Malcolm White, Super Chikan, Rankin Schools Honored

Dec. 30, 2003—Malcolm White, Mary Katharine Loyacono McCravey, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, the Greenville Arts Council and the Rankin County School District are the recipients of the 2004 Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Award honorees were announced today by the Mississippi Arts Commission, which coordinates the awards program. The honorees will accept their awards at the 16th annual public ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in the House Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson. (READ MORE OF THE VERBATIM STATEMENT…)

This year's awards and honorees are:

Arts in the Community Greenville Arts Council, Greenville, MS
Artistic Excellence James "Super Chikan" Johnson, Clarksdale, MS
Arts in Education Rankin County School District, Brandon, MS
Arts Patron Malcolm White, Jackson, MS
Lifetime Achievement Mary Katharine Loyacono McCravey, Forest, MS

Awards are made to individuals and organizations for outstanding and visionary work in the visual, literary and performing arts, arts education, community development through the arts, patronage and Mississippi Heritage, among others. (Artists do not have to reside in the state currently, but they must have significant ties to the state through some years of residency.)

"The awards recognize those who have made extraordinary and lasting contributions to the cultural life of our state," said Tim Hedgepeth, Commission executive director. "The awards also give us a once-a-year opportunity to celebrate the continued partnership between the arts and government in Mississippi."

Award categories and the number of honorees vary annually at the discretion of the judges. Judges for the 2004 awards were George Bassi, director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art; George Berry, woodcarver and past Governor‚s Award honoree; Luther Brown, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University; Nina Moss, director of Communications for the Mississippi Museum of Art; and Lola Norris, executive director of the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education.

Artist William Dunlap, who received a Governor‚s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1991, will again serve as master of ceremonies, as he has since 1992.

The program is free and open to the public.

Each year the award features the work of a Mississippi artist. This year's honorees will receive an original ceramic work designed and constructed by Gulfport artist Jeff Schmuki, a recent Arts Commission Fellowship winner.

The commemorative poster was designed by Vidal Blankenstein of Jackson and features photography by Tom Joynt of Jackson. "Vidal and Tom have conceived a new series of four posters highlighting treasures from the Old Capitol Museum," said Hedgepeth. "This year's work, featuring a reproduction of a copper breastplate from the Mangum archaeological site in Claiborne County, is beautiful." (Posters are available, free of charge, from the Commission.)

Making the awards possible are sponsors, grand patrons and patrons. This year‚s sponsors are BellSouth and The Clarion-Ledger. Grand patrons are Adams and Reese LLP, BancorpSouth, BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, ChevronTexaco Corporation, Beth and John Clay, Communication Arts Company, The Edison Walthall Hotel, Sylvia and Paul Minor and River Oaks Health System. Patrons are AmSouth Bank; Canizaro Cawthon Davis Architects; Delta and Pine Land Company; Kathryn H. Hester; Jane and Wood Hiatt/Hiatt-Ingram Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson; Horne CPA Group, PA; Mississippi Valley Gas; Jerry and Martha O‚Keefe; Sanderson Farms, Inc.; David M. Trigiani, FAIA; and Trustmark National Bank.

The Mississippi Arts Commission is a state agency, funded by the Mississippi legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Wallace Foundation and other private sources.


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