Local artists shine at arts awards gala

Tara Bradbury
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Scott Goudie, The Once, Wanda Nolan among winners

At the age of four, the story goes, artist Scott Goudie first picked up a pencil and started to draw. In kindergarten, he wrote his school principal to say he would be an artist - and a millionaire, with a son named Bartholomew - when he grew up.

Goudie, today an accomplished artist in a variety of media with 34 solo exhibitions under his belt since 1977, added another recognition to his biography Saturday night, when he was named the winner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's (NLAC) Cox and Palmer Arts Achievement Award for 2012. Other finalists for the award were filmmaker Nigel Markham and visual artist Gerry Porter.

"I've been painting since I was very, very little, and all through the years, elementary school, junior high school and high school, (people) have always been very supportive of me," Goudie said, accepting his award during a gala at MUN School of Music's D.F. Cook Recital Hall. "It was the most natural way for me to communicate, through my visual art."

Goudie was one of a handful of people presented with awards at the gala event, hosted by actress and singer Krystin Pellerin with house band Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case. For the past 28 years, the awards have recognized the accomplishments of local artists with a piece of artwork (this year framed pieces by local illustrator/printmaker Veselina Tomova) and, for most awards, a $2,500 cash prize.

The Memorial University Arts in Education Award went to Quintessential Vocal Ensemble founder and Holy Heart choral teacher Susan Quinn, who beat musician/writer Ed Kavanagh and dancer Lynn Panting to win.

Fiction and screenplay writer Wanda Nolan won the CBC Emerging Artist Award, having been nominated alongside visual artist Michael Gough and musician Andrew James O'Brien. Late last year, Nolan also won The Telegram's Cuffer Prize literary award.

The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and arts curator and writer Patricia Grattan were presented with Arts Hall of Honour awards, while the Patron of the Arts Award went to John and Peggy Fisher. The Fishers own the Fishers' Loft in Port Rexton, and provide support to local filmmakers, with Barbara Doran, to increase the profile of the Trinity Bight area. Five years ago, John founded local literary magazine Riddle Fence.

The Bank of Montreal Artist of the Year award went to local folk trio The Once.

"It really feels like the NLAC have helped carry us along the way, and to honour us in this way makes us feel very proud," The Once member Geradline Hollett said after the ceremony. "MusicNL and the NLAC have given us grants and, honestly, without that money, we wouldn't have been able to do it. It's very special."

The Once has won several East Coast Music and Canadian Folk Music awards and earned a 2012 JUNO nomination, and the fact that the arts award put the band up against not only other musicians but artists in every genre wasn't lost on Hollett.

Other nominees for Artist of the Year were musician Duane Andrews and visual artist Michael Pittman.

"They are just phenomenal, and (band member) Phil (Churchill) was right when he said they raise our property value. They really do," Hollett said. "They make us feel good about ourselves because we know how good they are."

Nominations for the annual NLAC arts awards are taken from the arts community and public, and council members vote by secret ballot to select the finalists and winners.

"From the rooted practice of our tradition bearers to the sharp edge of our greatest innovators, we are a community alive with creative practice," said arts council chairman Tom Gordon during the show, which also included a reading by Andy Jones from his BMO Winterset-winning book, "Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves," and a musical performance by Pellerin and cellist Nathan Cook. "It's a practice that's well worth celebrating."

tbradbury@thetelegram.com Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, MUN School of Music, Memorial University Arts Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Bank of Montreal Artist of the Year Churchill

Geographic location: Port Rexton

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Recent comments

  • Muriel King
    May 22, 2013 - 22:14

    OMG without Creativity there would be nothing, Nothing at all, Great Job all you wonderful people whom have put your talent and hard work out there < I for one love and respects the Arts. FYI Artists Do not live off your tax dollars, everything they do we benefit from, they contribute a great deal to society as a whole

  • Dave Sullivan
    May 21, 2013 - 13:08

    That would be "Artsy Fartsies," kind sir.

  • John fisher
    May 21, 2013 - 08:56

    .....his tax dollars........likely wild rose's healthcare and more is paid by the tax dollars generated by the arts community.........so who should get REAL? Digger

  • Wild Rose
    May 21, 2013 - 08:15

    A bunch of Artsy Fartsy's living off my tax dollars. Get REAL jobs!