The AVA Art Center in Gillette has won a Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award for 2012.
The center’s work to promote artwork in the community is a large part of the reason for the nomination, including the center’s programs to bring art to all people, not just the average art enthusiast.
“They go out of their way to look for ways to draw in segments of the community that might not otherwise be interested in the arts,” said Camillia El-Antably, deputy manager at the Wyoming Arts Council.
The forms of community outreach that AVA is involved with includes work with children at the YES House, pottery classes — which now offer an outdoor gas kiln — and a program aimed at motorcyclists, she said.
AVA’s work carries out the mission of bringing art to everyone, El-Antably said. The quality of AVA’s art exhibitions also distinguished it.
The 10-member Wyoming Arts Council that reviews the nominees includes former Gillette Mayor Duane Evenson, who put in the nomination. The governor makes the final selections.
This will be the 31st year of nominations in the state.
Along with AVA, the governor’s awards also recognized country music artist Jalan Crossland of Ten Sleep.
Retired Casper College instructor Lynn Munns was recognized for his contributions to arts education over his career.
The awards will be presented at a Feb. 8 banquet in Cheyenne.
“We’re very, very excited. It’s really quite an honor,” AVA director Ann Edwards said.
There are others at the AVA center whose hard work made the award possible, Edwards said. Those include former director Sandi Aberle, who organized numerous programs in her years at the helm, and continues to teach classes there.
“She’s been instrumental in all this,” Edwards said.
She also is thankful to Evenson and people like Dara and John Corkery who have contributed to AVA over the years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.