GLENDA TAYLOR VISUAL ARTS AWARD

  • John Holcomb: Emerging local artist with incredible talent. Former artistic director for johns huyett Partners.
  • Britta McKee: Owner of Tobias Designs, Britta produces a broad line of jewelry sold in 4 states including works made of original copper from the statehouse dome. 
  • Larry Peters: Sculptor and graduate of WU, Larry is a nationally-known sculptor and was the original director of the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.

 COMMUNITY ARTS AWARD

  • Downtown Topeka, Inc.: They are recognized for their commitment to offering high quality, free entertainment to support the renovation and rebirth of downtown Topeka. 
  • Restoration of Animal Land @ Gage Park: Jim & Debbie George spearheaded the effort to restore the cement animals at Gage Park which had been severely damaged by graffiti and vandalism. It was a great community effort which benefits us all.
  • The Unspoken Violence Project: Artist George Mayfield leads a group of artists in a photography and multimedia collaboration to explore and raise awareness about domestic violence.

LITERARY ARTS AWARD

  • Microburst Kansas: A zine created by a collective of local and regional artists in response to the demise of state funding for the arts.
  • Leah Sewell: A notable Kansas poet from Topeka with strong ties to our community. She authored the grant which garnered the library its 2016 designation of the Best Library in the Country! 
  • Nancy Sprowell Geise: Author of Auschwitz #34207 The Joe Rubinstein Story, which details the life of of an Auschwitz survivor. The book is included in the National Holocaust Museum.

PERFORMING ARTS AWARD

  • Martinez Hillard: Local Hip Hop and Indie recording artist who performs currently solo and with Ebony Tusks. Previously, he was a member of popular Midwestern band, Cowboy Indian Bear. Bringing up young musicians, inspiring audiences and putting his powerful stage presence to use in highlighting issues of social justice.
  • Last Minute Folk: This dedicated group brings nationally and internationally known singer-songwriters to Topeka to perform original music and represent the best in folk, Americana, and traditional music genres, including blues, Americana, bluegrass, contemporary, and world-inspired, to name but a few.
  • Topeka Blues Society: Founded in 2008 to promote blues in Topeka and surrounding areas. Heavily involved with community efforts to expose youth to blues, artists to audiences and increasing access to and understanding of the blues.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD

  • Matryoshka Tattoo - 902 N Kansas Ave: This lovely tattoo shop and art gallery is a hub of activity during the First Friday Artwalk with live music on the porch and always new beautiful things in the store. Owner and artist Jennifer Bohlander and her husband also own The Wheel Barrel across the street.
  • NexLynx Gallery - 123 SW 6th Ave: This is not your average information technology company. Their offices feature a beautiful gallery space and new featured artists & music each month for the First Friday Artwalk. Their commitment to the arts in Topeka is remarkable and they make the artwalk more fun every month.
  • Portico - 900 N Kansas Ave: Repurposed, reinvented, upcycled and inspired! Portico shines in their new location on the NE corner of north Kansas & Laurent. Great seasonal items and really something for everyone - with a personal touch! 
  • Trails Gallery - 109 N Kansas Ave: Located in the historic Harvester's National Bank building, they have created an vast array of artwork of every medium and host live music every month during the artwalk. Their Facebook page says it best when they describe it as a place "where artists and traders can come together to create and share their ideas and passion."
  • Vintage Vibe - 833 N Kansas Ave: A small facade reveals more than 3,000 square feet of new & vintage items. The ladies at Vintage Vibe curate an awesome mix of retro cool with new items made by local artisans and are a destination for shoppers from all over northeast Kansas !