Hilary Nitka will receive the 2014 Kimball Award
During the members-only opening reception of "Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Tom Golden Collection" on Saturday, Nov. 1 (see story titled ‘Kimball gets wrapped up in Christo & Jeanne-Claude’), the Kimball Art Center will award board member Hilary Nitka the Kimball Award.
The Kimball Award was created in 2009 in celebration of the 40th Park City Kimball Arts Festival to honor the legacy of Bill Kimball, founder of the Kimball Art Center, said executive director Robin Marrouche.
"In 2009, we stumbled across the old archives and scrapbook a letter to the editor that Bill has written to The Park Record the eve before the center opened," Marrouche said. "We were all so moved by the noble reasons why he started the center."
One of the reasons was to provide the residents of Park City a way to "enrich their lives beyond the necessity to make a living," according to the letter.
"I love that expression," Marrouche said. "So we decided, in that spirit, created the Kimball Award as a way to commemorate his legacy."
The award wasn’t necessarily to be given to a board member, and has been given to staff members as well.
"It was designed to be given to that person who, over the course of a year, demonstrated the values that Bill Kimball had exhibited and that complete and unwavering dedication to the arts and the community," Marrouche said.
The first award was given to Hank Louis.
"Steve Kimball, Bill’s son, presented the first award, which was pretty special because he hadn’t been back to the KAC for decades himself," Marrouche said.
The other recipients were Laurie Eastwood in 2010, Matt Mullin and Buzz Strasser in 2011, Erin Linder in 2012 and Susan Lockwood in 2013.
"Jeffery Kimball, one of Bill’s other sons, came in and presented the award to Susan last year," Marrouche said.
The award has been given out at different times of the year, but it embodies what Live PC Give PC, the citywide nonprofit fundraiser, is about, she said.
"Live PC Give PC recognizes organizations," Marrouche said. "The Kimball Award recognizes individuals."
The board and staff voted to give Nitka the award this year.
"Hilary has been on the board since 2006 and, in the past year, has done many things single-handedly," Marrouche said.
Nitka put together the SRAM Bike Art exhibit, where artists turned bicycle parts into art.
"It was her initiative and her sweat equity to bring that to the KAC," Marrouche said. "She set up the Jake Eberts estate sale for us. She’s always ready with a hammer to install exhibits for us. She’s on our exhibits committee and also on our executive committee.
"She’s really devoted herself to make sure our city had meaningful visual arts," Marrouche said. "The staff couldn’t believe how much Hilary dedicated herself to make sure all of our projects were successful."
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