academy. He has developed courses ranging from drawing and painting to world art to studio processes. Students who have never considered themselves as artistic are creating wonderful pieces of art. One of his unique assignments had the students working on a “found sculpture” in which they created beautiful pieces from straw, grasses, sticks, anything found in nature. He begins classes with students presenting about an artist, and the students themselves write their own artist statement which causes them to think about themselves as artists.

Master of Performing Arts: This category is open to individuals or groups who are film makers, dancers, actors/actresses, directors, or musicians.

  • Bonnie Simcox has always been a part of the music scene in Brighton. She began as music director at First Presbyterian Church where she directed the choir, the hand bell choir, played the organ and piano and helped to coordinate the yearly musical extravaganza at the church. Yearly, Bonnie was a part of the community Christmas concerts bringing together singers and musicians from throughout Brighton. In addition to her work at First Presbyterian, Bonnie also taught music at Thimmig Elementary and then Brighton High School. She also helped start BrightonMusic. She currently is the musical director/accompanist with Platte Valley Players and accompanies the band for Brighton High School’s musicals.

Master of Fine Arts: This category is open to photographers, painters, potters, sculptors, jewelry designers and authors.

  • Combining her life experiences, knowledge, strong artistic abilities, and love for creatures of land and sea, Kim Shaklee has become a skilled wildlife and marine artist. Her sculptures have been shown in many national and international exhibitions including the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City Zoo, Little Rock Zoo, and Benson Park Sculpture Garden in Loveland. Kim is the first woman sculptor elected as a fellow in the American Society of Marine Artists as well as the first to be elected at president of the society. Her studio is at Main Street Gallery in Brighton.

The ceremony is open to the public. Please 303-655-2076 to make reservations.

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