awards R’us


James Rooker



Glenn Kotche



Tim Lake



Donna Boyd

Medieval Music


Wexner Center for the Arts


This was given in recognition of a life dedicated to teaching music:  Among other things, Mr Rooker gained renown for his widely used series of piano instruction books. The award is a simple folio structure, but with a twist--the upper fold covering the text is offset just enough to let the repeated logo of the University of Kentucky suggest, at first glance, a piano keyboard. 

Based on the idea of a simple hand drum, this award was constructed entirely of objects that will produce ‘found’ percussive sound, including magnets, an embroidery hoop, knitting needles with brass tips, brass tubes filled with shot, brass screen--inspired by Glenn Kotche’s love of ‘found sound’ and his solo album Mobile.

Tim is a Kentucky-bred singer/songwriter trained in classical, blue grass, and jazz, whose first love is the 5-string banjo. Surprises come as the lid of what appears to be a plain-looking squat round box is lifted off to become the resonator, while a neatly hidden handle in the base pulls out and unfolds in stages to reveal the award text and become a full scale banjo.

Founder of the Center for Old Music in the New World, Donna’s focus is medieval and early Renaissance music performance with period instruments--live only, recording

not allowed.  I modeled her award on a large medieval antiphonary, with a sizable portion of its text set to the musical notation I found in an actual antiphonary.

Given by the Columbus Jewish Film Festival to recognize the Film/Video Team of the Wexner Center and its Director, Sherri Geldin, this award references both the classic film canister, symbol of photography for those of a certain age,  and the Torah scroll, with the text reading in frames from right to left as the “film strip” is pulled out.

A born comic and storyteller in a Kentucky family well rooted in the distillery/entertainment business, Ms. Foley’s native wit and gift for gab made her a natural actor and writer. When her stage aspirations couldn’t be fulfilled, she took up the pen, becoming theatre critic for the Los Angeles Times and other news outlets. My intent was to capture the power of ‘the pen’ and its central importance to her life’s work.   

Kathleen Foley

Theatre Critic


Recently, the University of Kentucky instituted a Fine Arts Extension Program, recognizing alumni who have contributed significantly to building the Arts life of their communities. In 2008, the winner was Zell Schulman, whose gifts to her community are legion. I tried to capture just a few of them in this award.

Zell Schulman

Community Service


One of five awards designed for the National Council of Arts Administrators honoring individuals whose work has contributed significantly to the advancement and appreciation of the Arts in the United States.  The cases for these awards were created by graphic artist, Dennis Ichiyama.   


Council of Arts



.  ©ann alaia woods 2008

A childhood friend’s remark that Paul had been in love with paint even as a  child proved the clue I needed to create an award that would recognize the work of this exceptional teacher and children’s book author

and illustrator, known for his masterful retelling of Appalachian folk tales, including the hilarious and sardonic Jack Tales.

Paul Brett Johnson

Painter, Writer

and Illustrator Children’s Books