Dennis Rowland and Doug Hyde were named Artists of the Year during the 2018 Arizona Governor's Arts Awards ceremony on Thursday, March 22, at the Arizona Biltmore.
This is the 37th year for the awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in several categories. They're presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, a statewide arts advocacy organization, in partnership with Governor Doug Ducey's office.
The awards ceremony capped off a months-long process that began with an open call for nominations in October 2017. More than 90 nominations were reviewed by volunteer selection panels comprising arts, community, and business leaders across Arizona, who announced the finalists in February.
Winner Rowland is an award-winning vocalist who has performed with several iconic musicians, including Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. Hyde is a Native American sculptor of Naz Perce, Chippewa, and Assiniboine heritage whose work is part of the Smithsonian Institution collection.
Six additional award winners were announced during the 2018 ceremony. They were chosen based on achievements, contributions, and commitment to the arts, as well as the impact of their work.
Dennis Ott, director for the Sedona Arts Center ceramic department, received the Arts in Education Individual Award. The Arts in Education Organization Award went to Foothills Fine Arts Arts Academy in Glendale.
The Small Business Award went to Changing Hands Bookstore. The Large Business Award went to Vestar, a Tucson-based real estate investment firm.
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The Individual Award went to Sam, a Phoenix native who founded and directs Detour Company Theatre. The Community Award went to the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts in Wickenburg.
Alberto Álvaro Ríos and Judith Hardes were also recognized during the event, with awards that had been announced earlier this year.
The inaugural Arizona Poet Laureate, Ríos received the Shelley Award for strategic and innovative work that impacts public policy. Hardes, a longtime supporter of several Arizona arts organizations, received the Philanthropy Award.
Award winners receive original works of art by Arizona artists. Laura Spalding Best, Mitch Fry, Saskia Jorda, and Claire A. Warden were among the nine artists who created this year's awards.