Released: March 7, 2011
Lincoln, Neb. - The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts announces the recipients of the 2011 Fine and Performing Arts Alumni Board awards. The awards are selected by the College's Fine and Performing Arts Alumni Board.
The awards will be presented at the College's annual Honors Day Dinner on Saturday, April 16 at 5 p.m. in the Nebraska Union. The dinner is by invitation only. View our Honors Day page to download the weekend's schedule and the dinner program (program to be forthcoming).
This year's award winners are:
Alumni Achievement Award in Art
Wendy Jane Bantam, M.F.A. 2007
Bantam is a teacher and lecturer on creative and critical thinking with training in performance art and the visual arts. She has conducted teaching residencies in Indonesia, England and across the United States through the Nebraska Arts Council and The Dana Foundation/Kennedy Center. Her paintings are exhibited nationally and internationally. Bantam's extensive exhibition record includes a solo exhibition at the Sheldon Museum of Art and a 20-year retrospective at Doane College in 2008. She was invited to be the representing artist for Berkshire Hathaway's Shareholders Convention in 2010 and held three solo exhibitions in four days of May 2010. In 2009 Wendy signed on to serve as a Volunteer in Service to America through AmeriCorps and was asked to serve Nebraska where she worked with Urban Development, refugee communities, students of Upward Bound at the University of Nebraska and Lincoln's neighborhood associations to create revitalization projects in troubled neighborhoods through the development of gardens and public art.
Alumni Achievement Award in Music
Dr. Dennis Keith Cox, B.M.E. 1965
Cox is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities and Graduate Coordinator at the University of Maine, where he has been since 1978. He has served as a guest clinician in 26 states, from Alaska to Maine, as well as Canada and Europe. In 2007, he was the conductor for the Nebraska All-State Music Festival Honors Chorus at UNL. He has devoted himself tirelessly to the art of choral music. His University Singers, under his direction, tour the northeast United States for one week every spring and abroad every four years. In 2000, he received the second annual Vincent Hartgen Award, presented by the Patrons of the Arts, for his contributions to the artistic community at the University of Maine.
Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre
David Duffy, B.F.A. 1988
Duffy is the Creative Director for Disney Cruise Line Entertainment. While at UNL, he was accepted into the Walt Disney World College Program and began working at the Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld in the summer of 1987. He performed in improvisational comedy shows at Walt Disney World Resort for six years. In 1995, he moved from Actors Equity performing to the production side of the business, when he became a show writer and director for Walt Disney Entertainment. With the launch of the Disney Cruise Line business in the late 1990s, he was selected to be a member of the creative team for all of the entertainment product for the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the first two ships in the fleet. Since 2007, he has served as Creative Director for Disney Cruise Line Entertainment and Port Adventures.
Award of Merit
Richard Hay, D.D.S.
Hay is a charter member of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Dean's Club and has continued to give to the college and its many programs throughout the years. More important are his participation by attending countless productions, exhibitions and receptions, typically with his camera in tow. A former Trustee of the Nebraska Art Association, Hay is past president of the Lincoln Arts Council and the Lincoln Camera Club.
Faculty Service Award
Gail Kendall, Hixson-Lied Professor of Art
Kendall is a ceramic artist and dedicated teacher, who has shown her work in more than 22 solo and two-person exhibitions and more than 150 group exhibitions, including the Sheldon Museum of Art, the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Wisconsin, the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and the Fusions Gallery in Australia. Her ceramic work is included as part of the collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the General Mills Corporation in New York City. Kendall has presented more than 80 workshops and lectures nationally and internationally. She was selected to present a Nebraska Lecture on her work as part of the 2006 Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series. In 2009, she received the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts' Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2006, she was named a Hixson-Lied Professor of Art. She has been at UNL since 1987 and is retiring this spring.
Undergraduate Student Leadership Award
Kaitlyn Maureen Williams, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film
Williams is a junior Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate for Film and New Media in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. She is also pursuing biochemistry and English degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. She was the director/writer for The Making of Vipers in the Grass, the documentary documenting the production of the first Carson Film Series film.
Graduate Student Leadership Award
Cristina Skinner, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film
Little Rock, Ark.
Skinner is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Directing for Stage and Screen and has spent five active semesters as artistic director of Theatrix, the student-run theatre organization of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. She has also served as director of development for the Nebraska Repertory Theatre in 2010.