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Arts in Wilmington Awards January 28 6-9 PM

The awards are 6-9 p.m. Jan. 28 at theArtWorks™  art studios and event space on Willard Street. TICKETS:

By John Staton #WilmingtonStarNews Staff

People in the arts work hard, often for little or no money, to make the world a better place. For that, a little bit of recognition is in order.

That's the idea behind the first Arts In Wilmington Awards, to be held 6-9 p.m. Jan. 28 at theArtWorks™ art studios and event space on Willard Street. In addition to four honors being handed out, the event will include live music, food, drinks and an after-party.

Craig Stinson started the Arts in Wilmington organization in 2014 as a way to bring together artists, arts professionals and arts advocates. More than 1,600 people subscribe to AIW's weekly newsletter, and Stinson organizes a monthly meet-up and organizes a calendar of arts events.

He said the awards are "a natural progression" for his group that he modeled on the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards given annually by the South Carolina Arts Commission.

"I say modeled, but it's really been stolen," Stinson said with a laugh.

The honorees were selected from a handful of nominees whose names were submitted by members of the community. The winners were chosen by a committee of arts professionals who live outside of Wilmington. The honorees are: 

  • In the "individual artist" category, Hiroshi Sueyoshi. Born in Japan, Sueyoshi is a master potter who has lived and worked in Wilmington for decades. A retrospective exhibition of his work, "Matter of Reverence," was hosted by the Cameron Art Museum in 2014-2015.
  • In the "individual" category, Jim and Betsy Knowles, owners of  the ArtWorks studios   and event space.
  • In the "organization" category, DREAMS of Wilmington, which provides young people in need with classes and activities in the literary, visual, multimedia and performing arts.
  • And in the "arts in education" category, Wilmington artist and educator Gabriel Lovejoy.
  • Each honoree gets a plaque along with well-deserved recognition.

    "I've always admired creative people," Stinson said. "Anything we can do to shine a light on that is a good thing."