‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt expect it,‚ÄĚ Gutzman said about the award. ‚ÄúTo be nominated was a huge honor, and then to win was amazing.‚ÄĚ
Read the current edition here: http://www.server-jbmultimedia.net/CSI-JanesvilleMessengerSunday
Gutzman is among the nominees for this year‚Äôs awards as well. The awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St. The event is hosted by the United Arts Alliance, and the purpose is to help promote local artists and to raise money for scholarships.
(More on the arts in Janesville HERE.)
‚ÄúJanesville is full of creativity and creative people,‚ÄĚ said Yuri Rashkin, United Arts Alliance president. ‚ÄúSometimes each person gets lost in the crowd, but this brings everyone together.
‚ÄúWe bring in artists, theater people and culinary artists. You wouldn‚Äôt necessarily think of culinary arts to be a part of the creativity awards, but it is.‚ÄĚ
About 20 awards will be presented during the ceremony, and more than 100 nominations have been submitted.
Some of the awards are determined by judges and others are determined by people‚Äôs choice, in which attendees donate money to the artist or business that they feel should receive the honor. Rashkin said some of the business owners who have been nominated for a people‚Äôs choice award have placed a canister at their establishment, so they can receive votes before the ceremony.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre raising money before hand, which we perfectly encourage,‚ÄĚ Rashkin said. ‚ÄúIf you know you‚Äôve been nominated, you have a month to raise some funds. As long as they have fun with it, that‚Äôs great.‚ÄĚ
The award winners receive a statuette designed by Craig High School students.
‚ÄúThey look like little Oscars. The last two years, we gave them to Craig High School students, and we said, ‚ÄėDesign them,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Rashkin said. ‚ÄúSo, they designed each one with the award they are connected to. They‚Äôre in different disciplines. For example, the outstanding culinary artist award looks like a little chef.‚ÄĚ
The event also will feature works from local artists and food samples prepared by area chefs.
‚ÄúWhen you come out and sample the food from the culinary artists and you see the different disciplines that are being recognized, it makes people feel good about where they live,‚ÄĚ Rashkin said.
The ceremony will be hosted by local writer James Lyke, and music will be provided by Rashkin and his band.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs one of the things that made last year‚Äôs show go really well. There wasn‚Äôt any silence,‚ÄĚ Rashkin said. ‚ÄúIf you have a band playing, it‚Äôs just a good time, non-stop. I improvise a lot, so when the winner ends up being a dancer, we might end up playing ‚ÄėFootloose.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
The cost to attend the ceremony is $8, and tickets may be purchased by calling JPAC at (608) 758-0297 or at the door.
‚ÄúWe hope that people bring more than $8, because $8 gets them in the door, but it doesn‚Äôt let them do the fundraising part, so if you want to start voting for your favorites, then you would probably want to bring a little bit more money with you,‚ÄĚ Rashkin said. ‚ÄúWe want people to enjoy the show, but once they‚Äôre there, there‚Äôs opportunities to help the arts and the artists.‚ÄĚ
Rashkin said he is pleased with the response that the event has received during the past few years and with the money that has been raised for scholarships.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been able to quadruple in size our scholarship awards, because we used to give out three or four $250 scholarships, and last year we gave out three $1,000 scholarships,‚ÄĚ Rashkin said. ‚ÄúSo, that really allowed us to kick up what we‚Äôre doing‚Ä¶ It‚Äôs something we use to promote the arts, to promote Janesville and to promote the community, and I think it‚Äôs working very well at that level.‚ÄĚ
Members of the United Arts Alliance plan for the awards ceremony throughout the year.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a work in progress in the sense that every year we get together and say, ‚ÄėOK, how can we make next year better?‚Äô‚ÄĚ Rashkin said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs fun to recognize the artists, but we‚Äôre also trying to increase attendance and money for scholarships, so there‚Äôs always a lot that goes into it.‚ÄĚ
Award provides inspiration
Meanwhile, back at Jessica Gutzman‚Äôs Janesville home studio, Gutzman said her passion for photography has transformed from a hobby into a business in the year since she won a creativity award.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve had a few clients come in saying that they saw my work at the event,‚ÄĚ Gutzman said. ‚ÄúSo I believe that it brought in a wider range of clients, people who might have not come in to me.‚ÄĚ
She added, ‚ÄúI photograph everything from newborns to weddings to seniors to kids. You name it, and I do it. I just put my twist on it.
‚ÄúWhen I first started doing photography, I did pretty much everything for free and there‚Äôs still times when I‚Äôm giving away sessions just because I love it so much. Seeing it more as a business in the past year, it‚Äôs been a crazy 360 because a lot more goes into a business than a hobby.‚ÄĚ
Gutzman has been interested in photography for about 10 years and finds it relaxing.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs just something I‚Äôve always loved. I picked up a camera, and the rest is history,‚ÄĚ Gutzman said. ‚ÄúIt helps me look at the world from a different point of view. It‚Äôs my outlet. ... It literally makes you stop and smell the roses and appreciate life.‚ÄĚ
Gutzman has been nominated for a creativity award again this year; however, this year photography is in the people‚Äôs choice category, so votes will be based on donations.
‚ÄúIt was a huge honor to be nominated and to win last year, and to be nominated again this year, it‚Äôs thrown me aback,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI just appreciate everybody and everything that has been brought into my life because of photography.‚ÄĚ
Janesville Area Creativity Award nominees
Roots Award: honors artists and performers who are originally from Janesville but have moved and made a name for themselves in their chosen profession: Callie Schouten, Don Zolidis, Alex and Nathan Burkart
Emerging Star Award: honors artists and performers who are 18 or younger: Chandler Cook, Kelcie Baior, Ross Sroda, Jessica Minter
Fine Arts Educator Award: Karen Smerlinski, Kennedy Elementary School; Maryanne Messier, Monroe Elementary School; Cindy Ward, Jackson Elementary School; Amy Cossette, Craig High School
Performing Arts Educator Award: Zac Curtis, University of Wisconsin-Rock County; Sarah Baior, First Position Dance Studio; Adrian Farris, Monroe Elementary School
People‚Äôs choice categories
Actor: Dave Bitter, Ryan Rammelt, Nate Traynor
Actress: Chandler Cook, Michelle Dennis, DeShawn Christiansen
Live band: Kind of a Big Deal, Rainbow Bridge, Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra
Photographer: Tom Purdy, Jessica Gutzman, Mary Richards
Solo performer: Yuri Rashkin, Chris Kohn, Tyler Kerbel
Dennis Vechinsky Award for Theater Production: "On a Turtle‚Äôs Back," "Les Miserables," "Speed the Plow"
Creative writer: Jim Lyke, Jamie Swenson, Dave McKay
Culinary artist: Luke‚Äôs Deli, Lorianna‚Äôs Sweetlife Bakery, Bridgett‚Äôs Family Bakery, Best Events
Dance group: First Position Dance Studio, Craig Spotlighters
Fine artist: Adam Zellmer, Allegrea Rosenberg, Jack Zellner
Original film: "Milk Man," "Take it From Me," "Preeminent Woman," "Shooting the Pod"
Original song: "Just Turn Around" by Mitch Kopnick, "Uncomplicated Love" by Teresa Nguyan, "Breathing With My Soul" by Daniel Monson-Bergum