Friends of Arts NC State Board Awards the Bowers Medals

Bowers medals

The Friends of Arts NC State Board of Advisors has presented the 2019 Bowers Medal of Arts to Robert Black, Ormond Sanderson, and Bing Sizemore. The awards were presented in a ceremony in the Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre on November 1.

Robert Black and Ormond Sanderson first met as teachers at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in the late 1950s. Robert attended NC State before studying design at Parsons School of Design in New York City and the University of Georgia. Ormond earned degrees from the University of Michigan School of Music – and took a pottery class at NC State. In 1959 they built Straw Valley, a studio and retail space located between Durham and Chapel Hill. It was there that they met Charlotte Wainwright, former curator and director of the Gregg Museum. Since then, they have been outstanding supporters of the museum and the arts at NC State. They reside in Burlington, NC, surrounded by the art they have created and collected across a shared lifetime. In 2016, Robert and Ormond made a transformative gift that will provide support for museum exhibitions and acquisitions. An exhibition of their personal artwork was displayed in their named gallery in the Gregg Museum in 2018.

Bing Sizemore received a B.S. in Textile Chemistry from NC State in 1971. He worked in textiles with Cone Mills and Burlington Industries until 1983 when he entered the financial services industry. Bing is the past chair of the Friends of Arts NC State Board of Advisors and is a current member of the NC Museum of Art Foundation Board and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board. He is a lifetime member of the NC State Alumni Association and an avid Wolfpack Club supporter. Bing is a longtime supporter of the Arts NC State and was instrumental during the Gregg Museum capital campaign, serving as an executive member of the campaign committee. In recognition for his dedication to the museum, the entry plaza bears his family name.

The Bowers Medal of Arts was established in 2000 to recognize and celebrate the the vital role that Henry Bowers played in the development of and support for the visual and performing arts at NC State University. As associate vice chancellor for student affairs, Bowers committed himself to the goal of making the arts an inseparable part of the educational experience for all NC State students. He worked ceaselessly to create opportunities for students to have access to a full range of the arts, whether as engaged and enlightened audiences or creative and innovative participants.

This article was originally published in the spring 2020 issue of #creativestate, the official magazine of Arts NC State.