Aug 05, 2020

Summer Arts honored with Horizon Award

Photo courtesy of Andrew Jordan

Awards are a reason to make anyone smile. Receiving an award usually means something has been accomplished. The “Horizon Awards” are a yearly event held by the Fresno Art Council (FAC) that honors art contributions of both individuals and businesses. This year the Summer Arts program, which was hosted on the Fresno State campus for the 13th straight year won an award.

The FAC has held this ceremony since 1984, and its purpose is to show recognition to the art community in Fresno, as well as those that have helped artists around Fresno. FAC executive director Lilia Chavez explained that the winners are based on nominations from members of the community. The public can attend by purchasing tickets to the event.

There are a total of six different nomination categories. The “Artist” category is comprised of visual, performing or literary artists. The “Businesses” category honors the businesses throughout Fresno that help support the various art genres. The “Citizen” category awards those who have helped the art community. The “Educator” category is named after the Ella Odrofer educator award that is given to art instructors. The “Special” category is given to those who have made special contributions in the art community. The final category is the “Youth” category, which awards a young artist who has shown promise.

Local artist Bob Kliss was hired to design the awards that were to be given at the ceremony.

“He is an exceptional artist, His art is very beautiful,” Chavez said.

Summer Arts received recognition at the last ceremony. Director of Summer Arts, Jim Spalding, was one of those that received an award marking the first time Summer Arts has received an award.

One of Summer Arts award recipients, Jim Spalding was excited and touched when he received the award.

“I was very humbled. It was an excellent presentation,” Spalding said.

Another recipient was Jackie Doumanian, who is the community relations specialist of the Summer Arts program. She received an award in the ‘Special’ category. About two or three weeks before the ceremony, Doumanian received a phone call notifying her of her nomination.
“It was pretty exciting,” Doumanian said.

This was the second time she had been nominated and won a Horizon Award. Last year, she took home an award in the “Business” category.

“It was a real surprise to be included again,” Doumanian said.

Various colleges in the CSU system make bids on where the Summer Arts program will take place, and Fresno has won the bidding every year since 1999. Next year, however, the Summer Arts program will move to the CSU Monterey campus.

The Summer Arts program is more than happy to help up-and-coming artists to pursue their dreams. They also arrange to have guest artists come and work closely with the students.

“You have to have a lot of passion,” Doumanian said.

She also advised that students work hard to build connections.

“Don’t be bashful, put yourself out there,” Doumanian said.

Spalding also had some lasting advice: “Follow your heart. Be true to who you are.”

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