Beverly Parker, Photographic Artist and Co-Founder of Downtown Artists Co-op, Recipient of 2012 Arts Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Beverly Parker has been integrally involved in promoting Clarksville and Montgomery County through her art and through her efforts on behalf of other local artists for more than 20 years.

Beverly’s photography has explored this county through conventional and alternative lenses, turning everyday scenes into eye-catching images. She continues to work on her trade through reading, traveling, and visiting museums and galleries. She is not afraid to experiment and has recently produced unique images of the county using an old technology in a new way—manipulated Polaroid photographs.

Beverly is a co-founder of the Downtown Artists Co-op, which has grown from an upstart space over the Front Page Deli into an attractive storefront on Franklin Street. DAC is one of the principal sponsors of First Thursday ArtWalk, an event where a parking space is at a premium for the folks who flock downtown to enjoy art, good food, and conversation. DAC sponsors a featured artist each First Thursday in addition to hosting school exhibits, Riverfest senior adult exhibits and at least once a year, a regional art exposition with entries from around the state.

For many years, Beverly taught advanced darkroom and alternative photography processes at Austin Peay State University through the Community School of the Arts.

Fifteen years ago she took on the chairmanship of the Riverfest Art Exhibit. She says this position is one of the most rewarding she’s ever been a part of. The exhibit has grown from an adult division only to a burgeoning high school division and adult senior division. The adult and high school juried shows regularly accept more than 100 entries.

Beverly earned a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay and a master of liberal arts degree from Vanderbilt University. She is married to attorney Douglas Parker and has three children, William, Elizabeth, and John.

 

Ned and Jackie Crouch, Folk Art Preservers, Receive 2011 Arts Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Ned and Jackie Crouch understand the value of art and history in interpreting, enriching, and guiding our personal and collective lives. Their contributions to artistic life in Clarksville are legion. From teaching children to create and appreciate art to preserving and promoting local art through work with Customs House Museum, the Crouches have positively influenced cultural life in this city.

They helped raise millions of dollars to build a major annex to the Customs House Museum to allow it to showcase work by regional and national artists, spearheaded reconstruction of Customs House after it took a direct hit by an F3 tornado, and have been a major force behind acquiring and restoring some of Clarksville’s most popular public art. In 1992 for the grand opening of the expanded Customs House Museum, the Crouches put together an exhibit from their extensive collection along with borrowed pieces, “Treasures In Tennessee.” It included memorabilia of presidents from Tennessee along with paintings by Tennessee-associated artists from Andrew-Jackson portrait painter Ralph E. W. Earl to Red Grooms.

Throughout their careers they have exhibited a strong interest in preserving and promoting the work of regional folk artists. Both Ned and Jackie have brought the work of local folk artist Herbert Baggett to the attention of national folk art collectors. In 1982 Ned restored four pieces by Palmyra sculptor Enoch Tanner Wickham for inclusion in the American Folk-Life Center of the Knoxville World’s Fair. Ned’s work in preserving, restoring, and cataloging Wickham’s art began in the early 1970s when he restored a number of pieces now on exhibit in the Trahern Fine Arts Building of Austin Peay State University. He received a $40,000 NEA grant to put together a year-long exhibit of “E.T. Wickham: A Dream Unguarded” in 2001 at the Customs House Museum.

The Crouches have shared their personal collection of folk art with museums throughout the state, consulted with authors writing about Tennessee artists, set up exhibits in Nashville museums, and worked with numerous folk art collectors in Middle Tennessee. Ned and Jacqueline have consulted with museums across the state, including preparing and installing an exhibit on Reelfoot Lake at the Arts Center of Cannon County and analyzing collections for the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center to determine what materials would work for exhibits over the next several years to bring a wider range of history and art to the East Tennessee region.

When the Crouches were notified that they had been selected to receive this award, they responded that it was too soon — they have plans for many more projects to preserve, promote, and showcase the work of Tennessee artists, past and present. We look forward to the fruition of those projects, but we believe the Crouches’ tireless work in promoting the arts deserves recognition now.

 

Rubye Patch, 2010 Award winner, brings Clarksville history to life as a playwright, actor, producer

 

Rubye Patch was named the 2010 Arts and Heritage award winner for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

In his nomination for Ms. Patch, Montgomery County Historical Society president, Dr. Joe Filippo, wrote, “A life-long citizen of Clarksville, Ms. Patch has distinguished herself many times over as a general supporter of the arts, in addition to her myriad sterling efforts as an actress, writer, and coordinator of major artistic events in Montgomery County.

“As a general supporter of the arts, Ms. Patch has graciously sacrificed her time and energy, of which there is much, to assist various entities within the county in their endeavors to expand their artistic and cultural horizons.

“As an actress over the years, Ms. Patch has been called upon many times to play roles for the good of the community. This she has done with uncanny skill and panache. Whether she is seen as Lucy Williams, or as one of the raucous, ‘sinful’ members coming before the Presbyterian Session, or as the red-headed hussy who is always ‘ready’ for a new experience, Ms. Patch is sure to bring a breath of fresh air to theatre art.

“Just as creative are Ms. Patch’s artistic and historical scenes, which have been enacted through the Montgomery County Historical Society’s popular ‘Dinner with the Dead,’ in addition to their inspirational and educational ‘Cemetery Tours.’ Her persistent efforts as a playwright have given life to many historical Clarksville figures to the delight of countless contemporary Clarksvillians. From Steve Inlow Wylie to William Robert Bringhurst to Dr. Charles R. Cooper, she has told stories from the past that bring richness and value to present-day audiences.

“Some people, by their very nature, serve as magnets for others. Ms. Patch helps coordinate artistic activities for the community; still, she firmly remains ‘one of us.’ She avoids the limelight when possible; yet, her own light shines brightly for others to see. She is a special artist, loved by her community and appreciated for her talent by all who know her. She is to be congratulated for her many artistic accomplishments.”

 

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Solie Fott recorded as a studio musician for Cline, Cash, Presley, Dylan and Orbison

Dr. Solie Fott played as a studio musician in Nashville in recording work and television performances between 1960 and 1980.  In those 20 years he played in between 2,000 and 3,000 sessions, including almost all of Patsy Cline’s string sessions and Johnny Cash’s television shows.  He also worked with Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Eddie Arnold in recording sessions. Before that he was a violinist with the Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville symphony orchestras from 1943 to 1960.

In 1958, Dr. Fott joined the Austin Peay music faculty and was selected as its chairman in 1978. He was a major force in the establishment of APSU’s Center for Excellence in the Creative Arts in 1985. Dr. Fott represented the music department in the design of a $9.4 million music and mass communication building and supervised the complicated move of delicate instruments and faculty offices to the new building in 1986.

He served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American String Teachers Association in 1967 and the Tennessee Music Education Association from 1984 to 1986. He currently serves as vice president of the Tennessee Arts Academy Board and was vice president of Tennesseans for the Arts and a board member of the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education.

In 2001, Dr. Fott was awarded the Tennessee Arts Academy Lorin Hollander Award in recognition of his distinguished career in music education.  In 2008 Tennessee music teachers selected him to receive the Tennessee Music Education Association Hall of Fame Award.

 

AHDC recognized Drs. George and Sharon Mabry’s
lifetime contributions to the arts through music in 2008

Dr. George Mabry has been the director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus since 1998 and is professor emeritus of music at Austin Peay State University. He served as director of its Center for the Creative Arts and director of choral activities at the university until his retirement in 2003.

In addition to his choral and instrumental compositions, he has written and produced musical shows for entertainment parks around the country. He was formerly director of entertainment for Opryland U.S.A. in Nashville. While at Opryland, his musical shows toured the Soviet Union under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and appeared three times for the President of the United States at the White House.

Dr. Sharon Mabry, mezzo-soprano, began her teaching career at Austin Peay State University in 1970. As artistic coordinator of the Dimensions New Music Series since its inception in 1980, she has brought more than 60 composers to the campus for lectures, performances, and master classes benefiting students and the community at large.

Her seven LP and CD recordings have received outstanding critical acclaim and have been aired on FM stations internationally. She has established a distinguished career as a recitalist, master teacher of vocal techniques, soloist with symphony orchestras, and has performed at international music festivals, premiering the works of over thirty composers.

Oxford University Press published her book, Exploring Twentieth Century Vocal Music: A Practical Guide to Performance and Repertoire in 2002. Reviewers have called the book “elegantly written, persuasive, eminently readable and informative.”

 

Roxy’s Tom Thayer and John McDonald receive
AHDC’s 2007 award for lifetime contributions to the arts

Tom Thayer, managing director of the Roxy Regional Theatre, has held this position with the theatre since its inception in 1983. He is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. While living in New York, he worked as a public relations liaison for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, created and taught dance programs at the Dwight School and created and taught young dramatics for the Rhodes School. He is founder of the Clarksville Theatre Guild. He has performed off-Broadway as well as throughout the South. He currently serves as a guest instructor at Austin Peay State University and directs as well as instructs the musical theatre series.

John McDonald, artistic director of the Roxy Regional Theatre, has also been with the theatre since 1983. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, under a full scholarship from ABC Broadcasting. He has taught for the American Academy, The Rhodes School, The Dwight School and the Hewitt School. Performance credits include Broadway, The Long Wharf Theatre, New York Shakespeare Festival, The WPA Theatre and many more. As a playwright he authored Till We Meet Again, The Noble Heart, The Dunbar Cave Dance of 1938, Mr. Dorian Grey Sir and many more. He has received the Ingram Acting Fellowship as well as Outstanding Playwright Award.

Together, in 1983, they opened the Roxy Regional Theatre producing over 200 productions in their 18-year history. They also created the Roxy’s Professional Company, which, through selected productions in school curriculum, has reached thousands of school-aged children. In the summer, they both serve as directors of the Summer Drama Camp, sponsored in conjunction with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Department.

 

Olen Bryant and Thomas Brumbaugh honored in 2006 for their life-time contributions to the arts

Clarksville sculptor and educator Olen Bryant received the state’s top honor for artists, the Distinguished Artist Award, in March, 2007. That same year Customs House Museum and Cultural Center hosted Olen Bryant: A Retrospective. Featuring 200 works borrowed from galleries and private collections, the exhibit opened September 15 to a record crowd.

While his sculptures have received regional and national praise, Bryant is also a master teacher.  The Professor Emeritus at Austin Peay State University has mentored many students who now are major forces in regional arts circles. “He profoundly affected so many people,” says Amy Andersen, curator of collections and exhibits for Customs House. “We had over 600 people at his opening. People came from out of state just to see Olen.”

Byant holds a master of fine arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art and has studied extensively in the USA and abroad. He is a founding member of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists.

Art historian and educator Dr. Thomas Brendle Brumbaugh spent most of his career as a professor of fine arts at Vanderbilt University and has published many articles on American painting, sculpture, and architecture. He was co-editor of Architecture of Middle Tennessee: The Historic American Buildings Survey and co-author of The Art of Gerald Brockhurst. Brumbaugh published several articles on Abbott Handerson Thayer and donated his research on Thayer and other artists to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.  He also donated a sizeable collection of documents with Pennsylvania governors’ signatures to the Allison Antrim Museum in his hometown of Greencastle, Pennsylvania.