Each November, the Paseo Arts Association honors artists and art supporters who have made a strong contribution to the arts in our state at the Paseo Arts Awards Dinner. Unable to safely gather, the PAA will celebrate the 2020 Paseo Arts Awards “Behind the Mask” online this year. Over two weeks beginning on First Friday, November 6 through Thursday, November 19, the PAA will release a series of videos recognizing seven artists and organizations who have found creative ways to pivot and persevere, serving and creating even in the face of the pandemic.
This year’s award recipients are Marilyn Artus, Artist of the Year Award; Paseo Farmers Market, The New Normal Award; Waytable, Helping Hands Award; The House Helps, Quaranteam Award; OVAC, Pivot Award; Oklahoma Gazette, Megaphone Award; Nicole Poole, Inspirational Influencer Award.
In addition to the videos profiling each awardee, the PAA will hold a silent auction and sell raffle tickets. Mark your calendars and tune in on social media and at thepaseo.org/awards to bid, purchase raffle tickets and learn about the PAA and their seven awardees.
Artist of the Year – Marilyn Artus
Over 14 months, taking 17 separate trips, artist Marilyn Artus planned to travel to all 36 states that ratified the 19th Amendment into law to build Her Flag, a nationwide art and travel project created in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Marilyn collaborated with a woman artist from each of the 36 states that ratified the amendment into law to create an 18- by 26-foot flag. Due to COVID-19, Marilyn got off the road after making it to 25 of the 36 states and began live-streaming the stripe sewing performances from her living room. A massive undertaking under normal circumstances, Marilyn completed Her Flag in August, where it went on to be displayed on the outside of the Clinton Presidential Library.
The New Normal Award – Paseo Farmers Market
After working hard to obtain nonprofit status over the winter, the Paseo Farmers Market took their market online in April, postponing their regular open-air Saturday market until further notice. When they first formed the plan, they had no clue what to expect, but found that from the very first weekend, it was a huge success. Most of their vendors saw triple the sales they would at an in-person market and the online market will be their new normal way of business, even when they are able to have an in-person market once again. The Paseo Farmers Market team includes Jenna Moore, Thanh Tran, Angela Chase and Megan Sisco.
Helping Hands Award – Waytable
When the coronavirus delayed plans for the new nonprofit restaurant concept Waytable, the team used their foundation to raise funds to purchase meals at local restaurants and provide them to those on the front lines of the pandemic. The group has raised $70,946 of their $75,000 goal for their meal support program over the last six months. The Waytable team includes Ben Nockels, Harlan Hubbard, Andrew Rice and Matt Wills.
Quaranteam Award – The House Helps
Chris Cox founded The House OKC in 2016 as a full-service marketing and entertainment firm and stayed active in the city’s booming restaurant scene. In March, they hosted their first livestream to raise funds for their friends in the food and hospitality industry that lost work due to closures from the pandemic. The team took their expertise in marketing and knowledge in live-streaming and formed the nonprofit The House Helps, and have raised $83,000 to date for displaced workers, social causes and arts organizations. The House Helps team includes Chris Cox, Michael Steinman III and Eric Waltman.
Pivot Award – OVAC
In June, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and independent curator, Jennifer Scanlan, organized the Oklahoma Art Crawl, a statewide art crawl across 33 cities that featured more than 225 artists displaying and selling their artwork outdoors. The self-guided, family-friendly event created a safe in-person art experience for artists and visitors. The OVAC Art Crawl team includes Krystle Brewer, Alexa Goetzinger, Audrey Kominski, Hayley Olson, Lauren Fourcade and Jennifer Scanlan.
Megaphone Award – Oklahoma Gazette
When the Oklahoma Gazette took a break from their normal weekly coverage, they sought to use their platform to uplift artists through the Artist and Writer of the Quarantine series. Throughout April, May and June, the Oklahoma Gazette showcased the work of 61 artists and 17 writers online.
Inspirational Influencer Award – Nicole Poole
By creating whimsical chalk drawings, instituting a “Walk Silly Zone” in Edgemere Park and enlisting artists for solo performances on demand, artist Nicole Poole has stayed busy during the pandemic using her artistic talents to create moments of joy for her neighbors, community and other artists.
The Paseo Arts Association, a 501 c3 non-profit, started the Paseo Arts Awards in 2011 as a way to showcase the numerous contributions made by artists and community supporters who help to shape Oklahoma City into a better place to live. For more information, go to our website at thepaseo.org or call 405-525-2688.