By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Senior Reporter —
OKLAHOMA CITY – The 2021 Paseo Arts Awards recipients have been announced for 2021. The six honorees will be celebrated at the 15th Annual Paseo Arts Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 18 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Avenue, in Oklahoma City.
This year’s Paseo Arts Award recipients are: Joy Reed Belt, Legacy Award; Jabee Williams, Artist of the Year Award; Brian Dougherty, Volunteer Service Award; Julie Cohen, Michi Susan Award; Atavian “Bleek” Blakely, Emerging Artist Award and Oklahoma Contemporary, Placemaking Award.
Returning as emcee for the evening will be former DeadCenter’s executive director Lance McDaniel.
The Paseo Arts Association, a 501 c3 non-profit, began the Paseo Arts Awards in 2011 as a way to recognize artists and art supporters who have made a strong contribution to the arts in Oklahoma.
The Paseo Arts Association Annual Awards was created to recognize and honor those individuals who have contributed to the artistic creativity and well-being in the state. By recognizing artists through these awards, Paseo Arts mission is to strengthen the Oklahoma art community.
Tickets are on sale now at thepaseo.org. Individual tickets are $75 and sponsorship opportunities are available.
This year’s Legacy Award recipient, Joy Reed Belt, is recognized as an individual who represents the heart and soul of the Paseo Arts District and who has made a significant impact on the community that will last beyond his/her lifetime.
The 2021 Artist of the Year Award, honors activist and rapper Jabee Williams, as a person who has spent his life contributing to the enhancement of the visual arts in Oklahoma either as an artist, supporter, arts educator, or arts administrator.
The Volunteer Service Award will recognize Brian Dougherty, program director of the Parks and Public Spaces Initiative, for his time and experience to benefit an Oklahoma non-profit arts organization over several years.
Julie Cohen, President and CEO of the Oklahoma Arts Institute, will receive the Michi Susan Award. Susan, an admired and accomplished mixed media Oklahoma artist, has been recognized nationally and internationally. The Michi Susan Award recognizes artists who live in her same spirit and work to mentor and encourage Oklahoma visual artists.
Atavian “Bleek” Blakely is the recipient of the Emerging Artist Award, which recognizes a visual artist that has emerged onto the Oklahoma art scene within the past few years and has contributed to the diversity and growth of art and culture in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Contemporary is this year’s Creative Placemaking Award honoree.
This award recognizes a person or place who has made substantial contributions to strengthening creative communities, making the role of art essential in enhancing local character for positive economic development and community outcomes.
Amanda Bleakley, Paseo Arts Association executive director said, “We are extremely excited with this year’s awardees as they encompass Oklahoma’s energy for the arts and the direction they are taking to improve the quality of life here.”
The Paseo Arts Association, a 501 c3 non-profit, started the Paseo Arts Awards 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.
A cocktail reception with silent auction and raffle will take place from 6 – 7 p.m. followed by the dinner and program.
Proceeds from the awards dinner and silent auction will go to support the Paseo Arts Association’s events and programs, such as First Friday events, kickstarters for artists such as Paseo FEAST, the Paseo Arts Festival held in May, and the Fairy Ball and Magic Lantern events
Tickets are available for purchse at thepaseo.org/awardsdinner2021. For more information, visit thepaseo.org or call 405-525-2688.