Annual Art Awards

[Updated: 12/30/2019]


The City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center invites the community to attend the 23rd Annual Art Awards, honoring outstanding individuals in our community. The awards will be held at the MACC in the lower level of the Peter White Public Library located at 217 N Front St. on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

At 6 pm the public is invited to a celebratory reception before the Art Awards in conjunction with Lake Superior Art Association’s Annual Member Show. Refreshments will be provided by volunteers and community partners. At 7:30 pm the Annual Art Awards will begin in the Community Room of the Peter White Public Library. There will be performances by select award recipients and a ceremony to honor their achievements. This event is free and open to the public.

2020 Award Recipients

  • Arts Advocate: Marquette Maker’s Project
  • Arts Educator: Jake Fether
  • Arts Volunteer: JoAnn Shelby
  • Business: Madgoodies Studio
  • Community Arts Organization: Marquette City Band
  • Performing Artist: Kerry Yost
  • Special Recognition: Judy Parlato
  • Visual Artist: Cindy Wedig
  • Writer: Milton Bates
  • Youth Award: Layla Vickers


For more information contact the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center (MACC) at




The City of Marquette welcomes citizens to nominate deserving members of the community for the 2020 Annual Art Awards. Awards are to recognize & thank citizens who have demonstrated artistic excellence &/or have made significant contributions to the awareness of arts in our community.

Nominations for the 23rd Annual Art Awards are being accepted for the following categories:

  • Arts Volunteer
  • Arts Activist
  • Arts Educator
  • Youth Award
  • Visual Artist
  • Performing Artist
  • Special Recognition
  • Community Arts Impact
  • Art Business Honor Roll
  • Writer

For examples, of 2017 winners on the “21st ANNUAL ART AWARDS HIGHLIGHTS” page under this same, WHAT’S NEW, menu.

Nomination forms and criteria may be picked-up at the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center, located in the lower level of the Peter White Public Library at 217 N. Front Street, or found online at:

Nominations accepted through: Fri, Nov 29, 2019.

The Award recipients will be honored at a public ceremony in January 2020. Nominations for non-residents are welcome as long as the nominee has made contributions to the City of Marquette.

Individuals may NOT be nominated for an award category that they have already won. A complete list of past award winners can be found at:

For more information, contact the MACC at or
(906) 228-0472


2017 21st Annual Art Award Highlights as an Example

If you missed this, don’t miss next year! Talk of videotaping the event so as to capture the amazing stories of Award Recipients!

I’ve tried to include some online information about each of these amazing individuals – but wish I had taped their speeches!


Upper Peninsula Shakespeare Festival (portion of a play performed)

Jeff Spencer (vocal performance)

Also, an excerpt from one of the Valley Cat books was read and Chip Truscon did two brief historical character reenactments including one of Peter White


Wayne Hanmer is the conductor of the Marquette Male Chorus, one of his many music positions in the area. The choir was started in 1981 with a collaboration between Ellen Clement and Roger Wissler. Wayne became the director in 2003.

WRITER AWARD: Gretchen Preston for Valley Cats books.

Children's Book Author, Gretchen Preston, Children's Book Illustrator, Karin NeumannKarin Neumann, NMU grad and illustrator of books read excerpt. and

Gretchen was a recent guest on the Authors Access live podcast. She shared her experience being a visually impaired author.


Upper Peninsula Shakespeare Festival – Alstar Dimitrie & Jamie Weeder



Charitable side: Work with local dance instructors to help children and individuals who cannot afford dance lessons and/or dance clothes.





Jeff started the non-profit VERTIGO Theatre Company, Inc. in Marquette in 2009. See the Facebook page.

Jeff graduated from Indiana university, Bloomington, in 1989 with a degree in Theatre/drama. while there, he appeared on the Mainstage in Macbeth, Little Shop of Horrors, Cloud Nine, The Misanthrope, and The Oresteia. He also did work in the black box setting, including roles in Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, and originating the role of Frank in The yoofo Club. Since moving to Marquette, and making his local debut in the PAAC’s Godspell, Jeff has become a staple of the Lake Superior Theatre stage, where he has appeared as Rutledge in 1776, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Moonface in Anything Goes, Bill in Keepers of the Light, and Bottom in AMidsummer Night’s Dream. He played the role of Howie in Vertigo’s debut production, Rabbit Hole, the title role in Macbeth, Jamie in The Last Five Years, and directed Fat Pig. Jeff serves on the First Nighter’s Club Advisory Board, the board for Lake Superior Theatre, and ended a six-year stint as the drama Club Advisor and director at Marquette Senior High School.



Image result for Tom Lakenen + Lakenen Land + Photo of Tom Lakenen

Article: Whimsical welder welcomes snowmobilers to his U.P. park – Lakenenland: The coolest unofficial rest stop in the Upper Peninsula



Master Blacksmith artist and mentor who enjoys incorporating found metal objects in his amazing and often functional ironwork.

Image result for Gordon Gearhart Marquette, MI


Image result for Chip Truscon + Marquette, MI + historical reenactment

Retired public health administrator, researcher, and professor. On Advisory Board of the Mining Action Group; a volunteer, grassroots effort to defend the clean water and wild places of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from the dangers of sulfide mining – previously known as Save the Wild U.P.

Chip did two brief historical character reenactments including one of Peter White at the Art Awards.

Article: One man thought he’d try to start a pond hockey league. And people who missed their childhood game started coming in droves.

ARTS ACTIVIST AWARD: Janeen & Richard Rastall

Image result for Janeen & Richard RastallImage result for Janeen & Richard Rastall + photos of Richard RastallPoetry mentors and founders of the Marquette Poet’s Circle.

YOUTH AWARD: Taylor Koski

Discovered her passion for theater and helps children in Superior Arts Youth Theater acting camp with choreography and more.