A Gala for the Record Books

A Gala for the Record Books

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (September 28, 2022) — Nickel Plate Arts is grateful to all of the community members who helped celebrate the nonprofit’s 10th Anniversary Diamond Gala last week. Around 200 people attended the gala, which is the primary fundraiser of the year for Nickel Plate Arts. 

The organization’s goal was to raise $50,000; this year, the gala brought in $45,000 in cash and another $21,000 in in-kind donations, with a record gross income of $66,000.

Leading donors from the evening included Bespoke Initiative, Smith’s Jewelers, and Spencer Farm Winery.

“The community really showed up in a big way, and we are thankful to all of our partners that were so involved and contributed to making our 10th Anniversary Gala a success,” said Nickel Plate Arts Director Ailithir McGill. “This was truly a fitting way to celebrate 10 years of this incredible organization. We are already looking forward to the next decade.” 

The money raised will assist in the creation of art studio spaces in downtown Noblesville’s historic Lacy Building. More information on that development will be released in the future.

Lacy Arts Building owners Katie & Chris Nurnberger assist Aili McGill in announcing their upcoming collaboration with Nickel Plate Arts.

Winners were also announced as part of the awards ceremony, which recognized some of the most inspirational artists and art advocates among Central Indiana’s thriving arts scene.

WINNERS:

Images courtesy of Stewart Imagery LLC

Emerging Artist of the Year: Critt Hunter

The Emerging Artist of the Year Award recognizes artists who are just starting out on their creative path. This award recognizes those who have shown outstanding dedication to developing their artistic career, while also seeking ways to make their communities stronger in that process. Emerging Artists are the foundation of our creative future, and they deserve both our recognition and our support as they venture out into the professional world.

Mr. Hunter has an unmistakable style that elevates the mundane into fine art with eye-catching, high-key colors. He retired from one career, only to launch himself headlong into a new career as a professional artist and has made a big splash in shows and events throughout the central Indiana region. He is a model of creative entrepreneurship for his former students and fellow artists alike.

Arts Champion of the Year: Cheryl Bowlin

The Arts Champion of the Year Award honors individuals who have fought hard to bring the arts into their work and their daily lives, ensuring that everyone has access to the arts, regardless of background, income, or ability.

Bowlin is described as “selfless in her approach, genuinely providing the environment, tools, supplies, and process for the artist to create their unique vision. She is that rare person who can come alongside a student and provide a safe learning environment, while allowing the person to expand their artistic skills. Her creative and solution-focused process creates a fun learning environment that allows for the love of art and creation to spread. She has worked for more than three decades to support artists with disabilities and, although she has announced her retirement this year, we know that her impact will live on in this community for decades to come.

Cultural Venture of the Year: Kelly McVey

The Cultural Venture of the Year Award recognizes community members who have been leading local arts and culture events or projects to greatness.

McVey is someone who has transformed a personal dream into a reality that has delighted and inspired thousands. Her tireless, patient work has beautified our downtown and created a new, world-class event that has drawn well over 10,000 people to Noblesville in its first two years.

Artist of the Year: Shaunt’e Lewis

This year’s Artist of the Year has proven to be a powerhouse in nearly every aspect of the creative business world. Her art is iconic, visionary, and highly sought after. Lewis has garnered attention for everything from murals to tennis shoes and even forged ahead into the world of NFTs. She’s also been a great mentor to young or emerging artists, leading this year’s On Ramp cohort for the Indiana Arts Commission, among other projects.

Arts Patron of the Year: Moonshot of Noblesville

This year’s Arts Patron of the Year is a company that has cornered the market on serving its community. They have developed lines of business in direct response to feedback they’ve received from customers, neighbors and visitors, and they have been navigating all of the business challenges the last few years have thrown at them with agility and grace. They have also been important supporters of arts and culture, providing in-kind donations, volunteers for events, and financial contributions to help groups like Noblesville Main Street bring really cool ideas to life.

All photo credits are attributed to Stewart Imagery LLC. 

Ailithir McGill
amcgill@nickelplatearts.org