Evelyn Patricia Terry, an artist, educator, and curator, and Barbara Leigh, co‐founder of what has become the Milwaukee Public Theatre, were named Artists of the Year, the Milwaukee Arts Board announced today. Awards of $1,500 will be presented to the recipients at a March reception.
Alderman Michael J. Murphy, chair of the Arts Board, said the board was pleased to recognize two women with deep, meaningful roots in Milwaukee’s artistic community. “Milwaukee has benefited not only from their lifetime body of work, but the ripple effects from the mentoring and professional opportunities they have provided to other local artists,” he said. “I’m proud to serve as chair of a board that recognizes the importance of the arts in this community. Support for the arts and artists is good for the community, and the Milwaukee Arts Board and the artists it supports continue to prove that the creative community is crucial to the spirit and vitality of this city.”
Evelyn Patricia Terry was recently described in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a “matriarch of the African‐American artist community,” but she has significantly influenced generations of artists in Milwaukee regardless of race. Her artwork, transforming a variety of themes into various bodies of work over a 40‐year period, is represented in more than 400 private and corporate collections both here and abroad. Local collections include the Haggerty Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Racine Art Museum and the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Ms. Terry, a full‐time professional artist, has received considerable recognition for her achievements, including The Milwaukee Individual Artist Fellowship, the Intermedia Arts/McKnight Fellowship and the Wisconsin Visual Art
Lifetime Achievement Award along with several grants, commissions, and exhibition awards. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For more about her work please visit: http://www.evelynpatriciaterry.com/index.html
Barbara Leigh is an originating artist, who received her Ph.D. in French Theatre from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 1974 she co‐founded Friends Mime Theatre, now named the Milwaukee Public Theatre (MPT). As Artistic/Producing Director of MPT Dr. Leigh has co‐created or produced more than 90 original theatre and video plays and revues with the company. Since suffering partial paraplegia in a serious accident in 1987, she has become very active on issues dealing with healing, disability and diversity, including a one‐ woman musical comedy, The Survival Revival Revue and ADA, about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Further information about MPT and Dr. Leigh’s work can be found at: http://www.milwaukeepublictheatre.org/barbara‐biography.html
The Milwaukee Arts Board has recognized Artists of the Year since 1995. Funds for the award are donated by arts board members and others. Past recipients include: Bill Theisen, Reginald Baylor, Roy Staab, Antler, Debra Loewen, Richard Taylor, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, John Ruebartsch, Dinorah Marquez, C. Michael Wright, Lee Erickson, Ruth Schudson & Monty Davis, Sarah Price, Jason Yi, Marie Kohler, Ray Chi, JoAnna Poehlmann, Raoul Deal, Berkeley Fudge, Mark Bucher, Kevin Stalheim, Marina Lee Meyer, Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker, James & Rose Pickering, Reynaldo Hernandez, Jill Sebastian, Terese Agnew, and John Schneider.