Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:08AM - 328 Views

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The Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Children’s Theatre will host “A Town and Its Artists: Award for Creative and Artistic Excellence” on Saturday, June 8 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. In a special series of articles exclusive to the Daily Times, we will explore each of the honorees and their contributions to the Portsmouth Art Community.


Artists are an interesting group of people. Artists have something in their blood, the heart and soul that causes them to create. Those creations can be paintings, music, poetry, literature or performances. They often suffer for their art and rarely get recognition for the hard work it demands of them.


Minford artist Don Blevins was chosen as the Outstanding Individual Artist for the upcoming Awards for Artistic and Creative Excellence. Blevins has a small studio on a farm that is packed with years of his creations.


Blevins began his career as an architect and gradually moved from creating buildings to creating landscapes and still life.


Deb Doll, an artist with the Boneyfiddle Arts Center nominated Blevins for this honor.


“His paintings are skillful, varied and contemporary in nature,” Doll said. “Don was instrumental in the visual concept for the Boneyfiddle Arts Center. Limited by a skeleton budget, Don created and built a space which allows the art, of our community-based artists, to be displayed with warmth and serenity.”


One of Blevins larger paintings will serve as the backdrop the ceremony on June 8. The abstract landscape is 5-foot-6-inch tall by 30-feet long and was created by Blevins in a large studio years ago in Seattle.


Several other of Blevins large pieces are on display at the Boneyfiddle Arts Center at 546 Second Street in Portsmouth.


His awards over the years include first place for the U.S. Bicentennial Medal Design for the State of West Virginia and the VPI Solite Architectural Design Award.


“A Town and Its Artists” is inspired by an art festival of the same name that the Arts Council held in 1968. The original “A Town and Its Artists” was a community-wide celebration of the arts giving the artists in town the opportunity to showcase their work.


“The idea behind the event is not a new one to PAAC,” Becky Lovins, executive director, said. “PAAC has over the years tried to reach out to the art community through our strategic values of collaboration and partnership. The awards we will present to these groups and individuals help bring to the forefront the excellence Portsmouth has that is equal to and even surpasses many communities equal to or greater in size.”


Three levels of tickets are available for the evening celebration on June 8. Patrons may purchase $50 VIP tickets which will include priority seating, listing in the evening’s program and a ticket to the reception following the event with the evening’s honorees.


$25 patron tickets will include a program listing and $10 tickets will also be available.


Tickets are currently on sale at the McKinley Box Office 740-351-3600 and can also be purchased at ticketmaster online.


For more information about the ACE Awards, please contact Becky Lovins at 740-351-3642 or at paac@shawnee.edu.

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