Bill Gossman of New London was named the 2010 Prairie Star Award winner by the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council Board of Directors.
SMAHC Executive Director Greta Murray will make a brief presentation at the artists' reception of the Willmar Area Arts Council's Bill Gossman Family Art Exhibit at the WEAC gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. today. The award will be officially presented to Gossman at the 36th SMAHC Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 30 at the Crow River Golf Club in Hutchinson.
The award was established to honor a distinguished artist whose work exemplifies the highest quality of art in the SMAHC region.
Gossman's art has enriched countless individual lives and strengthened the cultural life of the region and the entire state of Minnesota. SMAHC welcomes this opportunity to recognize the years of effort and persistence that have culminated in Gossman's current accomplishments and influence. SMAHC reviews open nominations for the Prairie Star Award from its 18-county service area. New London artist Robert Mattson nominated Gossman for this award. Mattson wrote: "Bill grasps and practices the essence of what it means to be an artist and lives it day to day. He has traveled the world studying and working in various places with various artists from Africa to Denmark where he was declared the Danish National Throwing Champion; no mean feat for a foreigner. He has served in what might be considered an 'apprenticeship' period working as a production potter at a number of different potteries. Knowledgeable ceramists consider this to be an essential building block, a solid foundation, for progress and growth as a ceramic artist. His hard work, patience and perseverance paid rich dividends. Bill now operates Gossman Pottery in New London, where he turns out work of the most profound beauty and elegance such as I have rarely seen in my many years as an artist and teacher. Simply put, Bill is the finest potter I have ever known. His work equals or surpasses that of others the world over."
Letters in support of Gossman's nomination were received from Robert Briscoe, Richard Bresnahan Jr., Andrew Nordin, Fred Cogelow, Barry Carlson, Paul Morris, Denise Morris, Julie and Glenn Joplin, Bob Carls and Amy Sharpe, John and Louise Mack, and Marjorie Nilssen. The Prairie Star Award is intended to act as a catalyst and an incentive for other area artists and to make known the high regard in which SMAHC holds artists who have given of their lives and talents to create and sustain the arts in southwest Minnesota.