Four deserving people were honored for contributions to the arts.
Kris Kanalyreceived Artist of the Year, and Kelsey Karper received the Michi Susan Award.
Kanaly,named artist of the year, is a muralist from Oklahoma City. With an extensive family history in the arts hailing back to his great grandfather’s Colonial Art Gallery established in 1919, Kanaly grew up in a family of artists, art collectors, art dealers and graphic designers. This propelled him into a career of art and graphic design with a heavy focus on street art in his early years. He gained attention with multiple awards, publications and books, and is regularly licensed by national retailers like Vans and Warby Parker.
In 2015, he was inducted into the Google Cultural Institute for his public art in the state. Kanaly founded the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate in 2017, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating, curating and fundingpublic art, and is the lead curator for the Plaza Walls mural project, Oklahoma City’s premier outdoor gallery.
Karper,the Michi Susan Award winner, is an Oklahoma City-based curator, artist and cultural instigator. Her work focuses on projects that build community and generate new support for artists. In 2016, Karper co-founded Current Studio. There, she developed programs to help artists realize ambitious ideas and connect with their community.
Through December 21, Factory Obscura (her artist collective) features BEYOND, a mystical art odyssey inviting guests to explore what lies beyond. Previously, she served as Associate Director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC), an organization devoted to supporting artists statewide through education, exposure, and funding.
As Arts & Cultural Affairs Liaison for the City of Oklahoma City, creative placemaking award designeeKienzle coordinates arts and cultural initiatives to further the City’s economic, tourism and community development priorities. Her post oversees Arts Commission matters and work with all of the departments, trusts and authorities of the City to implement the 1% for Arts ordinance established by the City Council in 2009. She has worked for the City for 20 years and has almost 30 years of experience connecting arts, architecture and urban redevelopment to support the City’s growth and development. Kienzle has been a guest presenter and lecturer at local universities, and various public meetings and conferences. She is also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Shawnee in Oklahoma.
Honored at the dinner for lifetime achievement, Maestro Levine was been the longest serving music director in Oklahoma City’s history, and is now designated “Conductor Emeritus” by the Philharmonic Board of Directors. Under his leadership, the orchestra has appeared on international, national and local television broadcasts and released several recordings. He advocated passage of MAPS1 in the city, and was a key player in renovation of the Civic Center Music Hall.
The String Quartet Etc. serenaded during the reception and dinner on November 15. Then Lance McDaniel took over as M.C. with Executive Director Amanda Bleakley assisting.
The theme was “galaxy” – which was taken from Jerry Bennett’s art work “Captain Galactibeak.” So the colors for the evening were blue and silver.
Angie LaPaglia read a poem “Art Now” written especially for the evening which was gripping and poignant.
The Paseo Arts Association, a 501 c3 non-profit,started the Paseo Arts Awards back in 2011 as a way to showcase the numerous contributions made by artists and community supporters who help to shape Oklahoma City into a better place to live. For more information, go to thepaseo.org or call 405-525-2688. The City Sentinel is a proud supporter of the Paseo Arts Association.