The Western North Carolina Historical Association presents 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented to Ann Miller Woodford for her work preserving and promoting the history of African American people in far western North Carolina, on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30pm via Zoom. The live Zoom webinar is free to attend and will include brief remarks from the Outstanding Achievement Award Committee Chair, Catherine Frank, WNCHA’s Executive Director, Anne Chesky Smith, WNCHA’s President, Ralph Simpson, and Ann Miller Woodford.
The webinar will also include presentation of the Outstanding Achievement Award trophy and monetary prize as well as a 20-minute film adapted from one of Woodford’s lectures about her publication, “When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina.” An exhibit of the same name, curated by Ann Miller Woodford, is currently on display at WNCHA’s facility, the Smith-McDowell House Museum in Asheville and runs through the end of June 2021. You can reserve a ticket to visit the exhibit at wnchistory.org. About the Award: Since 1954, the Western North Carolina Historical Association has presented its annual Outstanding Achievement Award to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of our regional history. Recipients have included Sadie Smathers Patton, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Ora Blackmun, Johnnie Baxter, The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County, the South Asheville Cemetery Association, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
About the Winner: Ann Miller Woodford is a visual artist, designer, and entrepreneur, a creative person no matter what she is working on at any time. Now in her early 70s, she has dedicated the rest of her life to painting and drawing the spirit she feels and treasures around her while uplifting young people and adults. Using oils, she calls her works representational, mostly southern genre, however, she is skilled at drawing in pencil, charcoal, and ink, as well. She says, “I am motivated by people, animals, clouds, trees, rocks… Inspiration never stops!” As a child in the segregated, one-room Andrews Colored/Negro Elementary School in the small mountain town of Andrews in North Carolina, Ann’s talents were discovered and encouraged by her favorite grade schoolteacher, Ms. Ida Mae Logan. Though Black teachers made very little money, Ms. Logan sent Ann’s artworks, at her own expense, to the Scholastic Art Awards competitions, state and county fairs, and other places from which Ann won gold keys and blue ribbons. Ann reminisces, “Her caring ways were largely responsible for helping me to build self-esteem as an artist and led me to become an imaginative, creative adult.” A school nurse provided a set of used oils, some brushes, a palette, and a Walter Foster How to Draw and Paint Seascapes instruction book that opened the door for her love of oil painting. The early Saturday morning Jon Nagy Learn to Draw programs gave her initial skills in drawing while she was encouraged by her family and baby sister, Nina who often marveled at what she would leave on the canvas board. Having traveled and worked across the United States, Ann built an exciting career in business and art in Los Angeles and then returned to western North Carolina where she founded One Dozen Who Care, the area’s first 501(c)3 organized by black women. Intent on nurturing seeds of change, Ann has always had a personal goal to improve understanding between races, religions, youth, and adults. Because she saw a need to strengthen the African American heritage in far western North Carolina, Ann researched and documented the powerful personal stories of the lives of the seemingly invisible African American people of the region, culminating in her book When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina. Along with her painting, and teaching art, Ann makes presentations on regional African American history to build self-worth in young people and uplift the elders. She inspires crowds with her art, shown in local and traveling exhibits. Her moving portraits of people and animals reveal a love for humanity and all of God’s creation in its myriad forms and moods.
Tickets: https://www.wnchistory.org/event/67th-annual-wncha-outstanding-achievement-award-ceremony/. This virtual event is free, but you must register to attend. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants.
For questions contact Trevor Freeman at email@example.com or by phone at (828) 253-9231.