2018 Nickel Plate Arts Award Winners

2018 Nickel Plate Arts Award Winners

On September 12, 2018, Nickel Plate Arts hosted “Forging Sweet Arts,” our sixth annual anniversary party and third annual edition of the Nickel Plate Arts Awards. This important ceremony celebrates our region’s burgeoning arts scene and recognizes some of our most valuable artists and arts advocates. The elegant, energetic crowd converged on The Milltop Banquet and Conference Center to enjoy dinner and drinks, live music, hands-on arts experiences and a live auction during our premiere fundraiser of the year.

Here, we introduce the winners of the Nickel Plate Arts Awards. Congratulations to all our winners and nominees.

Emerging Artist of the Year Winner

GAVIN COOLEY

Gavin Cooley is a musician from Noblesville, Ind.. He is the creator of the Young Songwriter Series at Logan Street Sanctuary, a monthly showcase of high school songwriters from around the county. This year, Gavin also started a project to film local young musicians playing in nontraditional performance locations around Noblesville. Gavin’s solo project, Suburban North, will have its debut EP release on November 21, 2018. He is currently a senior at Noblesville High School.

Arts Educator of the Year Winner

JAMIE FOLLIS

Jeremiah Follis is a teacher at Hamilton Southeastern High School and a professional sculptor. He has worked for Disney/Lucasfilm, Supernatural, Seth Myers, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert and more.  He is also a filmmaker working as a producer production designer. Most recently, he was the art director for The Storyteller, which won the Audience Award at the 2018 Heartland Film Festival. For 20 years, he has been educating and creating a passion in students for film by teaching an after-school film studies course. In 2013, he decided to create Olio Road Productions, a production company that seeks to connect the most talented students at HSE and guide them through creating a feature-length film. These student films are released in May and show locally at a variety of venues.

Artist of the Year Winner

CAROL GRIFFITH

Carol has always carried a camera with her, usually a Nikon, but more recently, her iPhone. She does not alter or enhance her photos: she captures the image and then sizes it to fit the composition. Carol’s watercolors – like Carol herself – are infamous for catching her friends in a humorous light, usually disconnected in their relationships with one another. She cannot pass up a good joke!

For 25 years, Carol supported herself as a sculptor. Twenty three years ago, she remarried and moved from Ohio to Cicero. At that time she decided to go study more photography and watercolor painting. Carol was nominated for both her artistic prowess and her volunteer work with Nickel Plate Arts. She volunteered to hang artwork for each exhibit at Nickel Plate this year. She me has hung over 1,000 pieces in 2018!

Emerging Art Champion of the Year Winner

THE CITY OF FISHERS

Most recently, the City of Fishers submitted its application to have the Nickel Plate District recognized as a state-wide cultural district by the Indiana Arts Commission. This application represents many years of careful planning & development throughout all levels of government,  but two women in particular are seen as championing the arts in Fishers. Leah McGrath was appointed Fishers first deputy mayor in July 2015.

As Deputy Mayor of Community Development, McGrath focuses on community building and planning efforts that engage the city’s residents in key initiatives, such as Fishers 2040 plan. She works daily with city staff, as well as many of the city’s community-led groups. She resides in Fishers with husband Brian and their three sons Patrick, Nate and Ethan.

Cecilia Coble (pictured above) has served on the Fishers City Council since 2014 and currently serves on the city council’s Non-Profit and Finance Committees. She chairs the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability and is very passionate about highlighting the artistic talents of those with unique abilities.

Art Patron of the Year Winner

NOBLESVILLE’S DOWNTOWN DISTRICT COMMITTEE

The goal of the Downtown District Committee is to prioritize the health and vitality of the city’s historic downtown core and to direct the use of the Downtown Improvement Fund. Over the past 3 years, this committee has looked at everything from lamp posts to streetscapes and last month approved plans for Alley Activation. Founded by Megan Wiles and now chaired by Rick Taylor, this group is championing the task of developing a comprehensive, balanced, and forward-thinking strategy for downtown.

Megan Wiles’ love of the arts, community and downtown Noblesville began at an early age, thanks primarily to her mother, Pat Garrett Rooney. As a member of the Noblesville Common Council, Megan is proud to have created the Downtown District Committee which brought together citizens and Council members to help determine the best investments for our downtown.

Rick Taylor retired from his role as Assistant Chief of the Noblesville Fire Department after 33 years of service. He is currently a member of the Noblesville Common Council District 3. He is a graduate of Noblesville High School & Ball State University.

Casey Kenley
casey@caseykenley.com