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Friday March 22nd 2019

2013 Lawton Cultural Award Honorees Announced

Since 1979, annually the City of Lawton and the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council asks the public to nominate individuals and business or organizations who make outstanding contributions to the arts and humanities in our community for the Lawton Cultural Awards.  The 2013 Honorees are:


Neil West

2013 Roma Clift Montgomery Citizen of the Arts


Neil has performed with both Lawton Community Theatre (LCT) and Southwest Pride Barbershop Chorus for over 10 years and has served in various capacities to include president of both organizations.  He has served as the LCT representative for the Arts for All organization and has been active on the Arts for All Festival Committee for the past six years, currently serving his second year as co-chair of the Festival.  In 2010 he was the theatre’s “Volunteer of the Year” so it is no surprise that on any given weekend you might find him helping with the theatre’s landscape, ushering shows, or painting scenery.  He is currently the show coordinator and music librarian for the Southwest Pride Barbershop Chorus.  In addition, he is very active in his church choir, has performed with Blue Moon Theatre, and enjoys photography. In his nomination it was noted that, “Neil speaks to anyone who will listen about what the arts community has done for him, but I think we should all be grateful for what he has done for our arts community”.


Victor & Martha Leary

2013 Roma Clift Montgomery Citizen of the Humanities


Quiet, humble, understated, and caring best describe Victor and Martha Leary.  They both work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring the art, culture, and humanities alive in Lawton, they may be our own Clark Kent and Lois Lane. They both volunteer for the Arts for All organization’s annual festival. As the unsung “Logistics Guy”, Victor works to plan the festival a year in advance as well as takes off a full week each year just to set up and tear down the festival…rain or shine. Martha is at his side recording, organizing, and quietly giving her time to the festival. In recent years Victor has served as Co-chair and Martha as Secretary of the festival committee. Victor is a former Lawton Arts & Humanities Council member where he worked with their International Festival Committee. Both Victor and Martha have stage managed shows, and/or worked sound boards and props for both Lawton Community Theatre and Blue Moon Productions.  In addition, you will see Victor perform on stage with Martha behind the scenes. In their nomination it was noted that, “it was time to expose Clark and Lois to the good people of Lawton.”


Southwest Pride Barbershop

2013 Organization in the Arts


Southwest Pride Barbershop Chorus has been a cultural staple for 50 years. The chorus chapter is a “Society of the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America” representative. This group is also known as the Barbershop Harmony Society. Under the direction of Larry Campbell and Assistant Director Bill Penn, this non-profit group is comprised of men and boys of all ages and walks of life, with the common love for singing four part a capella harmony and the goal of keeping the whole world singing. A portion of their annual show proceeds allows them to give to various community organizations such as Family Promise, Lawton Community Theatre, Lawton Food Bank, Christians Concerned, and the Toy Shop. In addition, they have performed benefit concerts for Lawton Community Theatre. Composed of all volunteers, they have performed at the Arts for All Festival, the International Festival, Lawton Police Department Awards Banquet, Lawton City Council, the Duncan Heritage Festival, the Duncan Main Street Days, as well as several churches, retirement centers and private parties. In 2013, they were honored by the City of Lawton with a Proclamation for their 50 years of service to the community.



Tim Saupitty, 2013 Artist of the Year

Comanche artist Tim Saupitty is known for his works depicting the warrior and spiritual elements of the Southern Plains culture. His work is a visual interpretation of stories told to him by tribal elders, thus making him a graphic historian. In the 1980’s, he honed his skills as the youngest of the Comanche Gallery of Art group which included national treasures such as Leonard Riddles (Black Moon), Cynthia Clay, Doc Tate Nevaquaya, Woogie Watchetaker and Wakeah Bradley. Tim’s award-winning artwork is collected and exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world. Locally his murals can be seen at the Lawton-Fort Sill Airport, Comanche Nation College, and Comanche Tribal Complex. Cameron University’ John C. Paynter Collection of Native American Art contains more than 40 pieces of his works.  A versatile artist, he paints in the traditional flat, representational and abstract styles. Collectors of his work include the late President Gerald Ford, singer Crystal Gayle, and actor Robert Duval. In 1995, he was honored for creating artwork for the emblem of the U.S. Army’s Comanche stealth helicopter. The original painting hangs in the Pentagon.


Scott Richard Klein, 2013 Educator in the Arts

At Cameron University, Scott Richard Klein, Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, works with his students in such a way, it is apparent that his passion for theatre arts is what drives his students to excel as actors and as business persons with marketable skills.  Cameron University Alumnus had these words to share; “The discipline he taught me when creating my character for a show has been extremely valuable. He has always been a great teacher not only in the classroom but also gearing up for a career in the professional world”, Bryan West and “He taught me to work harder than the rest to succeed, to stand out, to face my fears, and get outside my comfort zone to make things possible. He taught me in a very unique way, how to stick to my roots and be proud of who I am, embrace what makes me different and trust myself and my instincts against all odds.”, Marjorie Negron. Discipline, drive, intellect, passion, intuition, freedom, fearlessness, embarrassing differences; that’s Scott Richard Klein, Educator in the Arts.


John G. Morris, 2013 Educator in the Humanities

Dr. Morris is a kind, generous man and the epitome of a scholar and gentleman. A professor at Cameron University’s Department of English and Foreign Language since 1988, his areas of expertise are modern and contemporary American poetry, American literature, American drama, film, and creative poetry writing.  Since the 1990’s, his dedication to students has included serving as faculty co-advisor for the Magic Lantern Film Society, faculty co-advisor and advisor for the Ebony Society, and coordinator and emcee for the monthly open coffeehouse reading co-sponsored by the CU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta and, most recently, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lawton.  In 2006, in honor of Marian Cary Miles Morris-Zepp, his late mother, he established the John G. Morris Poetry Prize for undergraduate Cameron students.  In addition to prize money, students’ winning poems are published in The Gold Mine, Cameron’s student magazine.  In 2010, he was inducted into the Cameron University Alumni Association’s Faculty Hall of Fame.  His services to the community include being a scholar for a number of the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s “Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma” book discussion programs, board member for several National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Big Read” book discussion programs, and for several years one of the judges for the state regional “Poetry Out Loud” recitation contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, the Tulsa Public Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a guest reader, mostly of poetry, at the Leslie Powell Gallery & Foundation, Lawton Rotary Club, Quest Club, and Pat Henry Elementary School, and he has been a guest speaker in MacArthur High School AP English Classes.  John has also served as a trustee for the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council where his positions included treasurer, vice chair, and chair. He has done all of this and more because he believes in his students and his community.