Tuesday, April 16, 2013
During the eleventh annual Medal of Honor in the Arts ceremony on April 12, Winthrop University celebrated the creativity of a nationally known sculpture garden, an acclaimed college voice instructor, a visionary S.C. educator and an Emmy nominated alumna who produces and directs. The event included an evening of performances and a reception in Johnson Hall, all honoring this year's recipients.
Larry Barnfield, who has been the director of fine arts since 1999 at Dorchester School District Two in Summerville, was one of four honored at the ceremony. During his time at Dorchester District 2, he has worked to increase the number of arts opportunities and arts faculty in South Carolina schools and earned the district national recognition. The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education has recognized Barnfield’s work in District Two on three occasions.
He is a recipient of the 2010 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, led two schools which were recognized as Arts Schools of Distinction, earned Lifetime Achievement Award from the S.C. Art Education Association and won a Disney American Teacher Award and Teacher of the Year honors for Dorchester School District Two and Berkeley County School District, and made a South Carolina Honor Roll teacher.
Beginning in 2010, he created, produced and hosted annually six programs during the Spoleto Festival titled “Rising Stars,” that presented artistically gifted youth from S.C. He also brought in more than $3 million in funds for arts programs for District Two and the district earned a U.S. Department of Education grant to create a neighborhood arts-focused middle school.
Barnfield earned a bachelor’s degree in art and music and a master of science degree in art education, both at Eastern Illinois University, in addition to postgraduate work at five other higher education institutions. He is nationally board certified for early adolescence through young adulthood art.
Others honored include:
- Karen Collins -- an Emmy nominated alumna who produces and directs for film and television
- Brookgreen Gardens -- a nationally known museum and sculpture garden located in Murrells Inlet, S.C. which boasts a collection of over 1,400 works by over 350 world-famous artists
- Jerry Helton -- an acclaimed college voice instructor and performer who has received Winthrop's Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching
The Medal of Honor awards have been granted by the College of Visual and Performing Arts since 2001. It acknowledges and recognizes the unique roles of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the arts as well as those who have positively impacted the quality of the cultural life in communities across the Carolinas.