Lexington's Latitude Artist Community, University of Kentucky HealthCare and Lawrenceburg author Bobbie Ann Mason are among the 2012 recipients of the Governor's Awards in the Arts, the state's highest honor in the arts.
Nine honorees were announced late Wednesday, including Prestonsburg philanthropist and arts advocate William Francis, who won the Governor's Awards' top honor, the Milner Award. Francis has served on numerous boards including the Jenny Wiley Theatre and the Kentucky Arts Council, and he has participated in national arts advocacy.
Mason won the national award, which honors a Kentucky artist who has worked on a national or international level. Her five-decade career has included the novel In Country, which became a 1986 movie starring Bruce Willis, and honors such as the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Kentucky Book Awards in 2004 and 2012, and being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Latitude won the community arts award for organizations that make a positive impact through the arts. The 11-year-old organization primarily serves people with disabilities, encouraging them to express themselves through the arts.
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The business award goes to the UK HealthCare Arts in HealthCare Program, which has manifested itself in a variety of ways, particularly through a preponderance of art in the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. That ranges from commissioned pieces by regional and international artists to a theater in the hospital from which performances may be shown throughout the building.
Other winners include:
Artist award: Gray Zeitz of Owenton, a letterpress artist and founder of Larkspur Press.
Education Award: Morehead's Christina Hartke, who founded the Lucille Caudill Little String Program for Rowan County Schools.
Folk Heritage Award: Leona Waddell of Cecilia, a master white oak basket maker who is working to pass down the traditional art form.
Government Award: U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, who is known for his support of the arts and has made large donations to entities such as the Governor's School for the Arts.
Media Award: Jeffrey Lee Puckett of Louisville, the Courier-Journal's longtime music writer who has covered the Derby City's music scene since he was 16.