2010 Mayor's Awards Honorees
In the area of Visual Arts, Steve Songer.
Steve had the opportunity to study art education and art at Weber State University, Utah State University and in 1989 he had the opportunity to study at the Royal Academy of Art in London.
Steve spent 25 years teaching art on the high school level and found it to be both challenging and satisfying. He has received numerous awards for his dedication to the students. Among those awards were: Utah State University 'Art Teacher of the Year' (4 state area) in 1985, 'Teacher of the Year' for Weber School District in 1988, first runner-up to 'Utah Teacher of the Year' in 1988, and USWEST's 'Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the state of Utah' in 1991. In 1997, Steve retired from the classroom to devote himself full-time to painting.
Steve is a very accomplished art educator and painter. In the past twenty-five years, he has been featured in many invitational art exhibitions, receiving numerous awards such as: 1st Place in the Eccles Statewide Competition, 1st place in the St. George Art Festival and Award of Merit from Utah Watercolor Society. More recently he won the purchase award at both the Springville Salon and the Dixie Invitational, and had a painting selected for the permanent collection of the Utah State Division of Fine Arts. His paintings can be found in private collections throughout the world.
For media arts, Lisa Kopelke
Lisa grew up in southern California and went to California College of the Arts, majoring in sculpture. Her favorite classes were Creative Writing and Art History. Her English professor was the poet, playwright, song writer & novelist Michael McClure. A favorite quote of his that she passes on every chance she gets is "You can't break the rules until you learn what those rules are". She is a self-taught artist and illustrator and has carved her own path to publication---first learning the rules, then breaking them. Lisa is a published author & illustrator of more than 6 children's books and is a volunteer for the Imagine Ballet Theatre, The Utah Symphony Docent Program and Ogden Preparatory Academy. She is currently creating an animated short film with the students at Ogden Prep. in an after school club supported by a group of online mentors and peers from the professional world including Nickelodeon, Disney and Microsoft.
In the area of theatre arts, Wes Whitby
After receiving a degree in musical theater and English literature, Wes Whitby spent three semesters in Russia teaching English and Theater to children at the Kozarnovsky Class Centre for the Performing Arts in Moscow, and in the elementary school system in Voronezh. Upon returning to Utah in 2000, Wes returned to Treehouse to take the position of Programs Coordinator for the museum, overseeing and organizing the museum’s unique brand of improvisational theater, the “ParticiPlayTM” for the over 24,000 students who attend the museum each year on school tours and the over 150,000 yearly visitors to the museum, making sure each child gets to “Step into a StoryTM.” He also coordinates the Treehouse Museum’s theater outreach program, summer theater camps and workshops, and serves as the artistic director for the museum’s acting company, the Treehouse Troupe. As an important part of his work with children and families, Wes has written and adapted over 60 plays and puppet shows for families.
For Literature, Anne Bowen
A native of the mid-west, Anne received a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and Master’s degree in Education from Weber State and Utah State Universities. Anne taught for the Utah Schools for the Deaf, for thirty years, working with both hearing-impaired and hearing students in Ogden’s public schools. It was during her years of teaching that Anne discovered her passion for playing with words, how they could paint a picture through poetry or tell a story in a variety of ways. She also discovered how much she enjoyed sharing this passion with her students. With colleagues, Anne developed writing workshops, integrating hearing impaired students with their hearing peers. The students learned to live like writers, keeping journals in which they recorded their observations of the world around them, eventually writing and publishing their own stories. Nominated by her colleagues, Anne received the 1996/1997 Utah English/Language Arts Teacher of the Year Award.
Anne’s career as a published author began with her first picture book, I Loved You Before You Were Born, (Harpercollins) published in 2001. Since then, Anne has had seven more books published and now shares her passion for writing through author visits to schools in the Ogden and Salt Lake areas and collaborates with other award winning authors under the banner, Writing for Charity.
For Art Advocacy, Thomas Moore Sr.
The educational pursuits of Tom Moore Sr. involved a study of literature specializing in Renaissance literature, graduating from Brigham Young University in French and English Literature. He completed a Master’s Degree with an emphasis on French Renaissance literature. He then went to the East to study Neo-Platonism in European poetry. All along, he also had an emphasis in History.
Tom taught English and humanities at Weber High School, BYU and the University of Maryland for over thirty years while developing several businesses and enjoying many community projects. He served as Vice-President of the Utah symphony, President of the Union Station Development Corporation which restored the historic Ogden train station. He was instrumental in placing the Eccles Historic District on the National Register for Historic Places. Tom and his wife Stephanie bought one of the great Prairie-style houses designed by Eber Piers, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, which later became the home of Marriner S. Eccles. Stephanie and I have filled the house with fine paintings, 18th century porcelain, fine Persian rugs, 18th century furniture, and fine silver. It is much like an English country house–dogs on the beds and in the chairs. But more, it has been the home of their five children, and now 13 grandchildren.
For a lifetime contribution to the arts, Bob and Marcia Harris
Bob and Marcia are well known in the Ogden area for their philanthropy and volunteerismin many aspects of the community. Their interests are varied and include the arts, humanities, and literary as well as social and human services. This amazing couple has lived in Ogden for over 20 years, moving here originally when Bob was employed as an attorney with Thiokol. Bob became involved with the Ogden Symphony Balley Association, in 2000 when he took the helm as the President of the Board of Directors. He served two terms in that capacity.
Bob and Marcia work hard to benefit projects they believe in. Through their leadership, they encourage others also to support those projects, therefore working to build a network of caring in the community. Much of their work is behind the scenes giving asvice and urging others to get involved. They want others to get the credit and enjoy the satisfaction of giving to a worthy goal. You will see Bob’s and Marcia’s names as donors on the playbills of many arts programs, and their attendance is noted at nearly every musical, drama, dance, and literary event held in Ogden City.
Inducted into the newly established Hall of Honor in the Arts.
Sandy Havas has, since 1977, guided the Eccles Community Art Center, a private non-profit gallery located in downtown Ogden. As its Executive Director she has helped the Center grow from a small local center for the visual arts to a focus for visual and performing arts. She has increased its budget from $25,000 per year to $350,000 per year. This allows the Eccles Community Art Center to provide monthly displays of locals and statewide artists in varying media, operate a Carriage Gallery and gift shop where artist’s works are on display and for sale, provide numerous classes in arts as varied as painting in the varying media up to wine tasting classes, yoga and many others. She has been able to increase class participation substantially so for a much needed expansion of the Center and a major renovation of the family home housing the Center, the ballet programs have expanded and have formed an ongoing relationship with the renowned Ballet West.
Sandy strongly believes in being involved in the community and getting to know the people you work with. She feels that this has allowed her to have made a success of the Eccles Community Art Center to the point that it is now the premier fine arts facility in the Top of Utah. She has attended Weber State University and was a member of the committee to select the new Ethel Wattis Kimball Visual Arts Center.