There are four prominent Central Kentucky winners in this year's Governor's Awards in the Arts, the commonwealth's highest honor in the arts.
Longtime Central Kentucky artist Adalin Wichman won the Milner Award, the top prize among the honors. The Paris native's achievements include designing the Eclipse Award, annually given by the National Thoroughbred Association, and designing the Foucault pendulum clock that is the centerpiece of the Lexington Public Library downtown. Wichman, 88, has had a long relationship with the Keeneland Association, designing many memorable images.
Nicholasville-based Alltech has received the business award. Alltech began a relationship with University of Kentucky Opera Theatre several years ago, launching its annual scholarship auditions, which are among the most lucrative student opera competitions in the country. Alltech also made arts a centerpiece of the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games from the opening ceremony to the Fortnight Festival, which presented a lineup of performances in conjunction with the Games.
Fayette County Public Schools' School for the Creative and Performing Arts won the education award. The Lexington arts magnet school has provided talented students with a chance to focus on arts studies since 1987.
Harlan County native and University of Kentucky graduate Louise Slaughter won the government award for her work supporting the arts as a U.S. congresswoman from New York.
Contemporary Christian music superstar Steven Curtis Chapman won the national award for a Kentucky artist who has made a national impact on the arts. The Paducah native and onetime Georgetown College student has recorded hits including I Will Be Here and has won numerous Grammy and Dove awards.
Other Governor's Award winners were:
Artist: Kenneth F. vonRoenn Jr., a Louisville glass artist who is internationally acclaimed and helped found the city's Glassworks arts center.
Community arts: The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, the largest quilt museum in the world. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Folk heritage: Helen LaFrance Orr, a Mayfield painter who has become recognized as one of the nation's foremost folk artists while never leaving her day jobs.
Media: Erika Brady, a professor of folk studies at Western Kentucky University who hosts the public radio program Barren River Breakdown.
The winners will be honored at a ceremony Oct. 20 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. The awards are administered by the Kentucky Arts Council.