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Celebrating For the Love of Art

Plano individuals and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts were honored at the ArtCentre of Plano’s For the Love of Art event Saturday, October 24.
For the Love of Art, ArtCentre of Plano

Plano individuals and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts were honored at the ArtCentre of Plano’s For the Love of Art event Saturday, October 24.

Attendees were welcomed into the eclectically decorated Haggard Party Barn with a glass of wine and were invited to bid on the silent auction, a beautiful collection of artworks donated by local artists: Abby a HIPster from My Possibilities, Mirtha Aertker, Daniel Angeles, Dan Barber, Penelope Bisbee, Jim Bowman, Nel Dorn Byrd, Anne Cameron, Todd Camplin, Dan Collinsworth, Ginny Collinsworth, Katrina Doran, Beverly Fetterman, Bart Forbes, Polly Gessell, Chris Gray, Howard Greisdorf, Laura Grundler, Michael Holter, Priscilla Krejci, Emily deLarios, Alis Meli, Anna Membrino, Venu Menon, Christine Miller, Gabrielle Castaneda Pruitt, Pam Rabin, Marie Renfro, Patricia Richards, Donna Schneider, Sandya Shetty, Amy Siegal, Olivia Snyder, Maureen Upheus, Rahul Vyas and Karen White.

For the Love of Art, ArtCentre of Plano

Such was the outstanding quality of the pieces on exhibit, that by the end of the evening every piece had been purchased, finding a new home among the many art aficionados taking part in the celebration.

In addition, the ArtCentre was lucky enough to work with Kathy Kuddes to have Plano Independent School District musicians to play at the event; Chris Clark, Brian Coatney, Mary Havenstrite, Tyson Jaquez, Kyle Jenkins, Jeremy Kondrat, Fred Sampson, Sadarius Slaughter and Ray Winkler. These instructors, organized by Kathy Kuddess, Director of Fine Arts for the PISD, formed a Jazz combo as well as a stringed quintet that entertained guests at the VIP reception, as well as during dinner and breaks throughout the evening.

During dinner, the honorees were presented with awards created by glass artist Jim Bowman. This years honorees were:

  • Arts Patron: AT&T Foundation
  • Arts Volunteer: Elly Marsh
  • Arts Leadership: Frank Turner
  • Visual Artist: Donna Schneider
  • Literary Artist: Alan Birkelbach
  • Performance Artist: Ralph Stannard
  • Arts Organization: Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra
  • Supporter of Arts Education: Raj Menon
  • Special Recognition Award: Lynore and Robbie Robinson

The event’s theme, “Celebrating Art and Education,” honored the impact that these two important concepts have on our culture and on each other. Appropriately, the honorary chairs for the event were Dr. Brian Binggeli, Superintendent of Schools for Plano ISD, and Dr. Neil Matkin, President of Collin College who both spoke during the presentation.

Catered by event sponsor Market Street, the dinner was served by a team of HIPsters (Hugely Important People) of My Possibilities who provide continuing education and vocational training for adults with disabilities, including a wide range of diagnoses such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, head injuries and neurological disorders, among others.

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Photography by Mike Newman

ArtCentre of Plano

Founded in 1981, the ArtCentre of Plano is a private nonprofit organization which aims to promote the growth and development of emerging community arts groups, as well as inspire, support and promote excellence, diversity and vitality in the arts and arts education of the community.

The ArtCentre of Plano will be the focal point of the new Arts District of Plano when it moves into the landmark Saigling House in Haggard Park following an extensive renovation. The ArtCentre is partnering with the City of Plano in an exciting plan to create an arts and events center adjacent to Haggard Park.

2015 For the Love of Art Honorees

Arts Patron: AT&T Foundation

AT&T is committed to enriching and strengthening communities across the country through the AT&T Foundation. The Foundation supports programs that address quality-of-life issues, with an emphasis on improving education and advancing community development. The ArtCentre is grateful for the grant supporting education programs as they plan for the new location in the Saigling House.

Arts Volunteer: Elly Marsh

Elly has been actively involved with Plano Children’s Theatre since 2009, serving the Board for the past five years. Elly is also an active volunteer in supporting theater at Plano West Sr. High. She serves as Secretary on the Arts Board at Parish Episcopal School; she has been a Sunday school teacher for the past 10 years at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration; and she volunteers with several other organizations.

Arts Leadership: Frank Turner

Frank is the Deputy City Manager for the City of Plano. He has been responsible for coordinating downtown redevelopment projects based on transit-oriented and new urbanism design principles. He, along with the City and City Council, has led the transformation of downtown Plano into a new Arts District anchored by the ArtCentre of Plano’s relocation to the historic Saigling House.

Visual Artist: Donna Schneider

Donna studied architecture and advertising at the University of Texas. She travels extensively, paints a variety of subjects and teaches private students and workshops. She is a member of Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society of America, the American Society of Portrait Artists and the Plano Art Association. Her paintings are in public and private collections throughout the United States.

Literary Artist: Alan Birkelbach

Alan was named Texas Poet Laureate for 2005. A poet since age 12, he is the author of three poetry collections, “No Boundaries,” “Weighed in the Balances” and “Translating the Prairie: Plano, TX” in words and pictures. He says he tends to write about those who have lost their direction in life and uses Texas and the Southwest as the foundation for many of his poems.

Performance Artist: Ralph Stannard

Ralph has been artistic director and conductor of the Plano Civic Chorus since 2000. He is also director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Richardson. He has held similar positions at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Irving, Munger Place United Methodist Church in Dallas and at Bethel Temple in Oak Cliff. He has been choir director for Temple Emanu-El in Dallas since 1999. A lyric baritone and voice student of Grant Williams, Ralph has performed as soloist throughout the North Texas area.

Arts Organization: Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra

The DAAYO is a nonprofit youth orchestra that provides music students in the DFW area an opportunity to play classical music in an ensemble setting. Their music is mostly western classical music, but also includes a selection of classical music drawn from Asian composers and sources. The orchestra is open to all students in the North Texas area.

Supporter of Arts Education: Raj Menon

Raj has served on the Board of Directors of the Plano Symphony Orchestra (PSO) since 2011.  He has served as chair of the PSO’s Education Committee and as a volunteer for PISD’s Academy and its “STEAM” philosophy initiative. He was recently elected for a two-year term as PSO’s Board President, but his personal passion for the future of the PSO lies most strongly in the education mission of the Plano Symphony.

Special Recognition Award: Lynore and Robbie Robinson

Lynore and Robbie Robinson are two of Plano’s most renowned volunteers. From construction projects to serving on nonprofit boards and beyond, Lynore and Robbie have been integral to many arts and social service agencies. It would be hard to imagine Plano without them.