The 18th Annual Arts and Cultural Heritage Arrowhead Arts Awards

AAAwardsFB_HeaderThe 18th Annual Arts and Cultural Heritage Arrowhead Arts Awards celebration will take place in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, at the Reif Performing Arts Center in the Ives Studio Theater on Friday, June 3, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

This event will recognize two individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts in the Arrowhead Region. These awards are presented by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, the largest funder of the arts in the seven counties of northeastern Minnesota.


George Morrison Artist Award
The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is proud to announce that the recipient of this year’s George Morrison Artist Award is sculptor Jeff Savage. Savage resides in the Fond du Lac Reservation and has become an internationally recognized artist for his sculptural forms.Savage is an award-winning artist who has dedicated a majority of his artistic abilities to the continuation of traditional Chippewa art forms. As a twenty-first century Native artist, Savage is able to blend rich traditional art forms with his contemporary outlook.Savage discovered his passion for shaping stone at an early age. His gifts have been fine-tuned with years of sculpting. Savage is a self-taught artist with his greatest artistic achievements being found in his carving of traditional pipestone pipes. He has researched his art forms for years by speaking with elders on many Reservations. He freely gives back to his community as director of the Fond du Lac Reservation Museum, assisting many in learning traditional Ojibwe arts and crafts. He has designed many art classes at the museum to keep traditional and contemporary arts alive in the community.Savage has received numerous awards at the historical Santa Fe Indian Market and the Eiteljorg Indian Market. Savage’s work appears in various public and private collections including the collection of the Smithsonian Museum and the Department of Interior Museum, Washington D.C. His pipes and sculptures are in collections in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Japan, China, Estonia, and many Native American Nations too numerous to mention. Throughout his 35-year career, he has done numerous demonstrations, classroom presentations, and lectures. His continually expanding body of traditional and contemporary artwork has made a significant contribution to the Arrowhead Region and around the world.

The George Morrison Artist Award is named after internationally acclaimed visual artist George Morrison (1919-2000), who was an important member of the second generation of American abstract expressionist artists. Morrison was heralded for successfully synthesizing American Indian themes with abstraction and surrealism. As a life-long member of the Grand Portage Chippewa, he resided and worked for many years in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota.

   Maddie Simons Arts Advocate Award
The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is proud to announce that the recipient of this year’s Maddie Simons Advocate Award is Kathy Dodge. Dodge is co-founder of Grand Rapids Arts, a non-profit dedicated to connecting artists and arts organizations to audiences in the Grand Rapids area, and is a founding member and Chair of the Grand Rapids Arts and Culture Commission.Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, Dodge is thankful to have found her way to northern Minnesota through a series of fortunate mishaps. For most of her career, she taught English at Grand Rapids High School. While there, she co-coordinated the Northern Minnesota Area Writing Project, Guthrie Theater field trips, and worked with the Illusion Theatre to implement Project Trust in the schools.Dodge served as a Greater Minnesota, At-Large Board Member for Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and as the executive director of the Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program. She directed and acted in productions of the Grand Rapids Players and supervised several projects as a volunteer at MacRostie Art Center. She chaired the steering committee for the Minnesota Orchestra’s first Common Chords Residency, and as an arts advocate, she worked with local environmental and arts groups to pass the Legacy Amendment.  She is currently chair of the Grand Rapids Arts and Culture Commission, which last year completed an arts and culture plan for the city. With a firm conviction that art can comfort those dealing with cancer, she serves on the Board of Directors of Project Lulu, based in Duluth.

Until recently, Kathy could be heard as a volunteer co-host Monday mornings, often covering the arts, on Northern Community Radio. In 2014, she received Northern Community Radio’s Community Impact Award.

The Maddie Simons Arts Advocate Award is named for Madeline Simons, the first volunteer Chair of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Board. A long-time resident of Grand Marais, MN, she owned a dance studio, helped start the Grand Marais Playhouse, the Lutsen Art Fair, and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

The Arrowhead Arts Awards recipients for the past eight years:
George Morrison Artist Award Recipients: Chris Monroe, visual artist and illustrator, Duluth; Elizabeth Jaakola, composer, songwriter, musician, Cloquet; Gareth Andrews, sculptor, Zim; Jim Northrup, poet, essayist, Sawyer; Cheng-Khee Chee, watercolor artist, Duluth; Mary Casanova, young adult author, Ranier; Connie Wanek, poet, Duluth; and Jim Brandenburg, photographer, Ely. Maddie Simons Arts Advocate Award Recipients: Amy Demmer, Grand Marais; John Faith, International Falls; Dr. Stanley Wold, Duluth; Cherie and Jerry Holm, Aitkin; Charlene Luoma, Britt; Cheryl Kramer-Milder, Cloquet; Patty Feld, Effie; and Betsy Bowen, Grand Marais.