Some artists spend their lives contributing to the arts without receiving any recognition. However, Dr. Cheryl Rogers, Tyler Junior College executive director of institutional effectiveness, and Derrick White, art professor, are both being recognized for their contributions to the arts.
Dr. Rogers will be receiving this year’s Arts in Education Award given by Young Audiences of Northeast Texas for lifetime achievement on April 17 at Hollytree Country Club. White is one of 109 Texas artists selected as finalists for the 2012 Hunting Art Prize. The winner of the Hunting Art prize will be announced at the Hunting Art Prize gala April 28 in Houston and will receive $50,000.
For Dr. Rogers after being involved in the music department at TJC for about 32 years, receiving this recognition has made her very appreciative.
“It’s very humbling. I think any time you are honored this way, the first think you think is well, I am not worthy,” Dr. Roger said. ” It’s nice to know that someone has recognized that maybe you made a difference in students’ lives.”
White is also appreciative of being recognized for his piece entitled “Revisited” and believes that his being nominated is a testament to not giving up on his goal of being a finalist.
“I’ve entered this ever since I found out about the competition and leading up to this one year of making it and being a finalist, I’ve got five rejection letters in a file folder somewhere,” White said. ” Even though I have been rejected or not made the cut to be a finalist for five years in a row, I continued to enter and I encourage students to do that all the time.”
Dr. Rogers hopes that through her career, she has influenced people to explore the arts more.
“My hope is that somewhere along the way I convinced this person to say ‘I would like to go teach music’ or ‘I would like to be in this field,'” Rogers said.
White also hopes that he has inspired and is excited about the recognition that comes with being a nominee for the Hunting Art prize.
“I am excited about being a finalist because there is a lot of recognition that goes along with that,” White said. “It’s a very coveted award in the art world. It’s the biggest cash award that I know of in terms of the size of the amount of money.”
While White has credited his recognition to persistence and not giving up on his goal of being nominated for the Hunting Art Prize, Dr. Rogers credits her award as a product of being in the business for more than three decades. Dr. Rogers believes her career has allowed her to gain experiences including being in the first musical held at TJC and conducting a concert with the TJC A Capella Choir and the Vienna Boys Choir in Vienna, Austria.
“Part of that [being honored] is being in the business a long time and being in the right place at the right time,” Dr. Rogers said.
Both of these artists are excited for their big days and are coping with their excitement in different ways.
“I am really just happy to be a finalist, so I really just don’t even let myself go there,” White said. “In the event that I were to win this award it would quite frankly probably blow my mind and I wouldn’t even have a clue what I would do with it. I would have to consult with my family because there the support that keep me going.”
“It’s exciting and it’s kind of mixed feelings,” Dr. Rogers said. “I mean here is this picture and it list things that I have done, which I have been very fortunate to do,” Dr.Rogers said. “Some other part just says ‘oh, this is fun let’s just have a big celebration and put the focus on the arts’ because in some cases the arts are being taken out of schools.”