Appreciation Awards Presented by Waterworks Visual Arts Center

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 9, 2017

Seventeen individuals were recognized for their service to Waterworks Visual Arts Center during Waterworks’ Directors Circle Donor Appreciation Dinner and Awards Ceremony, Thursday evening, June 29, 2017. All of the recipients received a framed work of art created by local artist, Don Moore.

Over 80 guests turned out for the donor celebration. Board president Marianna Swaim welcomed and thanked everyone “for their support to help make it possible for the Waterworks to exist.” Looking out among the crowd, Swaim acknowledged “how culturally significant this organization is to our community.”

Guests enjoyed a southern-style meal complete with hand-pulled pork barbeque and homemade banana pudding prepared by Brad VunCannon of Pig Pen Enterprises, followed by the appreciation awards.

“Each year the Waterworks acknowledges the outstanding support of those who significantly give of their time, energy, and resources and the impact it provides for the Waterworks to carry out its mission,” said Anne Scott Clement, executive director.

Award recipients included longtime art patrons Jane and Mark Ritchie, who received the Charles D. Taylor Sr. Distinguished Patron Award for their “caring and generous patronage of the arts and the Waterworks Visual Arts Center.” The award was established in 1987 in honor of longtime member and supporter Charles “Chuck” D. Taylor who gave unselfishly of his time and resources to support artists and provide them exhibition opportunities.

Traci Williams received the Waterworks Visual Arts Center Award for her “significant contributions of time, talent and treasure to visual arts programming and the Arts Center.”  Williams has served the organization for the last seven years in many capacities, including immediate past president of the board of directors.

The Christine Peeler Whitton Distinguished Leadership Award, established in 2009 to honor visionary leader Chris Whitton, was presented to the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation for their “outstanding leadership, philanthropy, and devotion to Waterworks Visual Arts Center and to the community as a whole.” Don Sayers accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation. Sayers remarked, “The Board of Directors of the MCWF does strive to make grants to organizations that improve the quality of life in Rowan county and the Waterworks Visual Arts Center is right on the mark in that regard. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, black or white, highly intelligent or mentally challenged, your life will be enhanced by contact with the Waterworks.”

Pam Abernathy was presented the President’s Recognition Award for her dedication and service as a retiring member of the board of directors.

Visual artists and art educators Jackie Black and Brenda Gariepy were honored with the Lucille P. and Edwin O. Norvell Family Art of Teaching Award for their “significant and selfless contributions and outstanding work in art education through the Waterworks and its educational and outreach programs.” Black and  Gariepy have taught seven and nine years respectively as art instructors at the Arts Center.

Volunteers are an integral part of the day-to-day activities at Waterworks. Each year volunteers provide an average of 4,500 hours. These volunteers help ensure meaningful experiences and opportunities for nearly 21,000 annual visitors to the Arts Center. Nancy Brandt and Dora Wood were presented the President’s Valuable Volunteer Recognition Award for their “valuable contributions and leadership as museum docents.” In addition, nine high school students were recognized with the Waterworks Youth Volunteer Award for their “dedication and valuable contributions as student volunteers to summer visual arts programming.” Recipients included Isabella Almazan, Gemma Brown, Ruth Clement, Olivia Cunningham, Zachery Jeans, Laura Johnson, Emerson McMillin, Anna Patel, and Lauren Wetmore. Clement stated, “These remarkable young men and women have served as mentors and teacher assistants, collectively, 1,011.5 hours over the last two to four summers. It is encouraging and uplifting to see this next generation of youth stepping up into volunteer roles and assuming some leadership in our community.”

The Waterworks Visual Arts Center is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Its mission is to provide diverse opportunities in the arts for all people through exhibitions, education, and outreach. The Waterworks is funded by individual memberships, corporations and businesses, foundations, the City of Salisbury, and Rowan County. Waterworks receives general support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.






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