mARTies 2016: A Successful Celebration of Art, Music & More

The mARTies have become a beloved community celebration of the arts. With the introduction of performances and an exhibition of nominees’ visual art in 2014, the event really has become a beautiful mix of media for the audience to enjoy.

The mARTies was created to shine a light on the most creative people in our community and to nurture the talent our young artists are developing. From the early days in 2003, the event has evolved into a beautiful tribute to our arts community.

We have over 120 former award recipients that have been honored over the past decade! That is a lot of creative energy we’ve celebrated over the years at the mARTies!

Congratulations to all of our outstanding 2016 mARTies award recipients:Geoffrey Smith, Visual Artist
Ryan Chimelis, Student Visual Artist
Karin Leone, Performing Artist
Victoria Bartolotta, Student Performing Artist
Joann Gallagher, Volunteer in the Arts


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Payson has four decades of involvement in the arts, opening the Midtown Payson Gallery in Hobe Sound in 1972 and having owned galleries in New York and Maine as well. Payson is well-known for his activism in arts and conservation related nonprofit organizations. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Citizens for Florida Arts, and has taken a lead role in their Convening Culture Conferences in Vero Beach, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and in 2017, Gainesville. The Arts Council applauds John’s dedication to keeping the arts alive in the hearts and minds of our legislators in Tallahassee.


As founder and director of the Visionary School of Arts, Barletta has inspired many young people to pursue their creative dreams in the arts. A working visual artist, as well, Lynne instills in her students the importance of excellence in their artistry but also the requirement that the artist be business savvy and know how to talk to customers about buying their art. This particular aspect of Lynne’s training is unique among art teachers. Lynne is dedicated to art being a vehicle for helping underprivileged, abused and trafficked children. She recently completed a phenomenal mural project at the Martin Girls Academy.

CORPORATE LEADERSHIP: Electrical Connections

Owned by Terri & Mike Pettengill, Electrical Connections has been a corporate partner for the Arts Council for many years. Their contribution of time, talent and treasure is invaluable! Ever noticed the awesome light show at the historic Court House Cultural Center? Well if you have, you can thank Electrical Connections. Their generosity knows no bounds!

ARTS LEADERSHIP: Carol Kepp, Sharon Ferina and Nancy Steinberg

The triumvirate of Carol, Sharon and Nancy is a leadership model to behold. The three artists came together when each was serving as the volunteer chairperson of “their” art league, and vowed to work together. Believe it or not, each of these leagues, Hobe Sound Fine Art League, Palm City Art Associates, and the Art Associates of Martin County had been more competitive than cooperative. Sharon, Carol and Nancy ended that and ever since the spirit of cooperation has reigned supreme. Kudos! Sadly, shortly after announcing our selection of these three fine artists for this award, Nancy Steinberg lost her short, but courageous battle with cancer.

PHILANTHROPY IN THE ARTS: Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

There isn’t too much more to say than Thank You for their initiative entitled “Forever Arts.” With the help of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur fund at the Foundation, last year we were able to launch the Forever Arts Endowment Challenge where we awarded TEN arts and culture nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach and Martin Counties a total of $250,000 to establish permanently endowed funds at the Foundation. We toast the leaders of the Community Foundation for this inspired contribution!

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Hobe Sound Mural Project led by Nadia Utto

Transforming a community through the arts. The Hobe Sound Mural Project, the passion of Hobe Sound artist, Nadia Utto, has done just that, transformed Hobe Sound and created a living legacy of collaboration, art and community. The Hobe Sound Mural Project was recently highlighted as a part of the newly formed Florida Mural Trail.

The mARTies were held at the St Mary’s Pittenger Center, October 25, 2016 with support from a dedicate and loyal committee: Robert Ankrom, Karen Barnes, Francine Beckstead, Karen Janson, Ron Leach, Liz McKinley, Debi Owens, Doug Smith and Thomas Winter.

Sponsors for the evening’s celebration included: The Terrio Group, FPL, Karen L. Barnes, Galen Guberman – In Memory of Jane Blatt, Karen & Lars Janson, Knight & Ann Kiplinger, Peter Lawson-Johnston, Dunn Capital Management, Electrical Connections, Masterpiece Design | Build, Wilmington Trust, Maureen & Dan Deighan, Jeanette & Larry Mueller, Vianne Nichols, John & Susan Sullivan, Bob & Joy Valle, Jane Kiehart, Tim & Diane Kimes.

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