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2014 Clyde Hooker Awards honor sisters, local business
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The 2014 Clyde Hooker Awards were given Monday at Piedmont Arts. Pictured are (from left) winner Kay Ascough Smith’s son William Smith; Kay Smith’s husband Frank Smith; Kay Smith’s daughter Julie Klingman; winner Julie Ascough Work; David Stone, founder and president of winner Solid Stone Fabrics; and Piedmont Arts Executive Director Kathy Rogers. (Bulletin photo by Holly Kozelsky)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Staff Writer

Solid Stone Fabrics and sisters Julia “Julie” Ascough Work and the late Kathryn “Kay” Ascough Smith were awarded the 2014 Clyde Hooker Awards on Monday at Piedmont Arts.

Smith and Work have supported Piedmont Arts since 1981, when the descendants of the Schottland family deeded the sisters’ grandparents’ home to the organization for the creation of a new art museum.

Smith, who died in March, was co-chairman of Piedmont Arts’ Shared Vision Capital Campaign in the 1990s. The campaign raised $2.5 million, enabling the museum to add galleries, a performance hall, classroom space and a commercial kitchen to the original house. Smith also served on Piedmont Arts’ board of directors, education committee and special events committee.

Although she has moved to Dallas, Work still attends Piedmont Arts events and makes donations for performances, including the Richmond Ballet and Virginia Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, Work endowed Piedmont Arts with funds for the Harold Knowlton Work Memorial Scholarship, which provides scholarships for rising college sophomores, juniors and seniors who are pursuing degrees in the fine arts.

The Work Scholarship is named in memory of her husband, who was a lifelong supporter of the arts. In the past seven years, the Work Scholarship has benefited nearly a dozen local students.

Piedmont Arts Executive Director Kathy Rogers said when she has called Work to ask for donations, “She’s like, ‘How much do you need?” A donation from Work paid for the Dance Español summer camp last year, for example.

Rogers announced that the sisters established the Kathryn Ascough Smith Memorial Arts Education Fund of $100,000 in the memory of Smith. (See related story.)

Work said her sister had three great passions: Piedmont Arts, teaching and children, and the fund was an ideal way to support all three. It is “a wonderful way to honor Kay, and I know she would be very pleased with this,” Work said.

Since it opened in 2003, Solid Stone Fabrics has been an active supporter of arts and culture in Martinsville-Henry County. Founder and company President David Stone has served as president of Piedmont Arts’ board of directors and oversaw the museum’s strategic planning process. In 2014–2015, he will be the board’s treasurer.

Solid Stone Fabrics’ gifts to Piedmont Arts include a red carpet for Dancing for the Arts, backdrops displaying the Dancing for the Arts logo and banners for Piedmont Arts’ 50th Anniversary gala.

“The company values a strong arts and cultural presence in our community,” said David Martin, president of Piedmont Arts’ board of directors.

Stone has served the board of directors through “quiet wisdom and leadership,” Martin said, adding that Stone was an actor in TheatreWork’s first performance, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Stone said he always has considered it important to encourage creativity in children.

“Piedmont Arts has been a real beacon” of the arts in this area, exposing children “to things that they would never see” otherwise, he said.

Solid Stone Fabrics, Work and Smith’s family were given turned wood designs made by Terry Mitchell.

Scholarship recipients also were recognized at the ceremony.

The Nicodemus Hufford Memorial Scholarship for $1,500 was given to Cody McVey of Martinsville. An honor graduate of Bassett High School, McVey will study music composition at the Boston Conservatory. His goal is to compose music for the film industry.

Established in 1987 by Hufford’s family, the scholarship program has awarded more than $70,000.

Recipients of the Harold Knowlton Work Memorial Scholarship were: Haley Ferguson of Ridgeway, who studies visual arts at Virginia Commonwealth University ($1,000); Byron Carter of Martinsville, who studies music performance at North Carolina A&T ($1,500); Damaris Dailey of Ridgeway, who studies music therapy at Radford University ($1,000); Rebecca Moore of Martinsville, who studies vocal performance at Salem College ($300); and Mariah Shaffer of Magna Vista, who attends the School of Art, Design and Art History at James Madison University ($500).

Carter is the first student to receive the award for each of his years in college, for a total of $7,500.

Two teachers and one high school principal received the Arts in Education Award. They are Gracie Agnew, retiring principal of Magna Vista High School (MVHS); and Cameron Cooper and Ama Waller, fifth-grade teachers at Patrick Henry Elementary School.

Of Agnew, Rogers said, “Since her arrival (at MVHS), the school has transitioned from difficult to staff to one that has received numerous state and national awards.” Agnew was named Virginia’s 2013 Outstanding Principal of the Year.

Waller said using art in the classroom is “a learning strategy, because some people are visual, some are audial.” Using art in teaching “doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate,” she added.

Waller added that without Piedmont Arts’ programs, “some kids wouldn’t have that kind of exposure” to art and culture.

The Clyde Hooker Award was created in 2003 in honor of the late J. Clyde Hooker Jr. for of his generous support of the arts and culture in Martinsville and Henry County.


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