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Holmes, Beaulieu win Arrowhead Arts Awards

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council last week presented its fourth annual Arrowhead Arts Award in a ceremony at UMD's Tweed Museum of Art. This year's recipient of the George Morrison Artist Award is Gladys Koski Holmes of Angora, who was recogni...

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council last week presented its fourth annual Arrowhead Arts Award in a ceremony at UMD's Tweed Museum of Art.
This year's recipient of the George Morrison Artist Award is Gladys Koski Holmes of Angora, who was recognized for her work as a visual artist and for the strong body of work she has produced while living and working on the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. Her work has been exhibited at the Duluth Art Institute, the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Hibbing Community College, the Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the Tally Gallery in Bemidji, the Kruk Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. and elsewhere.
Holmes has also been in the following exhibitions: "Minnesota Through Artists' Eyes" at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, the 10th Annual Contemporary Finnish-American Artist Exhibition at Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich., and "Women's Sensibilities: A national juried exhibition" at the WARM Gallery in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis art critic Fran Addington wrote the following about the WARM Gallery exhibition: "I was impressed by the outreach of this show. It dispelled many prejudices I never realized I had: that northern Minnesota is almost totally devoid of any valid art, that isolated women artists do not produce sophisticated work, etc. Gladys Holmes from Angora, Minn., changes these wrongheaded thoughts almost singlehandedly with her 'Polaroids by Eva.'"
Holmes' work can also be found in several collections in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. In the past few months, she has been putting the finishing touches on an 8-feet-by-8-feet mural panel, which is part of an 11-panel project being produced by the local Youth Development Organization and the city of Cook. It will be erected in the park on River Street this spring. Each panel represents a decade in Cook's history, and her panel depicts the 1930s. Holmes has been involved with the Iron Range Artspace, taught at both Hibbing Community College and Mesabi Community College in Virginia, and served as a mentor to many of the artists living on the Range.
This year's recipient of the Maddie Simons Advocate Award is Dorian Beaulieu of Duluth. The award recognizes his many contributions to his students, arts education and the community. In his position as art instructor at Lake Superior College in Duluth, Beaulieu has spent the last seven years building a strong art program, particularly in sculpture and ceramics. His classes have grown from 12 students to more than 200 today. Over the last 20 years, he has also taught ceramics at Duluth's Federal Prison Camp and at the Duluth Art Institute. He has been continuously involved in the annual Empty Bowl fund-raiser for regional hunger relief programs.
At the ceremony, the ARAC also honored 23 artists and 17 community arts organizations in Duluth and the surrounding area that have received grants from the council during the past 18 months.
The George Morrison Award is named after internationally recognized visual artist George Morrison, who was widely recognized as an important contributor to the second generation of American abstract expressionist artists and is also heralded as an artist who successfully synthesized American Indian themes with abstraction and surrealism. Morrison, a member of the Grand Portage Chippewa, was a longtime resident of the region.
The Maddie Simons Award is named for the first volunteer chair of the ARAC board, Madeline Simons. She was a longtime resident of Grand Marais who owned a dance studio and helped start the Grand Marais Playhouse, the Lutsen Art Fair and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.
The Arrowhead Arts Awards were created to recognize two individuals who have made important contributions to arts in the region. Robert DeArmond, ARAC's executive director, explains it this way: "These awards were developed because the council believes the arts play an essential role in all of our lives, and that it is important for us to recognize the artists and individuals in our communities who are responsible for making the arts happen."

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