Thursday, March 09, 2017

Larry Walker: Thompson Award Winner of 2017

Larry Walker, Search Through Time, 2002–2004
The Georgia Museum of Art is pleased to present artist Larry Walker with the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award. The prize is given annually to an African American leader from Athens or northeast Georgia who has supported his or her community and the arts.

Walker is an esteemed professor emeritus and former director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University. An artist and an educator born in Franklin, Georgia, he has participated in more than 200 group exhibitions and more than 40 solo exhibitions, which featured his abstract paintings, drawings and mixed-media works. One of his mixed-media works is on display in the Georgia Museum of Art’s permanent collection galleries. Walker is also a recipient of Atlanta Contemporary’s Nexus Award.

Shawnya Harris and artist Larry Walker
... the arts are about learning to live ...

At the awards ceremony, curator Shawnya Harris discussed Walker’s importance as an artist and a life-long educator before presenting him with the award in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 200 attendees. Walker then delivered remarks in which he addressed the power of art and said “the arts are about learning to live,” receiving a standing ovation.

Brenda and Larry Thompson
The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award is named for the couple who donated 100 works by African American artists from their collection to the museum and endowed a curatorial position (held by Shawnya L. Harris) to focus on art by African American and African artists. Larry Thompson teaches at the University of Georgia School of Law and is a UGA Foundation Trustee. Brenda Thompson is the chair-elect of the museum’s Board of Advisors. Previous recipients of the Thompson award include artists Emma Amos, Harold Rittenberry, Charles Pinckney and Amalia Amaki.

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