Arts awards announced

A business and woman are the latest winners of annual Champion of the Arts awards presented by the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture.

Patti and Chuck Shear of Shear Inc. won the business award.  The Shears were nominated by Camille Silverman, executive director of the Western Colorado Center for the Arts.

Silverman said the Shears have funded many projects, including exterior renovations to the art center and numerous exhibitions there. The Shears also served on the center board and a board development committee.

“The Shears have been involved with the Art Center for several years, helping to introduce it and its programs to many local corporations,” Silverman said.

Karen Combs won the individual award. Combs was nominated by Sandra Dorr, founder of the Western Colorado Writers Forum; Calvin Hofer, head of the Department of Music at Colorado Mesa University; Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra; and Avalon Theater Foundation.

Dorr credited Combs for supporting two programs of the forum, including a program in which published authors mentor and teach students in elementary, middle and high schools. The program is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Colorado.

Hofer said Combs has provided financial support to the Best of the West Music Festival involving more than 200 high school students each year.

Combs also was praised for her support of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and Avalon Theater.

Other nominees for the Champion of the Arts awards were: Eric Alpha, Ron Beckman, Penny Creasy, Dave Davis, Kirk Gustafson, Patti Kurtzman and Nicholas Moore.