By Darla Shelden, Senior City Sentinel reporter –

THE CITY OF OKLAHOMAThe recipients of the 2021 Paseo Arts Awards have been announced for 2021. The six winners will be celebrated at the 15th Annual Paseo Arts Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 18 at the Skirvin Hilton, 1 Park Avenue, Oklahoma City.

This year’s Paseo Arts Award recipients are: Joy Reed Belt, Legacy Award; Jabee Williams, Artist of the Year Award; Brian Dougherty, Volunteer Service Award; Julie Cohen, Michi Susan Award; Atavian “Bleek” Blakely, Emerging Artist Award and Oklahoma Contemporary, Placemaking Award.

Former DeadCenter executive director Lance McDaniel will return as emcee for the evening.

The Paseo Arts Association, a 501 c3 nonprofit, launched the Paseo Arts Awards in 2011 to recognize artists and art supporters who have made a strong contribution to the arts in Oklahoma.

The annual Paseo Arts Association awards were created to recognize and honor individuals who have contributed to artistic creativity and the well-being of the state. By recognizing artists through these awards, Paseo Arts’ mission is to strengthen Oklahoma’s arts community.

Tickets are on sale now at thepaseo.org. Individual tickets cost $ 75 and sponsorship opportunities are available.

This year Heritage Award recipient, Joy Reed Belt, is recognized as a person who represents the heart and soul of the Paseo Arts District and who has had a significant impact on the community that will last beyond his or her life.

The 2021 Artist of the Year Award, pays tribute to the activist and rapper Jabee williams, as someone who has spent a lifetime contributing to the improvement of the visual arts in Oklahoma as an artist, supporter, arts educator, or arts administrator.

The price of volunteer service will recognize Brian Dougherty, program director of Parks and Public Spaces Initiative, for his time and experience benefiting an Oklahoma nonprofit arts organization for several years.

Julie cohen, President and CEO of the Oklahoma Arts Institute, will receive the Michi Susan Award. Susan, an admired and accomplished mixed media artist from Oklahoma, has been recognized nationally and internationally. The Michi Susan Award recognizes artists who live in her spirit and work to mentor and encourage Oklahoma visual artists.

Atavian’s Blakely “Bleek” is the recipient of Emerging Artist Award, who recognizes a visual artist who has emerged on the Oklahoma art scene in recent years and has contributed to the diversity and growth of art and culture in Oklahoma.

Contemporary Oklahoma is the one of this year Creative space creation award honored.

This award recognizes an individual or place that has made a substantial contribution to strengthening creative communities, making the role of art essential in enhancing local character for positive economic development and community outcomes.

Amanda Bleakley, Executive Director of the Paseo Arts Association, said, “We are extremely excited with this year’s award winners as they encompass Oklahoma’s energy for the arts and the direction they are taking to improve the quality of life here. “

The Paseo Arts Association, a 501 c3 nonprofit, launched the Paseo Arts Awards in 2011 to showcase the many contributions of artists and community supporters who are helping make Oklahoma City a better place to live.

A cocktail with silent auction and raffle will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by dinner and the program.

Proceeds from the awards dinner and silent auction will be used to support Paseo Arts Association events and programs, such as First Friday events, kickstarters for artists such as Paseo FEAST, Paseo Arts Festival held in May and the Fairy Ball and Magic Lantern events

Tickets are available for purchase at thepaseo.org/awardsdinner2021. For more information, visit thepaseo.org or call 405-525-2688.

This year’s Paseo Arts Award recipients are: Joy Reed Belt, Legacy Award; Jabee Williams, Artist of the Year Award; Brian Dougherty, Volunteer Service Award; Julie Cohen, Michi Susan Award; and Atavian “Bleek” Blakely, Emerging Artist Award.
Oklahoma Contemporary is this year’s recipient of the Paseo Arts Placemaking Award. Photo provided.