Schack Art Center wins state Arts and Heritage Award

EVERETT — The Schack Art Center is the winner of this year’s Arts Organization Award from the state Arts Commission and Gov. Jay Inslee.

The 2014 Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards, announced Wednesday, honor the Everett art center, The Evergreen State College and four individuals involved in arts and heritage endeavors.

“It’s fabulous,” said Judy Tuohy, the Schack’s executive director. “So many people, dedicated staff, board members, artists and patrons, have contributed to what we are today. We send a thank-you to all of them.”

Joan Pinney, the Schack’s artist of the year, said the center has great importance in the local arts community.

“The Schack and its programs are a real encouragement to all artists in the county,” Pinney said.

Formerly known as the Arts Council of Snohomish County, the 40-year-old nonprofit organization has been operating since 2011 as the Schack Art Center, honoring John and Idamae Schack for their support of Everett’s cultural institutions.

As one of the main visual arts education centers in the region, the Schack offers dozens of annual programs including artist support services, arts education that includes glass blowing, and gallery exhibits and festival-style art events that attract young people.

It logs seven admission-free and greatly varying exhibits each year. Past exhibits have included works by regionally acclaimed artists such as Dale Chihuly and Alfredo Arreguin, as well as juried shows involving artists from throughout the region.

An exhibit based on photo-realistic painter and Monroe native Chuck Close is planned in the next two years.

Award winners are recognized for their contributions to Washington’s cultural heritage.

The 2014 honorees are:

Arts Organization Award: The Schack Art Center.

Arts Organization Leadership Award: Speight Jenkins, the former longtime general director of Seattle Opera.

Heritage Individual Award: Johnpaul Jones, of Bainbridge Island, who was the lead architect on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. His work also includes the Sleeping Lady mountain resort in Leavenworth and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Internment Memorial.

Heritage Organization Award: The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, Olympia.

Individual Artist Award: Seattle sculptor Norie Sato, whose work has concentrated on public art projects, including seven in the state’s collection.

Young Arts Leadership Award: Earl Davis, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, Tokeland. Davis manages the Shoalwater Bay Carving Apprenticeship Program for the tribe.

The award review panel looked at 39 nominations for the six awards. The panel’s recommendations were approved by the state Arts Commission and forwarded to the governor for final approval.

The governor’s awards were established in 1966. Since then, 150 individuals and organizations have received arts awards and 51 individuals and organizations have been honored with a heritage award.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @galefiege.

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