South Georgians recognized by governor

South Georgians recognized by governor

ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - The Albany-based Freedom Singers, and arts advocate Syd Blackmarr of Tifton were among those honored by the governor for achievements in the arts and humanities.

Thirteen groups or people were chosen for commitment to preservation and promotion of Georgia's culture and heritage. Gov. Nathan Deal said the awards were presented in partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts and Georgia Humanities Council.

"Georgia's arts and humanities sectors propel our state forward by improving quality of life for the citizens and businesses of our state," said Deal. "The individuals and organizations honored here today are committed to growing and sustaining Georgia's vibrant culture and history, and I am grateful for their significant contributions to our state."

Thirteen members of Georgia's arts and humanities communities were chosen from a selection of nominations from around the state. The recipients represent a diverse group of individuals and organizations that have laid the groundwork for Georgia's growing creative industry through innovative programs, community collaboration and long-term financial commitment.

The recipients of the 2014 Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities are:

Syd Blackmarr, Tifton

Leslie Gordon, Atlanta

Fred and Dinah Gretsch, Savannah

Paul Hudson, Clarkston

Carl Purdy, Atlanta

Douglas Scott, Atlanta

The Activities Council of Thomson, Thomson

Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta

Brenau University, Gainesville

Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta

Freedom Singers, Albany

Meridian Herald, Atlanta

Richard B. Russell Library of Political Research and Studies, Athens

The 2014 Governor's Award was handcrafted by Whelchel Meaders, a distinguished member of a famous family of Georgia folk potters. His father was L.Q. Meaders, one of six potter sons of John Milton Meaders, who founded Meaders Pottery in 1892 in the Mossy Creek community of Southern White County. 

Whelchel continues this hundred year old tradition of producing functional ware coated with woodash- and lime-based alkaline glazes. His runny-textured ash glaze exemplifies the high-firing, green or brown glazes unique to the South, this distinctive Southern stoneware tradition. 

Represented in the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia at Sautee Nacoochee, Whelchel joins some 30 potters of the state who maintain a craft tradition continuous since the early 19th century.

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