COLUMBIA — The Columbia Image Awards Committee held a recognition ceremony Thursday evening at Reynolds Alumni Center.
The Image Awards are meant to recognize businesses and residents who enhance Columbia.
At the ceremony, six Image Awards were given out to acknowledge different Columbia sites that demonstrate outstanding commercial development, historic preservation, rehabilitation of existing buildings landscape and architectural design.
The award recipients were:
- Development of Distinction Award: 10th & Park complex (Putnam Studio, Berlin Theatre & Cafe Berlin)
- Historic Preservation Award: Berry Building
- Inspiration Award: Key to the City
- Phoenix Award: The Club at Old Hawthorne
- Ray Rothenberger Award: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at Battle Garden
- Striking Structure Award: MU Mid-Campus Housing Complex
Each of the Image Award winners received a marble-based sculpture titled "Imagine," exclusively designed by artist Susan Taylor Glasgow for the program. The winners' names and their award category were inscribed on the sculpture.
Sarah Skaggs, a program specialist for the Office of Cultural Affairs, received the inspiration award on behalf of the city and the office. She said they were completely surprised by the result.
"We’re a very small department, so it’s great to get recognition on this level; it’s definitely a great honor for the city," she said. "We really believe in the work we do, and we really think it does exactly what the mission of this award is trying to honor."
The Image Awards Committee consists of seven members. It was established in 2006, according to the committee's website. They hosted their first recognition ceremony in 2009.
The committee was the brainchild of Lorah Steiner, the former executive director of the Columbia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
"She had this vision to create these awards where we would recognize business and institutional leaders for their efforts in helping beautify our city," LeAnn Stroupe, current chairwoman of the committee, said.
Mary Kroening, who is also a member of the committee, said she thinks this program brings different people from the community together. She also agrees that the city deserves the inspiration award.
"Every day I walked by, I am still amazed," she said. "People really noticed it and comment about how beautiful the sculpture is."
Eighteen sites were nominated this year. Entry packets were sent in in June and the judges paid visits to the sites in July to make final decisions on the awards.
Stroupe said the program is grass-roots oriented and she wishes everyone in the community to participate and get involved. She anticipates the next Columbia Image Awards program will be held in 2013.