An Evening of Art: The 2016 Art Gala

By Alex Chartier

On an unusually warm night for late October, dressed-up men and women were gathering at the beautiful Gaertner Performing Arts Center.   However, this wasn’t your typical style of late October costumes; instead of Halloween mummies and vampires, patrons arrived in their finest attire, for it was the night of the Art Department’s annual Gala. The building buzzed with the sound of people joyously conversing with old friends and new acquaintances alike. Each passing moment brought more excited people inside as they all prepared for the night’s festivities to begin.

David Adickes, Art Department Annual Gala, SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU

After finding their seats, everyone began to chat with those seated around them. The members of the LEAP Center as well as members from the Pre-Law Society found themselves sharing a table with Professor Mike Yawn and Ms. Stephanie Fors, as well as former mayor, Mac Woodward and his wife, Leanne Woodward. Conversations at the table ranged from the upcoming internships at the capital, to the Memorial Museum’s chickens, famous for roaming the grounds of the campus. Dr. Michael Henderson, Chair of the Art Department, acted as the night’s host, thanking people for coming out and officially kicking off the night’s proceedings.

Art Gala 2016, SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, David Adickes

Following a wonderful three-course meal, the awards ceremony began. The first to be presented the award for Outstanding Alumna was Ms. Emily Peacock. A 2006 graduate of Sam Houston, she has developed a career around “snap shot aesthetic” photography. Peacock mainly focuses on her own family, and she photographs the private aspects of life one rarely gets a glimpse of. Her works have been featured throughout Texas, New York City, and Europe, as well as being in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Emily Peacock, Art Department Gala, SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors

The next award for Outstanding Alumna was given to Ms. Cynthia Reid. After completing her degree in Art Education at Sam Houston, she taught for Conroe ISD, while also earning two more Masters degrees from Sam. She is well known for her work with water colors as she tries to capture the ever-changing sea into a single scene. She currently teaches at Sam Houston and coordinates the Angel Show Holiday Market in Huntsville.

The recipient for Outstanding Supporter of the Arts award was Mr. David Adickes.

David Adickes, Art Department Annual Gala, SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU

Perhaps famous to most in town as the sculptor of the giant Sam Houston statue, he is also famous for his quick-witted humor and as the savior of Huntsville’s old high school (for, as he says, “how can someone tear down the place where you learned to jitterbug”). His works have been featured in solo shows throughout Texas and have received top honors at many competitions. His impact in the field of art, especially in Huntsville, is undeniable. It must be mentioned that regardless of his life-long accomplishments, he has not let the success go to his head as he is still as down-to-earth and fun loving as anyone.  He even took time after the ceremony to pose for a goofy picture with the members of the LEAP Center and Pre-Law Society.

David Adickes, Art Department Annual Gala, SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU

After the formal conclusion of the gala, guests once again mingled about, congratulating the recipients of the awards. On the way out the door all guests were presented with their “swag bags” as a last parting gift before stepping out into the night, which had gotten much cooler during the preceding events.

David Adickes, Art Department Annual Gala, SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, SHSU


Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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