Friday, March 12, 2010
Artistic Director Julian Wiles
Charleston playwright Julian Wiles, founding director of Charleston Stage, has been named recipient of the 2010 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for individual artists, the South Carolina Arts Commission announced Thursday.
Established in 1972, the state’s highest honor in the arts is named for the renowned Charleston artist, author and lecturer (1883-1979) whose etchings, drypoints and pastels earned wide acclaim.
To be recognized with Verner Awards for Lifetime Achievement are artist Jonathan Green of Daniel Island and Fripp Island novelist/non-fiction writer Pat Conroy. Receiving a Verner in the category of Arts in Education is Larry Barnfield of Summerville, fine arts coordinator for Dorchester District 2.
The awards will be presented May 6 at the S.C. Statehouse, followed by the S.C. Arts Gala that evening at the Columbia Museum of Art. Tickets are available online.
“South Carolina is filled with awe-inspiring artists, astounding arts professionals and arts supporters,” said S.C. Arts Commission Board Chairman Bud Ferillo. “This year’s recipients are an excellent representation of this reality, and we are honored to recognize these top arts achievers for their outstanding commitment to the arts and dedication to our state.”
Wiles, who grew up in Ft. Motte, inaugurated Charleston Stage in 1978. Over the past 31 years he has directed and designed more than 200 productions and written 27 original plays and musicals for the company. Wiles continues to serve as the company’s producing artistic director.
Wiles attended Clemson University, received a history degree from the College of Charleston in 1974 and an MFA in dramatic art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976.
Conroy, one of America’s most celebrated writers, is the author of such best-selling novels as “The Great Santini,” “The Prince of Tides” and, most recently, “South of Broad.” Born in Atlanta, his family moved to Beaufort when he was 15. His novel “The Lords of Discipline” and the memoir “My Losing Season” were inspired by his years as a cadet at The Citadel.
Green was born in 1955 in Gardens Corner, and graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1982. Though widely traveled, Green has looked to the familiar images of his ancestral home for the subjects of his paintings, which have been coveted by collectors, museums and critics around the world. He is president/CEO of Jonathan Green Studios, Inc., and the Jonathan Green Art Collection Gallery, LLC in Naples, Fla., as well as chairman of Jonathan Green Living Designs, LLP in Charleston.
Barnfield has worked to increase the number of arts opportunities and arts faculty in South Carolina schools. During the past eight years, he has expanded the school district’s arts program, earning it national recognition by the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education.
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