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Arts at Winthrop

Medal of Honor

2010 Recipients

Carl Blair

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Carl BlairCarl Blair has made numerous contributions to the arts in South Carolina as an artist, a member of the S.C. Commission of the Arts and as a long-time art faculty member.

For 41 years, Blair was professor of art at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. Retired since 1998, he continues to paint and exhibit throughout the Southeast. He has encouraged the work of other artists as co-founder and president of Hampton III Gallery Ltd. in Taylors, S.C., one of the oldest and most established commercial galleries in the Palmetto State.

Blair's works, which use nature as his point of departure, have been included in exhibitions in more than 100 museums, galleries and universities and in numerous national and international collections. His works can be found in the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C.; Carroll Reece Museum in Johnson City, Tenn.; Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; Ritz Carlton in San Juan, Puerto Rico; South Carolina State Arts Commission in Columbia, S.C.; and McDonald's International. In 1995, the Greenville Museum hosted a major retrospective of his work over 40 years.

Blair contributed to the state's art appreciation as a commissioner of the S.C. Arts Commission from 1987-1996 and as chairman in 1994 and 1996.

In 2005, Blair received the highest award for a South Carolina artist, the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Lifetime Achievement Award.

Born in Atchison, Kan., Blair holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. He was enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1953-55.

Wrenn Cook

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Wrenn CookWrenn Cook serves as program coordinator for dance at Columbia College and director of the South Carolina Center for Dance Education. Her teaching experience spans more than 30 years; she has taught dance in private studios and higher education settings since 1976, including 12 years in pre K-12 public schools.

Cook is a recipient of the South Carolina Dance Association's Dance Educator of the Year (1996), President's Service (2001), Advocacy (2003), and Honor (2007) awards. She has been active in the development of dance standards, curriculum, and assessment at the state level since 1989 and has presented at numerous state and national dance and education conferences. She has written and implemented more than 43 grant projects since 1990 for various arts education initiatives. She was awarded the Faculty Leadership Award in 2009 from Columbia College.

She serves on the boards of directors of several arts organizations in South Carolina. Her national service includes serving as a member of the National Dance Education Organization's Awards Committee and as national coordinator for the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Prior to focusing her full energies in the field of dance education, she worked extensively as a professional dancer and choreographer with companies in South Carolina, Philadelphia and New York City.

The Columbia, S.C., native started her teaching career in 1976 at Calvert-Brodie Schools in Columbia and later taught undergraduate dance courses at the University of South Carolina, Columbia College and at Temple University in Philadelphia where she was awarded a graduate assistantship in the Master of Fine Arts in dance program.

Cook holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Education in divergent learning from Columbia College.

Joyce Hall

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Joyce HallJoyce Hall stands out for her many contributions as an opera singer and leading teacher in New York music circles.

She holds a Bachelor of Music cum laude with double majors in voice and music education from Winthrop College and a Master of Music Literature with honors in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music.

Her vocal coach for many years was the revered Otto Guth. She was a recipient of a Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant for advance study in voice as she began her professional career.

Her extensive operatic background includes many leading roles in well-known operas A specialist in Gilbert and Sullivan, Hall appeared as the heroines of The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado.

During the last 25 years, Hall has taught master classes in schools and universities across the country. Her operatic students have sung leading roles in the junior companies of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and regional opera companies of the United States and Europe. Music theatre students from her studio appear in virtually all Broadway casts and tours. The technical focus of her teaching for musical theatre students has been to adapt classical singing techniques to the styles of the contemporary American musical theatre. Her well-known students include Glenn Close, Maureen McGovern, Richard Chamberlain, Hayley Mills, Laurence Guittard, Kate Burton, Becky Gulsvig, Jennifer Westfeldt, Sutton Foster, Lea Michele, and Julie Andrews.

Currently an adjunct professor of voice in the musical theatre department of Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, Hall was the recipient of the 2007 Alumni Professional Achievement Award from Winthrop University.

A native of Rock Hill, Hall began nursery school at the MacFeat Nursery School on the campus of Winthrop at an early age. Her K-12 years were spent at Winthrop Training School where there were many opportunities to participate in performance and master seminars at Winthrop. Hall has remained active in the alumni organization as well as taught master classes in the Department of Music.

Morenga Hunt

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Morenga HuntMorenga Hunt is known throughout the arts community as an educator, administrator and an international consultant to community-based organizations in the United States and Europe.

His goal has been to ensure that the arts are valued now and in the future by providing arts experiences for children at all grade levels. He is known for encouraging and facilitating artists, arts groups, and education administrators around the Carolinas to work across state boundaries and to participate in relevant workshops, conferences, and arts events.

He is a familiar face in York County because of the services and programs he provided during his role as vice president of education at the N.C. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center for 11 years. He arranged annual dance master classes at Winthrop University with various national touring companies and served as a presenter for Winthrop University and Rock Hill Arts and Civic Engagement participants, among other projects. The programs he directed while at the Blumenthal Center received national recognition, awards, and support from The Broadway League, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Partners in Education Program, and others.

He advised the Arts Council of York County in the preliminary planning phase of its new Community Performance Center and is currently serving as a consultant with them on fund raising and community engagement. He is also serving as the S.C. Arts Commission's consultant for its statewide Arts Participation Projects.

Hunt has served on numerous non-profit boards, including Arts North Carolina. He has volunteered as advisor, committee member and sometimes mentor to various arts, education and non-profit organizations, including the Arts and Sciences Council in Charlotte; emerging theater company, On Q Productions; Slam Charlotte (national champion poetry slam team); the Afro-American Culture Center (now Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Culture); and other culturally diverse organizations and initiatives such as the Latin American Festival, Asian Festival, and Caribbean Festival committees.

From 1990-97, Hunt was director of the Nia Cultural Center in Manchester, England, where he led and directed this middle-scale theatre in presenting culturally diverse performing arts. He has taught at Bowie State College and Ohio State University, and directed training programs and organized festivals and cultural events in Washington, D.C.

The Ohio native holds a bachelor's and a master's degree from Ohio State University in English education and education administration. He was also active in human rights, civil rights and social justice causes for over three decades.

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