The Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Mendocino County are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Mendocino County Art Champion Awards: Elizabeth Raybee in the category of Artist; Pattie DeMatteo in the category of Individual Patron; Mendocino County Lodging Association & Visit Mendocino County, Inc. in the category of Business; and Carolyn Carpenter in the category of Education. Each year, nominations for the Art Champion awards are received from members of the community. The winners are selected by the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Mendocino County and recognized by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
The 2011 Mendocino County Art Champion Awards was presented by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Tuesday, October 25th, at 10:30 a.m. in Ukiah. An official proclamation followed by a public reception was hosted by the Arts Council of Mendocino County to honor the winners at the Mendocino County Administration Center, Chambers (Proclamation) and Conference Room B (Reception) at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah.
The Good Life Mendocino County
Potter Valley artist and educator Elizabeth Raybee is honored for her excellence as a mosaic artist. Raybee has been creating mosaics for over twenty years, making both personal narrative work and commissions, both public and private. Her work appears in several books of contemporary mosaic art and has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationally. She has taught painting, drawing, batik and business for visual artists in San Francisco and in Mendocino County. In 2011, Raybee completed a Community-Built mosaic mural project, The Good Life Mendocino County, which engaged the participation of over 400 community members at sessions generously hosted by Art Center Ukiah. Raybee is frequently an artist in the schools through the Arts Council’s Get Arts in the Schools Program. Last year, Raybee went to three Ukiah schools where students were able to participate in creating the community built mosaic mural. Following its installation, this ten by sixteen foot mural at the intersection of Perkins and State Streets in Ukiah garnered state-wide attention for community-built public art in Mendocino County.
Musician and Event Producer, Pattie DeMatteo, is honored in the category of Individual Champion for the Arts. The performing arts have always played an important role in DeMatteo’s life. Even as a child she produced events, starting with her annual Penny Carnival, which she set up in her backyard. DeMatteo knows that a live performance creates a certain presence in the room from the shared experience and the Mendocino Stories and Music Series was a natural extension of her love of music and the performing arts. The first event of the series was in January of 2007, starting with a Writers Group who read from their works. The topic was “The Seagull Years”, the time of mass emigration to the Mendocino Coast when many musicians and artists found their home there. From monthly events in the first year, The Series has grown to produce up to six events per month. A community members notes that, “Locals and visitors alike make the Series an ongoing success.” From concerts, dances, benefit performances, readings and evenings honoring dear friends who are no longer with us, Pattie DeMatteo and Mendocino Stories and Music Series celebrate and support the local artist community. The variety of events reflects the many talents of our local artists and gives them the opportunity to perform their original work.
Mendocino County Lodging Association and Visit Mendocino County, Inc. are honored in the category of Business Champion for the Arts. MCLA has supported the arts locally through monetary contributions and by sponsoring individual art-related events throughout the year. Through their ongoing commitment, MCLA and VMC continue to offer funding and support for the enhancement of the arts in Mendocino County. VMC has done and continues to do extensive outreach to local artists, artist groups and galleries offering marketing assistance and partnership opportunities enabling them to benefit from their County marketing efforts both beyond the county and within through events such as the Wine & Mushroom Festival and Crab & Wine Days. VMC assists with the development, printing and distribution of multiple art publications. In their nomination, a community member writes, “The arts play a vital role in not only our local communities but also in attracting visitors to our County.” MCLA & VMC recognize that tourism is vital to the County and that the arts are vital to tourism.
Carolyn Carpenter, Art Champion in the Education category, has been an exhibiting artist and freelance illustrator for many decades and is in her 27th year of teaching art. As a teacher, she shares her passion for painting, weaving, ceramics, and block printing with students. Carpenter has taught at Laytonville High School since 1995, where she organized several project-based learning projects, such as a school-wide tile mural, a fourteen foot mosaic bench (with help from coastal artist Jan Hinson), cut-out murals of local native elders, and the Hello! mural on the north wall of Foster’s Market. Carpenter’s students have presented these projects at Kids Who Know and Do at their annual conferences in San Francisco. Carpenter is also on the board of the Mendocino County Youth Project and was instrumental in Laytonville’s recent heART of Laytonville Welcome Banner Project.
The Mendocino County Art Champion awards are annually presented in October to coincide with National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America, dedicated to giving millions of Americans the opportunity to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives and encourage them to begin a lifelong habit of active participation. To learn more about National Arts and Humanities Month, visit the website for Americans for the Arts at www.americansforthearts.org or the website for the California Arts Council at www.cac.ca.gov.