Arts Council
Kentucky Arts Council Awards Fellowships to 14 Kentucky Artists

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 23, 2007  
Contact Information:  Ed Lawrence
Public Information Officer

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Every other year the Kentucky Arts Council offers visual and media artists an opportunity to compete for the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship awards of $7,500, to support the advancement and continuation of Kentucky artists’ careers, and recognize the creative excellence of their work. This year, 124 visual artists (including craft artists, experimental artists, painters, graphic artists, installation artists, photographers and sculptors) and 4 media artists (videographers and filmmakers) applied for the coveted fellowship awards.

The 13 visual artists and one media artist selected to receive the highly competitive award are: Dobree Adams, fiber, Frankfort; Sean Anderson, film, Lexington; Steve Armstrong, wood sculpture, Lexington; Garry Bibbs, sculpture, Lexington; Patt Blue, photography, Paducah; Gaela Erwin, painting, Louisville; Michael Maydak, graphics, Union; Gabrielle Mayer, painting, Louisville; Connie Noyes, mixed media, Paducah; Jennifer Reis, fiber, Morehead; Randy Simmons, drawing, Paducah; Erika Strecker, sculpture, Lexington; Zoë Strecker, installation, Harrodsburg; and Russell Weedman, mixed media, Williamsburg.

In addition to the Fellowship Awards, the Arts Council also awarded 10 Professional Assistance Awards to artists, from the pool of applicants to encourage excellence in their artistic careers.  The recipients of the $1,000 award are: Matthew Albritton, photography, Dayton; Don Ament, photography, Lexington; Mitch Eckert, experimental, Louisville; Jeffrey Hill, video, Salt Lick; Matthew Maynard, craft/metal, Lawrenceburg; Mark Needham, craft/metal, Louisville; Molly Rucks, photography, Louisville; Jesse Sims, painting, Cave City; Larry Joe Treadway, photography, Lexington; and George Vitorovich, mixed media, Bowling Green.

The Fellowship program utilizes a "blind jurying" process, which does not provide the selection panel with applicants' names; the panel reviews the work samples and applications according to application numbers only. Criteria for the awards include artistic excellence, professional achievement and the potential of the fellowship award to enhance the artist's development and encourage the continuation of the artist's work.

“I was very impressed with the wide range of imagery and stylistic approaches and how the body of work as a whole reflects the current direction of today’s art world, both nationally and internationally.” said Rene Barilleaux who served as a panelist. Barilleaux is chief curator of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Funding for the Kentucky Arts Council is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Artist contact information and representative images of their work are available upon request to:


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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians through the arts. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government.