The Augusta Arts Awards and Greater Augusta Arts Council Annual Meeting is a staple of the

Arts Council’s yearly events, held each summer to recognize outstanding work and development in the arts in our community. The Arts Awards winners will be recognized at an online Awards night celebration that includes introduction of the new executive board and board of directors of the Arts Council on June 17, 2021, at 6pm. Virtual seating is limited so please RSVP early.

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2021 Augusta Arts Awards Winners

  • Lillie Morris – Artist Award
  • Earnestine Robinson – Arts Professional Award
  • WJBF NewsChannel 6 – Media Award
  • Augusta Housing & Community Development – Sponsor Award
  • Karen Gordon – Volunteer Award
  • Cole Phail – Kath Girdler Engler for Public Art Award
  • Ooollee Bricker – President’s Award

Attendance is limited, reserve your spot early.

Presented by the Greater Augusta Arts Council. Event Sponsors: City of Augusta, Augusta Magazine, Layer TI

To Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtceiurjMtG9OccbRLUkRr529J2tI6yXu1



Ooollee Bricker holding her 2021 Annual Arts Award

Ooollee Bricker
President’s Award

Ooollee Bricker, owner of Vintage Ooollee, is a celebrated community member who works tirelessly to make us all look fabulous.

Ooollee’s work has been showcased in several different publications including the GPB tv show “Hometown Georgia” for her work on the Wet Paint Party & Art Sale and in Southern Living in a section about shopping vintage clothing.

Every year patrons and visitors see Ooollee’s work interwoven into the fabric of Arts in the Heart of Augusta, the Wet Paint Party & Art Sale, Augusta Pride, Augusta Rowing Regatta, Augusta Drag Boat Races & Augusta Futurity events.

She is a passionate volunteer who spends hundreds of hours working on local fashion shows. She has coordinated fashion shows for Wet Paint since 2010 and before then was working with Modish Salon on annual runway shows and special mannequin modeling in the Vintage Ooollee window during monthly First Friday celebrations.

The Vintage Ooollee team has also worked closely with Tim Johnson on several different productions including: Fantasies; How to Sell Yourself; Deep Green; Keep the Engine Running; Ensorcelled; The Raven & the Dove; Rhonda Rivers and the Rapids (in post-production); and Behind the Black Diamond (pre-production).

Ooollee is also the woman to see for local theater costumes, both professional and high school theater. She has worked with groups including: Storyland Theater; Historic Augusta: Walk with the Spirits; Riverfront Theater Company; Fort Gordon Dinner Theater; Augusta Players; Le Chat Noir; Burn Foundation: Storybook Brunch; Augusta University Theater; Augusta University Opera; Enopion Theatre Company; Aiken Community Theater; Westminster; Davidson Fine Arts; Curtis Baptist; South Aiken High School; Harlem High School; Greenbrier High School; Lincoln County High School; Evans High School; Grovetown High School; Fox Creek High School and Augusta Christian.

To say Ooollee Bricker and her team is a force of nature is to, perhaps, make the understatement of the year.


Lillie Morris holding her 2021 Annual Arts AwardLillie Morris
Artist Award

A native of Augusta, Lillie Morris is an admired and widely exhibited painter and collagist whose work has been featured in 34 group exhibitions since 2001, as well as more than 3 dozen juried exhibitions over the same period of time. Since 2010, her work has been the subject of 10 solo exhibitions, both in the United States and abroad. She earned her degree in art from Augusta College where her principal teachers were Freeman Schoolcraft, Nathan Bindler, and Richard Frank. (Few realize that this is actually her second career. She pursued a career in nursing and worked as a nurse for 30 years.) She is almost as passionate about music as she is about visual art and is a skilled and talented musician–a tireless champion of Irish music. Her work–abstract, textured, richly colored, informed by a unique gestural quality–is inspired by landscape, music, poetry, and personal experience. She is–and this is the highest form of compliment that can be paid an artist–wholly original, a great contributor to the visual culture and musical culture of Augusta.

Ernestine Robins holding her 2021 annual award

Earnestine Robinson 
Arts Professional Award

“Earnestine M. Robinson Friends from our youth, Earnestine was part of the activities that became Augusta Mini Theatre (AMT) from the start. She participated as Tyrone Butler’s background singer for the shows we presented at the Wallace Branch Library and was present at AMT’s founding on October 8, 1975. After volunteering for more than a year, she became AMT’s first employee.

For the past 46 years – through low, moderate, and even at times, no pay – she reported for work without hesitation. No other AMT employee has made greater contributions to the work of the theatre: using affordable arts to ensure youth potential is realized.

Even though she started as a secretary in our two-person office, she has performed many duties: bookkeeper, janitor, publicist, actress, singer, receptionist, executive secretary, set builder, grant writer, liaison to the board of directors, building maintenance, floor manager, fundraiser, tour planner, booking agent, and much more. She also typed and aided in the publishing of two of our social awareness plays and workshops. Locally, these plays have reached an audience of 100,000.

Prior to her involvement with Augusta Mini Theatre, Earnestine had no administrative experience and had never seen a live arts performance (theatre, dance, drama and opera). But she jumped right in and grew as a pianist, actress, singer and administrator.

Augusta Mini Theatre is not her job; it’s her passion. Even during and following the treatment and nine surgeries for her many bouts of cancer, she continued working from home until she was physically able to return to the office.

Earnestine is as responsible as anyone for the success of AMT’s alumni. These alumni have gone on to become lawyers, professional actors of stage (including Broadway), television and movies, teachers, business owners, and physicians throughout the world.

Prior to the pandemic, Earnestine submitted a letter indicating her intention to retire. However, she has stayed on to help AMT get through the pandemic.

Earnestine Robinson’s name may not be known throughout the Augusta arts community, but her behind-the-scenes work is the catalyst that helped make quality arts affordable and available to all in the CSRA. ”

Karen Gordon holding her 2021 Annual Arts Awards


Karen Gordon
Volunteer Award

Community Activist. Newspaper Publisher. Jazz Artist. Business Owner. Creator of Opportunities. Celebrator of Black Excellence. Empress of Cool.
@growingaugusta Learn to grow your own food
@gardencityjazz Live music and events
@augustafestivals Community events and area festivals
@urbanproweekly Augusta, GA based community newspaper

Cole Phail with his 2021 Annual Arts Awards

Cole Phail
Kath Girdler Engler for Public Art Award

Cole Phail is a local artist who has created dozens of murals throughout the CSRA, including many local high schools and public gathering places. Cole Phail brought an incredible mural to life to honor James Brown. It is beautiful, thoughtful and really incredible. Not only that but Cole has worked to promote the artistic careers of other creatives in his life. He is an incredible artist. He also shares his knowledge routinely with other creatives, aspiring students and the community at large.



Augusta Housing staff member holding 2021 annual awardAugusta Housing & Community Development
Sponsor Award

HCD has supported, including financially, public art within its Revitalization area in the Laney Walker community. A number of partnerships, specifically with the Golden Blocks project has resulted in the availability of public art throughout the efforts to preserve the legacy of this historic district as it morphs into its future self.


WJBF staff holding their 2021 annual awards placardWJBF NewsChannel 6
Media Award

“WJBF, Augusta’s oldest television station–in continuous operation since 1953–has always lent its support to this city’s cultural community in myriad ways, particularly under the leadership of its charismatic but soon-to-retire General Manager Bill Stewart. To cite just one, isolated example, the Morris Museum of Art’s “”Southern Soul & Song”” concert series, conceived of as a way to expand the Morris’s then-unique mission as a museum that was (and still is) devoted to the art and artists of the American South, has benefited mightily from the steady, generous support of WJBF ever since its founding in 2003. Over the years, “”Southern Soul and Song”” has brought both the rising stars and the legends of bluegrass, country, roots, blues, and Americana music to the Augusta area–many, if not most, of them for the very first time–the late Doc Watson and Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Patty Loveless, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Junior Brown, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Marty Stuart, Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent, and Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue, just to name a few. (The list goes on and on.) WJBF has been a media sponsor of the series since it began, and it has played an important part in attracting and sustaining an audience for every one of these concerts over the past 18 years. They’ve proven to be consistently generous with their time, talent, and resources; providing airtime, exposure, and support. I should hasten to point out that the Morris Museum has not been the sole beneficiary of WJBF’s interest and largesse. At one time or another, virtually every cultural organization and such important initiatives as Giving Your Best, the Border Bash Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta have also benefited from the interest and altruism of WJBF. The station’s mission statement is forthright: “”To envision our responsibilities to the community and act. To anticipate our viewers and client’s needs and respond. To inspire and promote positive values by giving more to the community we serve.”” In the case of WJBF and its general manager Bill Stewart, one can only observe that they mean what they say. And they do what they say. Much to the benefit of all. ”



Executive Board 
Lee Little – President
Tonia Gibbons – Secretary
Trey Allen – Treasurer
Rhian Swain – Executive Vice President
Kigwana Cherry – V.P. of Development
Marsha Loda – V.P. of Programs
Rebecca Rogers – V.P. of Public Art
Mary Schroer – Past President



Board Members
Terms expiring in 2022
• Sean Frantom
• Laverne Gold
• Eleanor Prater
• Dennis Skelley
• David Sulak
• Tamara Toogood

Terms expiring in 2023
• Art Abdon
• Ryan Abel
• Christy Beckham
• Rob Foster
• Josh Gaudin
• Latasha Louis
• Jay Markwalter
• Lillie Morris
• Mukti Patel
• Sanjeev Singhal
• Jody Smith
• Sincerai Stallings


Terms expiring in 2024
• Jonathan Davis
• Karen Gordon
• David Peltier
• Stacy Pulliam
• Mike Sleeper
• Ceretta Smith
• Joan E. Smith
• Wesley Stewart