Commission names champion of the arts

Tillman "Tillie" Bishop
Tillman “Tillie” Bishop

A former public official who served as chairman of a committee that’s installed a series of sculptures in downtown Grand Junction has won the 2015 Champion of the Arts Award.

The Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture announced that Tilman “Tillie” Bishop will receive the award.

The commission will present Bishop with artwork by David Mosier titled “Winter Day, Loma” as an award during a meeting of the Grand Junction City Council scheduled for Jan. 20. A public reception is set to begin at 6 p.m. that day.

Since 2007, Bishop has served as the chairman of the Legends of the Grand Valley Committee. The committee has commissioned and installed eight larger-than-life sculptures downtown, including artwork depicting Sister Mary Balbina Farrell, William Moyer, John Otto and Dalton Trumbo. The sculpture program is designed to tell stories about the community and serve to educate residents and visitors about the history of the Grand Valley.

A ninth and final piece is scheduled for installation in April.

Jacquie Chappell-Reid, another member of the Legends of the Grand Valley Committee, nominated Bishop for the award.

“Tillie has fully participated both in a leadership role and as an active member of the committee,” Chappell-Reid said. “He has invested both his time and personal financial commitment to help make this project a success.”

Bishop has served as a state senator, Mesa County commissioner and educator at what is now Colorado Mesa University. As a state senator, Bishop was involved in state legislation to earmark a portion of the construction costs of public buildings to purchase artwork.

As art aficionados, Bishop and his wife Pat, are enthusiastic buyers and cheerleaders for the local art community and art education at CMU.

The commission also announced two other nominees for the 2015 Champion of the Arts Award. Patrick Metoyer nominated Wendy Hoffman of the Veterans Arts Center for the award. Michael Neste nominated the High Desert Opera.

The Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture is an 11-member board appointed by the Grand Junction City Council to foster a climate in the Grand Valley in which arts and culture can thrive.

For additional information about the commission, visit the Web site at www.gjarts.org.