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Beaverton Arts Commission announces 2014 award recipients

Village Baptist Church, Diana Sullivan, the late Larry Kangas recognized for contributions


Beaverton Arts Commission leaders presented the 2014 Outstanding Achievement in the Arts awards during Tuesday night's City Council meeting at Beaverton City Hall on Southwest Griffith Drive.

Based on recommendations from their teachers, an arts education panel and approval from the commission's board of directors, students were recognized for outstanding artistic achievements. Individuals, organizations and businesses were nominated by peers and selected by the BAC board based on significant contributions to the arts.

Nine students received scholarships sponsored by the Beaverton Arts and Culture Foundation, Juan Young Trust and Southminster Presbyterian Church Celebration of Creativity. Five scholarships will go to the Outstanding High School Visual Art Students and four scholarships will go to the Outstanding Performing Art Students.

Here is a list of the awards and recipients and commentary from commission board members:

• President's Award: Judy Castle, "Music in Small Spaces" — Castle brings an array of musical styles to the Beaverton City Library, and is a valued BAC partner as well as an arts and culture center project stakeholder.

• Art Supporter Award: Beaverton City Library — The library has served as a consistent venue for the BAC, Civic Theatre, and numerous arts and crafts programs for kids and teens. The library also showcased the performing arts through partnerships with the Beaverton Wind Ensemble and Portland Opera programs.

• Volunteer of the Year Award: Diana Sullivan — Sullivan has spent countless hours as treasurer of the BACF and the Beaverton Mayor's Ball.

• Dedicated Artistic Duo Award: Tony and Linda Smith — Professional pianist Linda Smith has played for many local high school musicals and been a featured performer at the arts commission's Visual Arts Showcase. Tony Smith has performed with the Beaverton Civic Theatre and donated his graphic design services for the Beaverton Mayor's Ball.

• Art in the Marketplace Award: Village Baptist Church — Nominated by the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra, Village Baptist Church hosted the orchestra for four seasons, which included four regular concerts, a finalist's recital and a chamber concert.

• Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award: Larry Kangas (posthumously) — Kangas dedicated his life to art and was an esteemed adviser for all public art selection panels. He helped the arts commission establish its mural program. His final Beaverton mural will be completed by his wife, Sandy Kangas, who accepted the award on his behalf.

• Art Outreach Award: Portland Opera — Portland Opera hosted its first free "Art in a Box" education outreach performance in the Beaverton City Library auditorium, where 145 participants shared in the performance.

• Outstanding Art Educator: Scott Hacke with Signal to Noise — Hacke has been the Signal to Noise film festival coordinator for 10 years and works with the Beaverton School District on student films, some of which are shown during the city's Flicks by the Fountain events.

• Arts and Culture Excellence Award: Mary Hager and Damon Keller with Painted Sky Northstar — Painted Sky has participated at BAC events for the past five years, while supporting numerous grant applications. They present indigenous arts and educate the community about its value. They also support the commission's efforts to secure an arts and culture center in Beaverton.

• Arts and Culture Excellence Award: Sam Keator with All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon — Keator has been pivotal in planning and participating in the city's annual International Celebration as well as serving on the Ten Tiny Dances selection committee.

• Outstanding High School Visual Art Student: John Magenheimer, Valley Catholic High School — Recommended by instructor Linda Lawyer, Magenheimer has created his first animated short film as well as his first feature-length film, "Whiteland." He will attend Oregon State University in the fall.

• Outstanding High School Visual Art Student: Sol Summers, Beaverton High School — Recommended by instructor Kathleen Hawthorne, Summers has a passion for drawing and painting. Recently, he received the Herzog-Meier Award for excellence in visual art, won several Scholastic Art Prizes, including a Gold Key. Summers will attend the Rhode Island School of Design.

• Outstanding High School Visual Art Student: Hannah Paul, Arts and Communication Magnet Academy — Recommended by instructor Mark Brandau, Paul received a Scholastic Art Award Gold Key for her drawing portfolio this year. Paul will attend the Kansas City Art Institute.

• Outstanding High School Visual Art Student: Samantha Fisher, Valley Catholic High School — Recommended by instructor Marty Karlin, Fisher won a Scholastic National Gold Medal for one of her portraits. Fisher will attend Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall.

• Outstanding High School Visual Art Student: Nicole Medak, Merlo Station Community High School — Recommended by instructor Samuel Koss, Medak is passionate about drawing and painting. She will explore black and white drawings and pastels, as well as photography at Portland Community College.

• Outstanding High School Performing Art Student: Chelsea Read, ACMA — Recommended by instructor Raoul Bellis-Squires, Read has a love of music and theater. Read taught younger students and directed a song that the students performed during a concert. She will attend Columbia College Chicago.

• Outstanding High School Performing Art Student: Conner Brown, Southridge High School — Recommended by instructor Angela Thomas, Brown won first place at the Regional Acting Competition four times, received eight lead roles at Southridge, and performed several solos in their elite singing group. In the fall, Brown will attend Pacific Lutheran University.

• Outstanding High School Performing Art Student: Geetha Somayajula, Westview High School — Recommended by instructor Ruth Dobson, Somayajula received awards for her choir performances and volunteered at an Indian orphanage where she started a choir for orphaned girls. She will attend the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

• Outstanding High School Performing Art Student: Gwenyth O’Brien, Southridge High School — Recommended by instructor Nicolo Kehrwald, O’Brien has explored circus arts. She used her aerial, contortion and hand-balancing skills to help her perform in the trapeze duet, "Upstaged," which was created for the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival. She will attend Pacific University.

"The art presented by our local community members is truly inspired," said Mayor Denny Doyle. "Beaverton continues to thrive because of our artists. These individuals, organizations and volunteers add so much to our community."