Wake honoured with Community Arts Builder Award

(Left) Monica Klingenberg and (right) Laurie Gruer stand with Kato Wake, the 2021 recipient of the Community Arts Builder Award presented by the Prince Edward County Arts Council and Art in the County. (Submitted photo)




The Prince Edward County Arts Council (PECAC) and Art in the County (AITC) were pleased to present the 4th annual Community Arts Builder Award to Kato Wake, visual artist, instructor and community connector.

Sponsored by Monica Klingenberg and Laurie Gruer of Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited Brokerage, the award celebrates individuals who have enriched community life through the arts as nominated by local residents. The award includes a $250 monetary gift. 

Previous winners of this award include Hri Neil, Carbon Art and Design (2020), Krista Dalby, Department of Illumination (2019) and Alice and Peter Mennacher, Blizzmax Gallery (2018).

The 2021 selection committee of Hri Neil, Laurie Gruer, Monica Klingenberg and Sarah Moran stated: 

 “Aside from teaching at the Baxter Centre, Kato is perhaps the best ‘connector’ of people we have in PEC, always connecting one artist with others. She encourages people to experiment and to recognize their own strengths. She holds art sales at Baxter to financially support the school. She assists artists in writing grant applications. She single-handedly created the huge thermometer to measure progress in the building campaign for our library. Her art books, her supplies and her ideas are always available to aspiring artists. She provides an endless generosity of spirit to everyone around her and is always accessible for ideas advice or tips. Hers is not a loud voice, but it is eminently consistent, supportive and kind. She has done marvellous things to build our creative community.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that Kato enriches community life in Prince Edward County through the arts,” one of the nominators added. The arts I believe can be the expression of creativity & imagination whether through the visual arts, music, food, wine; or it can be the gift of and ability to live life artfully (caring, passionate, understanding, encouraging…). I think Kato is and has brought all of these things to many people in the PEC community.”

Wake has had a 25-year career in graphic design, painting and instructing art. She is adept in a variety of styles from realism to abstraction, in a variety of mediums, including cold wax, oil, acrylic, and mixed media. Colour is what excites her most. For the past several years Wake has taught painting classes at the Baxter Art Centre in Bloomfield. She works in her Cherry Valley studio and has participated in countless shows including Art in the County, Blizzmax Gallery, John Parrott Gallery, Maison Depoivre, County Contemporary, ArtXchange in the County, and Twist Gallery in Toronto.

“I am truly humbled and honoured to receive this award and be in the distinguished company of past recipients,” said Wake. “I’d like to share this with two outstanding arts community builders that I’ve had the good fortune to work with at Baxter Arts Centre, Peta Hall and Larry Spencer. And of course, I’d like to thank the hundreds of students I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. Thank you for enriching my life and being part of my creative journey.”

For more information about the Community Arts Builder Award, visit: https://artinthecounty.com