For immediate release: Jan 13, 2011
Posted by: [IAC]
Contact: Rex A. Van Zant
Phone: 317-232-1273

Cicero glass artist chosen to create 2011 Governor's Arts Awards

(Indianapolis, Indiana) - The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that a Cicero, Indiana glass artist has been chosen to create the 2011 Governor's Arts Awards.

Artist Ben Johnson earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Kent State University (Ohio) before furthering his education at Pilchuck Glass School, Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti (Italy), and the Corning Museum of Glass.

Johnson's work has been exhibited in several museums throughout the country. He has received a Windgate Fellowship Grant Award and was a finalist for the Raphael Founders Prize, Niche Award, LEAP Award, and WNC's magazine competition.

He has taught glass at the Indianapolis Art Center, and Diablo Glass. He has also assisted at Penland, Haystack, and Ox-Bow School of Crafts. Johnson also has held a resident artist fellowship at the EnergyXChange, a renewable energy Center. Currently he is a faculty instructor at the Indianapolis Art Center, and is pursuing an MFA degree at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.

"As the creator of the Governor's Arts Award, I am honored to help my state celebrate the individuals and organizations from across Indiana," Johnson said. "Each recipient of this award has contributed to the arts in our communities to make Indiana a great place to call home."

Johnson was selected from a field of seven glass artists from around the state invited to submit proposals to create the awards.

"The tradition of the Governor's Arts Awards includes the commissioning of a new work by an Indiana artist," said Lewis C. Ricci, IAC executive director. "Ben's work is most impressive and we are confident the 2011 recipients will be proud to display his creation."

Traditionally, the IAC commissions new works of art from a contemporary Indiana artist to represent the awards. In 2009, Richmond mixed-media artist India Cruse-Griffin created the awards presented by Gov. Daniels to renowned opera singer Angela Brown, The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Sweetwater Sound, Inc., Vectren Corporation, the George and Frances Ball Foundation, and the Ball Brothers Foundation.

Originally conceived in 1973, the biennial awards recognize excellence in artistic achievement, philanthropy, arts education, and leadership in the arts, and at the same time build statewide awareness of the important role the arts play in Indiana.

The 2011 awards will be presented this fall during a special awards program on the campus of Indiana University South Bend.

For more information about the Governor's Arts Awards, visit the IAC website (

Questions regarding the 2011 Governor's Arts Awards should be directed to Rex Van Zant at 317-232-1273 or by email to

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life.


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