The Arkansas Arts Council will recognize Jerry Fisk, a well-known bladesmith, with an Honorary Arkansas Living Treasure award during a reception 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Historic Arkansas Museum.
The honorary award is a first for the Arts Council. Ricardo Vilar, a fellow bladesmith from Nashville, will speak during the reception. Arkansas Arts Council Director Patrick Ralston will present the award.
Fisk, of Nashville, was named National Living Treasure in 1999. He then helped start the Arkansas Living Treasure program in 2002 by working with the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the Arkansas Arts Council.
Outside of his public service, Fisk is a nationally and internationally recognized bladesmith. He creates various styles of knives, including the Bowie Knife – a fighting knife first made in Arkansas.
Fisk’s knives are in permanent museum collections, including the New York State Museum and the Historic Arkansas Museum, where Fisk is an advisor. He also holds workshops on traditional knife-making techniques at various locations.
Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Arkansas Council are presenting the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards today in a lunchtime ceremony at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.
This year’s recipients are:
Arts Community Development Award-Steve Clark, Fort Smith
Arts in Education Award – The Center for Children and Youth, Fayetteville
Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award – Murphy USA, El Dorado
Folklife Award – Oxford American, Little Rock
Individual Artist Award – Marjorie Williams-Smith, Little Rock
Judges Recognition Award – Anthony Tidwell, Hot Springs
Patron Award – Jim and Joyce Faulkner, Little Rock
Lifetime Achievement Award – Billie Jo Starr, Fayetteville
In addition to videos highlighting each of the awardees and acceptance speeches, the program will feature remarks by Governor Hutchinson, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst and Arkansas Arts Council Director Patrick Ralston.
The recipients will each be presented with a custom made earthenware jar made by Springdale artist Gailen Hudson.