A Celebration of the Arts

Commissioned Artwork from the Governor’s Arts Awards Program 1989-2011
March 11, 2019—January 31, 2020

The Nevada Arts Council presents artwork commissioned to be part of the Governor’s Arts Awards Program and part of the agency’s permanent collection. Inaugurated in 1979 as the Decade Awards, the Governor’s Arts Awards (GAA) became an annual event for the agency. Through this program, the Nevada Arts Council (NAC) and the Office of the Governor recognized outstanding contributions to Nevada through artistic achievement and service to the arts by artists, educators, arts organizations, corporate and individual patrons, public figures, and dedicated volunteers.

To spotlight the work of the visual artists, in 1989 the NAC board decided to commission a Nevada artist to create original artwork for each GAA recipient, as well as one for the NAC’s permanent collection. A selection committee comprising NAC board members, and starting in 1990 a past GAA Visual Arts Commission artist, reviewed proposals and selected artists based on the following criteria: artistic merit; specificity and clarity of the artist’s proposal; cohesiveness of stated intention and the actual work; and level of professional commitment. Each GAA recipient received a work of art during a public ceremony. Due to agency budget cuts, the Governor’s Arts Awards Program ended in 2012.

Since the program’s inception, GAA Visual Arts Commission artists have created awards that exemplify the diversity of Nevada’s artists and the media in which they work – including sculpture, jewelry, assemblages, paintings, ceramics, and prints. GAA artists’ studios are located in both Nevada’s urban centers and some of the state’s smallest rural communities.


2011 Anthony Alston, Reno bronze sculptures with music boxes
2010 Scott Hinton, Reno digital pigment photographs
2009 Lynda Yuroff, Reno mixed media paintings
2008 Barbara & Larry Domsky, Las Vegas glass sculptures
2007 Paul Ford, Minden mixed media landscapes
2006 Elaine Parks, Tuscarora ceramics
2005 Maria Arango, Las Vegas woodcut prints with original woodblocks
2004 Sidne Teske, Battle Mountain paintings
2003 Lynda Yuroff, Reno paintings on incised wood
2002 Elaine Parks, Tuscarora ceramic birdhouses
2001 Joe Zuccarini, Reno bronze sculptures
2000 Gail Rappa, Tuscarora jewelry/gold-silver-copper books
1999 Michael Greenspan, Reno painting/plaster tablets
1998 Robert Beckmann, Henderson archival prints
1997 Joanne Vuillemot, Las Vegas sterling silver bowls
1996 Ben Parks, Tuscarora ceramic cowboy boots
1995 Elaine Jason, Reno sculptures with neon
1994 Tom Gilbertson, Las Vegas paintings with lead framing
1993 JoAnn Martinez, Gardnerville winnowing baskets
1992 Tom Coleman, Henderson ceramic teapots, platters
1991 Mary Warner, Las Vegas paintings
1990 Erik Lauritzen, Reno photographs
1989 Dennis Parks, Tuscarora ceramic platters