The Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Mendocino County is pleased to announce the 12th Annual Mendocino County Art Champion Award recipients: Arena Theater in the category of Business; Spencer Brewer in the category of Individual; Judy Geer Linney in the category of Artist; and Lech Slocinski in the category of Education.
Each year, nominations for Art Champion Awards are received from the community. The winners are selected by the Arts Council of Mendocino County’s Board of Directors, and recognized by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
The 2014 Art Champion Awards was presented by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Tuesday, October 21. An official proclamation was issued in the Supervisors’ Chambers at the County Administration Center, 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, followed by a public reception to honor the winners, hosted by the Arts Council of Mendocino County in Conference Room B.
The Arena Theater is an all-volunteer community-supported nonprofit in Point Arena that has brought both live theater and movies to the south coast for decades, as well as providing a venue for community events. Located in a renovated 1929 vaudeville playhouse, it has been called “the coolest theater in the Bay Area,” “a little gem” and “a treasure of Mendocino County,” surviving for decades in the smallest city in California. Small things like real butter on the popcorn, and big things like keeping theater thriving on the South Coast, make the Arena Theater this year’s Art Champion in the Business category.
Spencer Brewer, Art Champion in the Individual category, is an accomplished pianist, composer, multi-media and recording artist who has founded or co-founded entertainment series and arts events including the Professional Pianists Concert, Live at the Playhouse, Sunset at the Cellars, Parducci’s Acoustic Café series, and Happination. He also started the highly popular Sundays in the Park Concerts, and was a founding board member of the Ukiah Educational Foundation, the Redwood Valley Outdoor Environmental Education Project, and co-founder of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts.
Artist Champion Judy Geer Linney is a multi-media artist who creates boldly colorful ceramics, papier-maché and acrylic paints in representations of political and natural subjects. Her art has been shown in various galleries, and in 2006 she designed and installed murals including supervising Mendocino College students in creating a Steelhead Trout interpretive mural at Coyote Dam fish hatchery. She has contributed artistic creations for the Ukiah Players Theatre “Repose in Action” teen program, has been president of the Corner Gallery Coop for the past two years, and is a board member of Art Xcenter Ukiah, helping create their website and contributing to numerous special events and outreach efforts.
Lech Slocinski, this year’s Education Arts Champion, is the photography instructor at Ukiah High School. He teaches over 100 students a day, and organized a show of over 500 student photos at the Corner Gallery, which attracted professional photographers and others from out of the area. Since 2010 he has worked with the Mendocino County Office of Education to expand the photography program to high schools in Mendocino, Fort Bragg and Laytonville, arranged for students to get Mendocino College credits, worked with Visit Ukiah on photos for their brochure, and expanded student photography program partnerships with local businesses.
The Mendocino County Art Champion Awards are annually celebrated in October to coincide with National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. To learn more about National Arts and Humanities Month, visit the Americans for the Arts website at www.americansforthearts.org or the California Arts Council website at www.cac.ca.gov.
The public is welcome to join the Arts Council of Mendocino County and the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on October 21st at the Mendocino County Administration Center, 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, to recognize and celebrate the 2014 Mendocino County Art Champions. A reception will follow in Conference Room B.
For more information on the Mendocino County Art Champion Awards and other Arts Council of Mendocino County programs and services, go to www.artsmendocino.org or call 707 463 2727.