Last Friday, the Pikes Peak Arts Council held its annual local arts awards, honoring visual artists, poets, musicians, actors and other creative luminaries. Some of the winners included artists and creators we've talked to in the past:
Artist of the year: Laura Ben-Amots
Ben-Amots is the creator behind Battle Portraits: Wounded Lions Wounded Lambs, a series of soldier portraits which was the subject of last year's Fall Arts Preview cover story. Ben-Amots has a catalog of the works, and the show is currently traveling, now at Colorado State University - Pueblo with plans for Colorado College's Coburn Gallery later this year and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center next year.
Rising star: Karissa Gonzalez-Othón
When we first saw Gonzalez-Othón's work this spring, we were stunned. She can sculpt and paint with technical veracity some artists twice her age have yet to master. And she only just graduated from high school. She was the source of a profile following her win at the Young People's Art Exhibition at Imagination Celebration.
Performance Poetry: Susan Peiffer
Peiffer just moved to the Springs this year and has made her mark, performing at numerous functions including Word Wednesdays, Hear Here, Pikes Peak Library District functions, and a RAW showcase, the subject of this year's Fall Arts Preview cover story.
Excellence in choreography: Jan Johnson of Ormao Dance Company
Ormao not only hosts a stable of professional dancers, but instructs dance pupils and frequently collaborates with other arts organizations such as the Modbo and S.P.Q.R., the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Colorado College. Johnson has thus appeared in Indy pages numerous times, from an essay she wrote back in 2009 to this April's article on Ormao's Within / Without spring dance show.
Outstanding performance by an actor: Christopher Lowell
Lowell has made such memorable appearances on stage as Shylock from TheatreWorks' The Merchant of Venice (read the story here and the review here) in 2011 and as Benjamin Franklin (a natural fit, given that Lowell is a Franklin impersonator) in 2010 in TW's Ben Franklin's Tea Party.
Outstanding performance by an actress: Lynne Hastings
Indy theater critic Todd Wallinger loved Hastings in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company's production of Hairspray, where Hastings played Motormouth Maybelle, and nearly "[stopped] the show" with her solo, "I Know Where I've Been."