For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Contact: Mallory Morgan
Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee Announces Florida Artists Hall of Fame Inductees
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. –
Today, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced the selection of inductees into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame for the class years 2020, 2021, and 2022.
“Inducting into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed on artists by the State of Florida,” said Secretary Lee. “Induction in the Florida Artists Hall of Fame recognizes our state’s most distinguished artists who have made significant contributions to their craft and whose work continues to inspire millions of people in Florida, the United States, and globally.”
Established by the Florida Legislature in 1986, the Florida Artists Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, who have made significant contributions to the arts in Florida. Inductees will receive a commemorative bronze sculpture commissioned by the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and made by Enzo Torcoletti, an artist in St. Augustine. A plaque for each inductee will also be permanently installed on the Florida Artists Hall of Fame wall located in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol building.
The Florida Artists Hall of Fame currently consists of more than 50 inductees, including musician and performer Ray Charles, actor and director Burt Reynolds, writers Zora Neale Hurston, Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway, filmmaker Victor Nunez, and visual artists Duane Hanson, Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist.
2020 Class of Florida Artists Hall of Fame Inductees
Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee is pleased to announce the selection of singer Rita Coolidge and painter Guy LaBree for induction into the 2020 class of the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
Rita Coolidge, Tallahassee (1945 — )
Rita Coolidge graduated from Florida State University in1967 with a bachelor's degree in art. She began her career as a musician in Tallahassee. After a legendary career as a singer spanning more than five decades, Ms. Coolidge moved back to Tallahassee in 2017. She and her husband now support animal and habitat preservation endeavors. She says she's grateful to be back in Florida, where "everything is alive, with the frogs and the birds and the wildlife."
Guy LaBree, Winter Haven (1941 - 2015)
Self-taught artist and cultural advocate, Guy LaBree grew up near the Seminole Reservation in Hollywood. Mr. LaBree’s early interactions with members of the Seminole Tribe fueled a lifelong passion for their traditional way of life. Over the years, he worked closely with tribal elders and medicine men to accurately represent Seminole culture by depicting traditional stories and legends in his paintings. As a folklife advocate guided by unparalleled sensitivity and understanding, Mr. LaBree devoted himself to bridging cultural and generational gaps with his paintings of traditional Seminole life until his death in 2015.
An induction ceremony for the 2020 class of inductees will take place Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 4 p.m. at The Marriott at Cascade Park Ballroom in Tallahassee in partnership with the annual Word of South Festival.
2021 Class of Florida Artists Hall of Fame Inductees
Mary GrandPré, South Dakota (1954 – )
Mary GrandPré is an illustrator best known for her cover and chapter illustrations of all seven of the Harry Potter books in their U.S. editions published by Scholastic. She has also worked on the animated films Antz and Ice Age. Mary GrandPré has illustrated more than twenty books and has appeared in gallery exhibitions and periodicals worldwide.
Tom Fitz, Jupiter (1958 – )
Tom Fitz is a cameraman, producer and director who has documented our planet's natural wonders for over thirty years. As a freelance cinematographer, Tom has worked for BBC, PBS, National Geographic and many others. He is among a small group of cameramen who has worked in all seven continents and five oceans, including under the ice in our planet's polar regions. His camera work appears in Planet Earth and the Blue Planet, and he has won multiple Emmy's.
An induction ceremony for the 2021 class of inductees is expected to occur in the summer of 2022 and will be announced once details are finalized.
2022 Class of Florida Artists Hall of Fame Inductees
Wayne Brady, Orlando (1972 – )
Wayne Brady grew up in Orlando, Florida, and at the age of 16, a chance performance at a high school play garnered him not only rave reviews, but also permanently altered his long-term plans to go into the military. He was heavily involved in the theater community in central Florida performing at numerous stage productions. He then moved to Las Vegas and later to Los Angeles where he began working in theater and television. Wayne Brady is currently busy hosting the VH1 series, “Vinyl Justice,” which premiered in August 2021. He has been honored with several nominations for his work in theater, including best actor in a musical for “Cotton Patch Gospel.” You can also catch him on syndicated TV as the host of “Let's Make a Deal,” or doing improv on “Whose Line is it anyway?”
Buster Kenton, Kissimmee (1920 - 1991)
Buster Kenton’s delicate ink etchings and lush oil paintings depicting cowboys, homesteads and pastures of Osceola County hang in cafes, churches and living rooms across the county. Kenton’s art legacy includes cartoons and caricatures. His most notable (and favored) cartoon caricature, Cowboy Jake, was created in 1948 for the Kissimmee Jaycees and appeared on postcards and promotional materials for Kissimmee. Cowboy Jake (modeled after real Cowboy Pete Clemons) graced billboards greeting all with a “Welcome Pardner” as they entered Kissimmee city limits.
Sandra Lloyd, Tampa (1936 – )
Sandra Lloyd’s paintings are done in watercolor, oil and acrylics, and mostly depict the many aspects of the Florida scenery she loves. Her work is currently displayed in the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art in Daytona Beach, Florida, and adorns the walls of many patrons throughout the country. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an honoree of the Florida Watercolor Society, and an award-winning artist at nationwide festivals.
Bob Ross, Daytona Beach (1942 - 1995)
Bob Ross discovered oil painting while he was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1960s. He studied the "wet-on-wet" technique, which allowed him to produce complete paintings in less than an hour. He then became an instructor himself, eventually teaching a TV audience of millions on the TV show The Joy of Painting, which would eventually be carried by more than 275 stations, spawning an empire that would include videos, how-to books, art supplies and certified Bob Ross instructors.
An induction ceremony for the 2022 class of inductees is expected to occur in the summer of 2022 and will be announced once details are finalized.
For more information on the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, please click here.
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About the Division of Arts and Culture
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Arts and Culture is Florida’s legislatively designated state arts agency. The Division promotes the arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. To achieve its mission, the Division funds and supports cultural programs that provide artistic excellence, diversity, education, access and economic vitality for Florida’s communities. For more information, visit dos.myflorida.com/cultural