The Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announce the five recipients of the 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts: choreographer Nora Chipaumire in the Dance category; filmmaker Kevin Everson in Film/Video; Myra Melford, composer/performer in Music; for the Theatre prize, playwright, and performer Eisa Davis, and, in Visual Arts, artist Michael Smith.
Every year, five three-member panels of noted artists and arts professionals, in Dance, Film/Video, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts, each select one recipient. Alpert Award Director Irene Borger describes this year's decisions:
“Choreographer Nora Chipaumire is being recognized by the Dance panel for her profound movement intelligence, steaming hot and extraordinary presence, the dialogue she creates with audiences, and her visceral struggles with critical issues of the day.
The Film/Video panel selected filmmaker Kevin Everson, a prolific polymath, for his relentless curiosity, sustained inquiry, for elevating the visual power of expressive quotidian gestures of working people, and for his aesthetic caring gaze.
Myra Melford, composer and performer, was honored with the Music Award for her ascending and expansive trajectory, and great, generous musical mind. They celebrate her willingness to dive into the deep end of the pool and her ability to take multiple musical traditions into another sphere.
The Theatre panel selected Eisa Davis for her profound multiple gifts as playwright, performer and musician, her portrayal of the complex richness of our American character, and her work’s relevance and epic sweep, expanding our notion of how one might live in the 21st Century.
Michael Smith was named the winner of the Visual Arts prize for subversively using the visual languages of popular and corporate culture to take on big issues, for pioneering narrative within video art practice, and for rendering the everyday as truly strange. They appreciate his having taken on the role of picaresque hero moving through the world as a Charlie Chaplin of the late 20th century.”
2012 Press Release (PDF)