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Frank Bette chief Owen wins arts award

Submitted by on 1, August 25, 2009 – 5:45 amNo Comment
Debra Owen

Debra Owen

Props are due to Frank Bette Center for the Arts’ Debra Owen, who is set to receive an Alameda County Arts Leadership Award.

Owen, who has served as executive director of (and head cheerleader for) the center since 2004, bested three other nominees for the award, which will be presented at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ September 29 meeting.

The watercolor artist and onetime member of the California Watercolor Association board is credited with expanding Frank Bette’s offerings to a dozen onsite exhibitions per year and 10 satellite exhibitions (they’re in places including Alameda Towne Centre, Eyewise Optometry, Gallagher & Lindsey and Shay’s Cafe); expanding art classes in traditional and digital media; organizing literary and poetry events; and coordinating the arts center’s week-long, 40-artist Plein Air Paintout event, all with volunteers.

Owen also founded the “Next Step” artist alliance (she thinks someone from the Alliance must have nominated her for the award).

“I’m extremely honored to be listed among all of these leaders,” Owen said, adding that she’d like to arrange some get-togethers with the other award winners.

Owen said she thinks the center’s namesake wanted it to be a hub for the entire creative communities, not just visual artists. “I’m so proud of the work our creative community has done in six years to breathe life into Frank’s dream,” she said.

The award “recognizes individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions impacting the arts community and the residents of Alameda County,” according to the press release that names the winners. Nominees are submitted by members of the public to the Alameda County Arts Commission, which selects five winners (one from each supervisorial district in the county).

Incidentally, Frank Bette has put out the call for art and crafts to sell at its annual Holiday Gift Boutique, which opens November 27. If you’re interested in participating, the information is here.

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