The Art Department sponsored a nice evening for friends and supporters of the arts, honoring alumni, former faculty, and local artist/builder Dan Phillips. With all the LEAP Center Ambassadors on hand, plus some of the “friends of the LEAP Center,” it was a great way to kick off the end of the week.
This was the Art Department’s second such gala and, again, chair Michael Henderson emceed the proceedings. He was gracious and thankful, and repeatedly thanked the sponsors and the many people who support the arts in the community.
Community, in fact, was the explicit theme of the evening. We were happy to note that of the 29 registrants for heART of Huntsville, 19 were attendees at the Gala!
…and the Department honored alums Kim Cook and Dan Pratt; Art Department Scholarship winners; local art supporter and POLS faculty Jim Carter, who passed away in 2013; and former faculty Emmette Jackson, Charles Pebworth, Gene Eastman, Jimmy Barker, and Stanley Lea. While the former faculty were not able to attend, Lea’s wife, Ruth, did attend.
Mayor Mac Woodward introduced the the major award of the evening…
…which went to Dan Phillips for his support of the arts in the local community. Phillips, of course, is a local builder, whose previous careers include work in Military Intelligence, the Dance Faculty at SHSU, and newspaper writer.
Phillips said very nice things about his wife, Marsha, who is a partner in the Phoenix Commotion enterprise and works as a part-time mentor at SHSU after a long career teaching at HISD. Fifteen years ago, the two embarked on a new career building homes “made from unwanted materials for low-income people.” They’ve now completed 24 projects, and their structures dot and enrich the community, adding character to a small, historic town, work that earned Phillips this well-deserved honor from the SHSU Art Department.