Lipscomb University will present its 9th annual Avalon Awards for Creative Excellence at the Evening of Excellence dinner Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Allen Arena, located on the campus, 3901 Granny White Pike, Nashville.
The 2004 recipients: singer/songwriter Amy Grant, Nashville; theater professor, director and actor Jerry Henderson, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and ceramicist Sylvia Hyman, Nashville.
The three were selected as examples of excellence “worthy of emulation in our students and ourselves,” university President Stephen F. Flatt said.
“We honor them because the product of their creativity is making a positive difference in our community and in our society,” Flatt said.
The Avalon Awards were created in 1995 to encourage the exploration of creativity among Lipscomb students and faculty by illustrating excellence in the creative arts. The awards “celebrate the creative spirit, but also look for relevance to our daily lives,” said Carolyn Wilson, director of library services at Lipscomb and an Avalon Steering Committee member.
Award recipients “have enriched our existence, challenged our minds, compelled our eyes and ears to see new visions and hear wondrous sounds. They have pursued that truer art, the language of the human spirit, which reveals the meanings of our broader worlds,” Wilson said.
A huge influence on the development of modern gospel and contemporary Christian music, Amy Grant is an extremely talented singer and songwriter. Grant received her first record deal from Word Records in 1977 at the age of 15. Her first albums, released in the late 1970s and early 1980s, helped invent the contemporary Christian genre. She also successfully crossed over to the pop charts with several of her hit songs. During her more than 25-year career, Grant has sold 25 million albums, and has received 24 Dove Awards and five Grammy. Grant’s 19th project, Amy Grant’s Greatest Hits 1986-2004, was recently released.
An artist for more than 60 years, Sylvia Hyman has worked with clay for more than 40 years. For the past few years Hyman has produced artwork in the “trompe l’oeil” genre which emphasizes super-realism. Hyman has received numerous awards during her career. Her work was featured in a 30-year Retrospective Exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum in 1995, and she received the Governor’s Award in the Arts for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts in 1994. Hyman also received an award for Lifetime Achievement in The Craft Arts in 1993 from the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Hyman’s work is included in many Museum collections in the United States and around the world. Her work is featured in the Best of Tennessee Craft 2004 Biennial exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville through Jan.9, 2005.
A 1957 Lipscomb graduate, Jerry Henderson returned to campus in 1962 and quickly established Lipscomb drama as among the best in Tennessee colleges. While there he took productions of Richard II and Macbeth on the road. In 1969 he led a Lipscomb drama troupe on a USO tour of Greenland, Iceland, Baffin Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to his 12 years at Lipscomb, he taught theater at Tennessee Technologial University in Cookeville from 1973-79 and at Pepperdine University from 1979-2003. He has directed numerous productions and is an accomplished playwright and author. Henderson has also performed in a variety of productions.
Tickets to the dinner are $35 and must be purchased in advance. Call 615.279.6216 or 800.333.4358, ext. 6216 for more information. The dinner is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.
Some past recipients include author John Egerton, artist Harold Kraus, Parthenon Director Wesley Paine, actress Nan Gurley, children’s book author Patricia McKissack, music industry leaders Randy Goodman and Dan Harrell, Jim Jinkins, creator of the “Doug” animated character and such current programs as “PB&J Otter” and “Stanley”; Marty Roe, lead singer for Diamond Rio; sculptor Clydetta Fulmer, artist Michael Shane Neal, architect Seab Tuck, and more.