Community Artist Awards occur in January during HCOA’s annual meeting with the nomination process opening in December of the previous year.

Since 2005, Homer Council on the Arts has presented the annual Community Arts Awards as a way to support local artists. These awards not only recognize individuals who do SO much for the community, but also advocate for the arts as a powerful local force for community economic and educational development.

Over the years, many of the awards have been named in honor of individuals whose lifetime of work embodies the spirit of that award.

2021  Community Arts Award Recipients

Mary Epperson Lifetime Achievement Award

PAUL DUNGAN

Paul Dungan discovered his love for clay at age 15, and makes his living as a potter and sculptor. Dungan apprenticed and studied under Toshiko Takaezu at Princeton University. He has served as a ceramics instructor at Kodiak Community College and the University of Alaska Anchorage. His work is in the permanent collections of the Anchorage Museum and several public commissions. He has presented Artists-in-the-Schools residencies in Alaska, and has taught and mentored numerous potters from his studio in Homer. Paul writes, “I intend my work, whether functional or sculptural, to reach people on an equally deep and personal level, transforming common experience into moments of resonance and reflection.” HCOA would like to acknowledge Paul for his professionalism, commitment and contributions to the arts. He sets an excellent example and model for all artists who wish to pursue their craft.

Artist of the Year

KIM MCNETT

Kim McNett is a dedicated artist whose work over the past year shows not only a great diversity of projects but a commitment to arts, community, and environment. She was commissioned to illustrate over 100 birds for the Chugach Regional resource Commission, collaborated on a comic series to illustrate ecology stories shared through a Wisdom Keepers workshop, and has completed custom commissions and illustrations for scientific publication. She created a Peatland Journal for the Homer Peatland Project and Art For Peat exhibit at the Pratt Museum, was artist-in-residence at Bunnell Street Arts Center in December 2021, developing work focused on the ecology of the Beluga Wetlands for a mural at the Homer Airport, and was the featured artist for the Rainforest Festival in Petersburg, AK. Additionally, Kim has presented 2 Artist in the Schools residencies, an Art a la Carte workshop, and gave a virtual workshop tour of Grewingk Glacier for the Wild Wonder International Nature Journaling Conference.

Arts Advocate

LITTLE FOOT

Little Foot is an Alaska raised visual artist, musician, and advocate working to fight youth housing insecurity. Foot served as statewide lead for the Youth Alaska Action Board on Housing and Homelessness (YAABHH) and member of the Continuum of Care Board for the Balance of State. Foot is the founder of Houseless Records, giving a platform and artistic opportunities to homeless musicians in Alaska and throughout her travels. During 2020-21, Foot served as the community coordinator for “Finding Home in Homer,” connecting housing-insecure youth with artist mentors to create artwork and an exhibit exploring home and homelessness. Foot’s tireless dedication to the project, the participating youth artists, and the issue of housing insecurity carried it to fruition. Little Foot is not only an advocate for the arts, but integrates the arts with social issues to envision and create a better future.

Mary Langham Volunteer of the Year Award

ABE ABRAHAMSON

Abe has turned his workshop tinkering into a prep site for numerous community art projects. Last year he built over 200 swallow and owl houses for kids to paint, and over 30 frames for stretching and painting silk, resulting in 300 painted silk windsocks. In 2020, Abe cut and delivered Christmas trees from his own property, raising over $200 for HCOA’s youth scholarship fund. Abe’s tireless generosity of labor, supplies, creativity, and humor are a gift to our entire community!

Jill Berryman Art Educator Award

CARLY GARAY

Carly returned to Homer in 2019, and has been one of HCOA’s regular Art a la Carte teachers since then. A licensed K-12 teacher with art endorsement, Bachelor of Fine Arts (UAA), Master of Arts in teaching (Lewis & Clark), Carly crafts lesson plans to inspire and provoke student creativity. She has nimbly shifted her teaching in response to COVID, and as director of the Hungry Hat Circus and a studio artist, she invites youth and adults to participate through workshops and gallery visits. Her 2021 exhibit “The Art of Ancestor Veneration” included adult workshops and connected to elementary curriculum during gallery tours.

Diane Borgman Youth Artist of the Year Award

MARIAH MCGUIRE

A Homer High School senior, Mariah McGuire is unafraid to take on ambitious challenges as she seeks to constantly expand her techniques and creativity. Her creative ideas explore identity, language, culture, myth, and raw expressions of the human experience. She is an active collaborator, providing great feedback and insight to her peers and in discussions about art and life.

Kathy and Mike Pate Business Award

BODETT & CO.

Tom Bodett came to local prominence as a commentator on KBBI in the 1980s, and recorded radio programs including “Bodett and Company” at Homer High School. Tom submitted work to the Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest, and went on to become a regular sponsor of the program. A founding donor of the Homer Foundation, Tom maintains his ties to Homer despite relocation to Vermont and national prominence as a writer, actor, humorist, and woodworker. After a seven-year hiatus, Homer Council on the Arts revived the Kenai Peninsula Writers’ Contest in 2020. Bodett and Company generously stepped up to support literary arts at the end of the road. HCOA and the Homer community are grateful for the support of Bodett & Company.

Past Community Arts Award Recipients

2020 WINNERS

Mary Epperson Lifetime Achievement
BRAD HUGHES

Artist of the Year
DEBORAH POORE

Art Advocate
RIKA MOUW

Mary Langham Volunteer of the Year
CINDY NELSON

Jill Berryman Arts Education Award
ALAYNE TETOR

Diane Borgman Youth Artist of the Year
ELLA BLANTON YOURKOWSKI

Kathy & Mike Pate Business Award
KACHEMAK BAY BROADCASTING INC.

2019 WINNERS

Mary Epperson Lifetime Achievement
JOY STEWARD

Artist of the Year
LYNNE BURT

Art Advocate
LINDA REINHART

Mary Langham Volunteer of the Year
GUNDEGA ŠNEPSTE

Jill Berryman Arts Education Award
KYLE SCHNEIDER

Diane Borgman Youth Artist of the Year
KATIA HOLMES

Kathy & Mike Pate Business Award
KP BRASS BAND – ALIBI BAR & GRILL

2018 WINNERS

Mary Epperson Lifetime Achievement
MARK ROBINSON

Artist of the Year
JENNIFER NORTON

Art Advocate
DANIEL PERRY

Mary Langham Volunteer of the Year
N LYNN WHITMORE

Jill Berryman Arts Education Award
SHARLENE CLINE

Diane Borgman Youth Artist of the Year
FALCOM GREEAR

Kathy & Mike Pate Business Award
MEL STRYDOM – THE GROG SHOP

2017 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
ANNETTE BELLAMY

Artist of the Year
DANA STABENOW

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
HOMER OCEAN CHARTERS

Volunteer of the Year
LYNN SPENCE

Arts Education
LISA SHALLOCK

Youth Artist of the Year
CHLOE PLEZNAC

Business Arts Patron
HARBOR SCHOOL OF MUSIC

2016 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
EVA SAULITIS

Artist of the Year
JIM REARDON

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
ED HUTCHINSON

Volunteer of the Year
MIKE PATE AND HAL SPENCE

Arts Education
ROSANNA MOYER

Youth Artist of the Year
FELICITY JONES

Business Arts Patron
TWO SISTERS BAKERY

2015 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
JOHN BUSHELL

Artist of the Year
SALLY OBERSTEIN

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
HOMER ARTS & CULTURE ALLIANCE

Volunteer of the Year
MARY LANGHAM

Arts Education
LISA AND KIRK OLSEN

Youth Artist of the Year
LINDSEY SCHNEIDER

Business Arts Patron
HOMER PHYSICAL THERAPY

2014 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
TOBY TYLER

Artist of the Year
TOM KIZZIA

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
PETER SWANSON

Volunteer of the Year
TIM QUINN

Arts Education
CODY DAVIDSON

Youth Artist of the Year
PATRICK LATIMER

Business Arts Patron
QUIET PLACE LODGE

2013 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
GAYE WOLFE

Artist of the Year
MARIAN BECK

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
BUNNELL STREET ARTS CENTER

Arts Education
CAROL SWARTZ

Youth Artist of the Year
DREW TURNER

Business Arts Patron
ERA ALASKA

2012 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
PAULA DICKEY

Artist of the Year
MAVIS MULLER

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
KEN CASTNER

Volunteer of the Year
RACHEL BILBO

Arts Education
CAROL COMFORT

Youth Artist of the Year
MARIAH STUART

Business Arts Patron
WELLS FARGO INSURANCE

2011 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
DIANE TILLION

Artist of the Year
RON SENUNGETUK

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
PRATT MUSEUM

Arts Education
CHERISH MCCALLUM

Youth Artist of the Year
RUFARO

Business Arts Patron
HOMER BOOKSTORE

2010 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
RHENDA HORN

Artist of the Year
NANCY LORD

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
MAVIS MULLER

Arts Education
DEBBIE PIPER

Youth Artist of the Year
OCEANA WILLS

Business Arts Patron
MIKE WARBURTON – OCEAN SHORES RESORT

2009 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
LANCE AND BARB PETERSON

Artist of the Year
LYNN MARIE NADEN

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
JOY STEWARD

Arts Education
PAUL JONES

Youth Artist of the Year
MARC OLIVER

2008 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
LORRAINE HASS

Artist of the Year
ASIA FREEMAN

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
LAURA NORTON

Arts Education
RENEE JAHNKE

Youth Artist of the Year
ELYSE CARTER

2007 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
KARLA FREEMAN

Artist of the Year
RIKA MOUW

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
GAYE WOLFE

Arts Education
JILL BERRYMAN

Youth Artist of the Year
CASUALTIES OF THE CAUSE

2006 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
MARY EPPERSON

Artist of the Year
GAIL BAKER

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
MARK ROBINSON

Arts Education
JOCELYN WESTPHAL

Youth Artist of the Year
MADALYN WIARD

2005 WINNERS

Arts Lifetime Achievement
HOWARD HEDGES

Artist of the Year
SHIRLEY TIMRECK & TOBY TYLER

Arts Leadership / Advocacy
LANCE PETERSON

Arts Education
RHENDA HORN

Youth Artist of the Year
JESSICA SHALLOCK & KATIE MILLER