Kate Brown reveals 2020's Governor's Arts Awards winners

Oct 16 2020, 9:00 pm

Oregon has long been known to cultivate and play home to some of the nation’s greatest artists transcending categories. Every year, the Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, has the privilege of nominating and selecting winners of the annual Governor’s Arts Awards.

From Beverly Cleary to the Shins, our magical history of beautiful landscapes, our shifted perspective of art as a vocation, and the pace at which our state moves about their day-to-day has birthed many unforgettable artists.

“Not only do the arts enrich our quality of life and local economies, but arts education is also key in fostering a spirit of creativity and innovation in our youth,” Governor Brown said. “The awards are a great way to celebrate Oregon’s artistic treasures and honor the impact they have had on our state.”

Dubbed Oregon’s “highest honor” for service in the arts, the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards will culminate in a virtual celebration event in which this year’s winners will take center stage.

Narrowed from a pool of 48 nominations, the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards are:

Darrell Grant – Jazz

Grant is a jazz musician and educator from the city of Portland, Oregon. Currently, Grant is a tenured professor of Jazz Studies and Associate Director of the School of Music at Portland State University. He is also the founding director at the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute.

Roberta J. Kirk – Traditional Art

Kirk is a traditional artist from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and is known for both their art and award-winning beadwork.

John Laursen – Writer

Known as a writer, designer, and typographer, Laursen is the owner and operator at Press-22 — a book and text public art project — and continues to curate and produce a celebration of the use of language in his work.

Alongside friend and photographer Terry Toedtemeier, Laursen co-founded the Northwest Photography Archive in 2020, which has kept and published the history of photographic documentation of the region.

Toni Pimble – Dance

The founding artistic director of the Eugene Ballet is a multi-award-winning choreographer and director of dance. Pimble has been part of the company for more than 40 years since co-founding EB back in 1978.

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus – Music

Founded in 1980, the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus is the fourth-oldest choir in the United States and celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

PGMC is recognized nationally for revitalizing interest in choral arrangements in men’s choir work, and often can be seen performing newly commissioned works.

Wyatt FossettWyatt Fossett

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