Results have been announced for the Austin ArtWorks Festival People’s Choice Awards.
Voted Best of Show was Joseph Sand. A pottery artist who now has a studio in Randleman, N.C., Sand graduated from Austin High School in 2001 and enjoyed coming back to participate in the festival. He will receive a $200 award.
Following Sand, in order from second to ninth, were Eric Anfinson, John Duren, Jim Wegner, Dustin DeBoer, Peter Waldman, Bob Nagel, Paul Reetz and Keith Grove. The other honorees will each receive a $100 award. Go to austinartworksfestival.org to see details on Best of Show winners.
Austin ArtWorks Festival organizers established a Purchase Award for the debut of this festival. Pat and Gary Ray purchased Eric Anfinson’s painting The Golden Fish, which will be hung in a public building so that the entire community can enjoy it. The location will be announced at a later date. Organizers plan to make the Purchase Award an annual Austin ArtWorks Festival tradition.
The first annual Leadership award for the Austin ArtWorks Festival was presented at the opening reception Aug. 24 at the Hormel Historic Home. Retired Austin High School art teacher and renowned montage artist Bruce Loeschen was surprised with the award for Exceptional Spirit and Leadership of the Arts in Austin. Festival Co-Chair Bonnie Rietz described the outstanding volunteer work that motivated the steering committee to choose Loeschen for the recognition.
We wanted to honor this exceptional team leader who invited so many of the artists to participate, Rietz said. He has demonstrated his expertise at team spirit, patience and perseverance for the Arts in Austin over many years. Bruce is a talented artist who has been on the national stage with his beautiful city montages.
Loeschen’s first show in Austin was in 1979 at the Hormel Historic Home, and he has since led many students who have gone on to include art in their lives.
Nearly 5,000 people attended the first ever two-day festival held at the Historic Downtown Austin Power Plant on Aug. 25 and 26. Festival-goers enjoyed exhibits, presentations and performances by over 80 visual artists, authors and performing artists, all with Austin connections.
The Austin ArtWorks Festival invests in the culture of Austin and showcases the historic Power Plant building, which will be revitalized as part of the citywide community betterment program Vision 2020. A collaboration of community leaders is working on plans to transform the former downtown power plant into a unique destination.