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Meet the 2022 Cleveland Arts Prize winners

 Clockwise from upper left: Cleveland Arts Prize winners Dominick Farinacci, Debra Nagy, Julie Patton, Peter Debelak, Glaudisa Guadalupe, Amber D. Kempthorn and Sujatha Srinivasan [ Cleveland Arts Prize]
Clockwise from upper left: Cleveland Arts Prize winners Dominick Farinacci, Debra Nagy, Julie Patton, Peter Debelak, Glaudisa Guadalupe, Amber D. Kempthorn and Sujatha Srinivasan

The 2022 Cleveland Arts Prize winners represent excellence in dance, music, design and visual art. Established by the Women’s City Club in 1960, the awards recognize both artists and arts leaders in Northeast Ohio.

The five discipline awards come with $10,000, and all of the honorees will be celebrated at the annual awards event Wednesday night at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Lifetime achievement

Glaudisa Guadalupe, dance

Cleveland Ballet Artistic Directior Glaudisa Guadalupe is honored for sharing her artistic talents in Northeast Ohio for decades as a dancer and instructor. After the Cleveland San Jose Ballet left the area in 2000 (and eventually closed), she founded a ballet school in Cleveland and in 2014 reestablished the Cleveland Ballet in Playhouse Square.

“She has reinvigorated ballet in our city and our region,” said CAP Board Chair Aseelah Shareef.

Mid-career artists

Dominick Farinacci, music

Jazz trumpeter and composer Dominick Farinacci performs around the world as well as in Cleveland. He’s the director of the Tri-C JazzFest Academy, a pre-college jazz program, and he developed a multimedia music experience, Modern Warrior Live, which fuses jazz and narrative storytelling about PTSD from war.

“He's famous in Cleveland,” said H. Scott Westover, jury committee chair for the awards. “This is a jazz trumpeter who was picked out by Wynton Marsalis when he was 17 years old.”

Debra Nagy, music

Oboist and founder of the chamber ensemble Les Delices, Debra Nagy shares baroque music with audiences near and far. She performs with Apollo’s Fire and other chamber ensembles in the U.S, and she connected her musical contacts during the pandemic by creating Salon Era, an online series and podcast.

“There were both performances and then informative podcasts that gave you performance highlights but also in-depth interviews with each of the partnering artists,” Westover said.

Emerging artists

Peter Debelak, design

Peter Debelak is honored posthumously for both his design work and the support of other creatives through SoulCraft, a community access woodshop he founded. Before creating furniture full time he practiced law for several years. He died in May.

“Peter was a man of many talents, and all of them united by his conviction around social justice and, frankly, making the world a better place,” Westover said.

Amber D. Kempthorn, visual arts

Visual artist Amber D. Kempthorn recently completed a project animating her drawings to Benjamin Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes,” which was presented live in concert with the Akron Symphony Orchestra in October. The animation — and her drawing work more broadly —explore familiar symbols, landscapes and time.

“One of the things that really touches me about Amber’s work is her connection to nostalgia,” Shareef said. “I think that is extremely interesting and an exploration of time and space and how she views the world through that lens.”

Special prizes

Artist and arts educator Julie Patton receives the Robert P. Bergman Prize, which honors “dedication to a democratic vision of art.” In addition to her own art practice, Patton has worked with community members on an artistic housing cooperative and ensuring access to green space for kids’ outdoor education.

Classical Indian dance teacher Sujatha Srinivasan receives the Martha Joseph Prize, recognizing an arts leader’s “contribution to the vitality and stature of the arts” in the region. She shares Bharatanatyam dance with the community through many collaborations and the instruction of the next generation of dancers.

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