Inaugural Merit Award Grantees Announced

Daily Dose  |  12/13/2017 2:00 pm

The Arts Commission is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Merit Awards. This program recognizes outstanding individual local artists – literary, performing and visual. These artists are acknowledged for the many hours and personal resources they have dedicated to advancing their art forms.

A regionally renowned panel of artists and cultural leaders convened to review applications submitted by the October 9th deadline. Our esteemed panel included: Alise Alousi - Associate Director of Inside Out Literary Arts Project in Detroit and poet; John Farina - Co-Owner of Maria Neil Art Project in Cleveland as well as an Independent Consultant and a seasoned leader in the non-profit sector; and Oliver Ragsdale, Jr. - President of the Carr Center in Detroit and an experienced percussionist. The review session provided an excellent opportunity for these panelists to learn more about Toledo’s artistic community and commitment to arts and culture

Local artists selected as finalists for the Merit Awards program are highlighted below. Award levels were publically announced at the December 12th Arts Commission Holiday Reception.

$500 Award
Lauren Fowler is an artist working in glass and porcelain with 12 years of college and independent school teaching experience. Fowler holds degrees from Bowling Green State University, Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is represented by the Sherrie Gallery in Columbus.

$1000 Award
Zac Weinberg is a visual artist, currently creating large scale glass, found object and mixed media sculptures. Weinberg holds degrees from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and Ohio State University. With several years of teaching experience, his work has also been published several issues of New Glass Review, Glass Art Society Newsletter among other exhibition catalogues.

$1000 Award
Lindsay Scypta is a ceramic artist who desires to contribute to the clay community in Toledo through teaching, collaboration and mentorship. Scypta holds degrees from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and Ohio State University. Her work has been published in issues of Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times among other book and art publications. Scypta's work is also in the collections of the Arthur E. Baggs Memorial Library and the Ohio Union at the Ohio State University.

$2500 Award
Natalie Lanese is a visual artist, holding degrees from Xavier University, Case Western University and Pratt University. Prior to being selected as a Merit Award finalist, she received an Individual Artist Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Her work is included in the Putnam Collection of Case Western University and the Fidelity Corporate Art Collection as well as the collections of Xavier University Department of Art and The SCOPE Foundation in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently an Associate Professor at Sienna Heights University and the Klemm Gallery Director.

The Arts Commission Merit Awards program is generously sponsored by ProMedica.