WBU professors honored at Golden Nail Awards 

Release Date: May 5, 2009    

AMARILLO – Wayland Baptist University professors Jeff Kensmoe and Dr. Candace Keller were honored at the Golden Nail Awards in Amarillo on May 1. Kensmoe, director of vocal studies and opera/musical theatre, and Dr. Keller, professor of art, were awarded for contributions to their fields.

The Golden Nail Awards committee seeks to honor those individuals for their contributions in the field of fine arts throughout the Panhandle region of Texas. A special ceremony was held Friday, May 1, to recognize the individuals for their work throughout the year.

Wayland’s Children’s Opera Program, directed by Kensmoe was one of three programs to receive a Golden Touch Award for “unique programming efforts that attempt to bring arts opportunities to the people.” Kensmoe received the award as director of the program.

The Children’s Opera program is in its third year of presenting opera to the children of Plainview and the surrounding areas. Each fall, the group travels into area schools for performances as well as invites school children and their teachers to campus to attend performances. In the fall of 2008, the opera program collaborated with the Children’s Chorus of Plainview, under the direction of Debra Flournoy, to present Amahl and the Night Visitors. The young chorus members served as the town children in the presentation and worked alongside Wayland students and musicians.

Dr. Keller received the Distinguished Volunteer Award for her work with various organizations representing cross-disciplinary leadership in the areas of visual arts, theatre and music. Dr. Keller is actively involved with the Plainview Symphony board of directors, Main Street Four Points Committee, the Citadelle Art Foundation advisory committee, Main Street Program Tourism board, Plains Art Association and the Plainview Cultural Arts Council. She received the Silver Star Award in 2008 for her service to the arts in Plainview. As well as fulfilling her duties as an art professor at Wayland, she is also curator of the Abraham Art Gallery.