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September 18, 2007
Newport stone carver receives national art award
A Newport stone carver became the first Rhode Islander to receive a national award for folk and arts given out today in Washington.
Nicholas Benson, a third-generation stone-letter carver and calligrapher, was among a dozen recipients of the 2007 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)’s National Heritage Fellowship, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, who delivered the ceremony's keynote address.
“Nick’s work has added immeasurably to our state and our nation’s cultural heritage," Whitehouse said in the statement. "His dedication to the traditional forms of stone carving will help ensure that they survive for generations to come.”
The National Heritage Fellowship is the highest public honor awarded for folk and traditional art -- a fellowship in its 25th year.
Benson oversees the John Stephens Shop, founded in 1705 on Newport’s Thames Street. His work, and that of his father, graces the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, the World War II Memorial, the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, and the gravestones of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in Washington, D.C.; the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama; the Poet's Corner in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Mike McKinney at 4:40 PM | Permalink
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