The Kennewick Arts Commission honored a hotel, an organization promoting the arts and a city employee.
The 2012 Energize the Arts awards were announced at the Kennewick City Council meeting this week.
Linda Moran, vice chairwoman of the commission, presented the awards -- lightning bolts of clear plastic on a black base -- for visual and performing arts along with a special recognition, the Heritage Award.
She said the commission's goal is to recognize people and organizations who make a special contribution to the arts that enhance and enrich the quality of life in the community for residents and visitors.
"One example of how art beautifies what could otherwise be a mundane landscape is the artwork in the roundabouts," she said.
The city could have planted grass and other water hogging plants, which can be expensive to maintain. Instead, the council gave the commission seed money to commission and install artwork, Moran said.
"One of our most recent installations is in the Southridge area -- a neighborhood that's all about family and fun. For that one, the artist created happy human sculptures," Moran said.
By publicly recognizing contributions so many have made to community arts, Moran said the commission hopes to inspire future works and help to develop a greater public awareness and appreciation for them.
w The Visual Arts award went to Kennewick project engineer Steve Plummer for his support and efforts to help bring art to the roundabouts in the city.
"He's been instrumental in our success, from the inception of the idea, to helping us get the money. He's gone the extra mile in guiding and advising the Arts Commission throughout the process these past years," Moran said.
w The Performing Arts award went to the Clover Island (Inn) Concerts on the River series.
Moran congratulated Mark Blotz, general manager of the hotel, and his team for developing a venue that attracts musicians who otherwise may never have come to Kennewick.
"Getting an award for something you love to do is pretty cool," Blotz said, holding it high.
w A special recognition, the Heritage Award, went to the committee of merchants which organizes and promotes the First Thursday Art Walk in downtown Kennewick.
It was accepted by Brook Yount, owner of You & I Framing and Gallery, on behalf of all the current and past committee members.
The monthly art walk -- which showcases art, music, the boutiques and shops in Historic Downtown Kennewick -- began eight years ago and has been growing since, Yount said.
"Each month we see 25 to 30 percent new faces ... being exposed to all we have to offer downtown. We've developed quite a local art scene, and the art walk is helping to establish downtown Kennewick as the area to go to for arts and entertainment," Yount said.