2018 Island Treasure Award Recipients

2018 Island Treasures (L to R): Nancy Rekow; Sallie Maron, John Ellis (Photo courtesy of Sound Publishing)

Congratulations to John Ellis, Nancy Rekow, and Sallie Maron, who were selected as the 2018 Island Treasures. The three new treasures were celebrated on March 24, 2018 at a ceremony at Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN).

John Ellis, Island Treasure in the Arts and Humanities

John Ellis is well known for his work in many BPA productions and as well as a founder and performer with The Edge.  In 1995, John and Frank Buxton collaborated to form the iconic EDGE Improv Group and John has been performing with the EDGE for almost 20 years. The EDGE, a Bainbridge Island favorite, performs to packed houses monthly. In addition to his numerous appearance a BPA, John is also a founding member of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and with Frank Buxton created and still curates the smARTfilm series at BIMA. John is also an active member of the Island Theatre group

Nancy Rekow, Island Treasure in the Arts and Humanities

Nancy Rekow is a widely published award-winning poet. She has worked with words nearly all her life. For over 40 years, Nancy has taught poetry and creative writing workshops for all ages and experience levels – privately, at community colleges, for various organizations, and as a visiting poet in the Bainbridge Island Public Schools. Along the way, she’s helped organize numerous poetry readings, displays, radio readings and poetry competitions. Many of her students have published and won awards.

Sallie Maron, the 2018 Cultural Champion

The newly created Cultural Champion Island Treasure was created to recognize a person who, while not a practitioner in the Arts or Humanities, has nevertheless done much for the cultural riches on Bainbridge Island. According to Island Treasure Committee chair, Cynthia Sears, “for 19 years we thought we had pretty much gotten it right and then it suddenly dawned on us that we were only two-thirds complete.” Sallie Maron is the first recipient of the Cultural Champion award.

Sallie has been described as one of our community’s indispensable creators of spaces for artists to thrive and do their best work.  The creation of the BARN is a giant leap forward in the advancement of creative arts on the Island. She and the other founding board members shared a vision to have a facility which serves as a place for artists to share their talent and experience, while learning from one another.

Sallie was also a vital leader in another space-creating project just a few years before.   As Chair of the Bainbridge Island Japanese-American Memorial Association she played a vital role in creating the memorial that now graces and compels the Island. In doing so, she took personal responsibility for our collective honoring of the 272 Islanders who were the first in the country to be imprisoned by an unconstitutional order of our government in 1942.


About the Award

Congratulations to our 2015 Island Treasures, Diane Bonciolini & Gregg Mesmer, and Art Grice (photo: Ellen Bush)

2015 Island Treasures (L to R): Gregg Mesmer, Diane Bonciolini, Art Grice (photo: Joel Sackett)

Conceived in 1999, The Island Treasure Award honors excellence in the arts and/or humanities, and is presented annually to two individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the arts and humanities in our community. Candidates for the award have lived on Bainbridge Island for at least three years and have displayed an ongoing commitment to their chosen field.

The Island Treasure selection process is modeled on the MacArthur Genius Awards Program. Ten nominators chosen from a pool of community members representing a broad range of arts and humanities organizations on Bainbridge are each asked to anonymously nominate one or two outstanding candidates. Candidates’ names and descriptions of accomplishments are then submitted to a five-member jury comprised of individuals drawn from every sector of the Bainbridge Island community, ensuring representation of a wide range of experience. Complete anonymity of nominators, jurists, and recipients is maintained throughout the process.

Each 2018 Island Treasure Award recipient receives an unrestricted $5,000 cash award and an Island Treasure Candle Holder Trophy designed by Island artist Kent Van Slyke.

Island Treasure Award winners

2017: Kate Carruthers and Paul Lewis

2016: Denise Harris and Cameron Snow

2015: Diane Bonciolini & Greg Mesmer and Art Grice

2014: Janie Ekberg and John Willson

2013: Cynthia Harrison and Johnpaul Jones

2012: George Shannon and Michele Van Slyke

2011: Ann Lovejoy and Sally Robison

2010: Kathleen Alcalá and Frank Buxton

2009: Kathleen Thorne and Alan Simcoe

2008: Kristin Tollefson and Alice Mendoza

2007: David Guterson and George & David Lewis (Little and Lewis)

2006: Gayle Bard and Barbara Berger

2005: Jenny Andersen and David C. Korten

2004: Hidde van Duym and Maggie Smith

2003: Janice Shaw and Richard Stine

2002: Frank Y. Kitamoto and Kim & Ela Esterberg

2001: Bob McAllister and Norma Edens

2000: Jerry Elfendahl and Joel Sackett