Yuma artist nominated for Governor's Art Award
It's a good thing Rebecca Taylor decided to open a recent letter announcing her nomination for a Governor's Art Award.
The Yuma artist almost wrote it off as junk mail.
The actual contents inside that envelope was a list of 62 people and businesses nominated for one of Arizona's most prestigious awards celebrating the arts. Taylor, an artist and retired arts educator, is Yuma County's sole representative in this year's round of nominees.
“Gosh, I was first of all shocked...I am so honored and humbled to be nominated at the state level,” she said. “I was also intimidated by the list of nominees, most from the larger cities...The arts culture in Yuma is strong and has so many creative people and talented artists. I am excited to represent my hometown of Yuma.”
Winners of the Governor's Art Awards will be announced March 6 at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. The series of awards, now in its 32nd year, is overseen by Arizona Citizens for the Arts.
“There are people all over Arizona who are doing wonderful things for the arts in our communities and in our schools,” said Rusty Foley, executive director for Arizona Citizens for the Arts. “The Governor's Art Awards were designed some 30 years to recognize these contributions and also as a way to promote the importance of the arts and culture in our community.”
Taylor retired from teaching at Yuma High School, but not before winning Teacher of the Year in 2006. She was also given the Tribute of the Muses Award in 2012. Today she remains active in her artistic pursuits, especially through her involvement with the North End Artists Co-op.
This nomination marks Taylor's first time in the running for a Governor's Art Award.
“I had not idea anyone had nominated me. I still don't know who did!” she said. “It was very nice of them to do so.”
Rex Ijams wrote Taylor's nomination. Ijams serves as arts and culture program manager for the City of Yuma.
“She has inspired generations of young people in her community of Yuma toward understanding and participating in the arts,” he told the Yuma Sun. “In the context of today's fragile economy and bifurcated attention spans, her efforts have created better citizens, more engaged citizens and contributed to our society.”