Tom Robinson of Catalyst accepted the Top Muse award at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday night. (Photo by Travis Fullerton, © 2008 VMFA) Urban blight in Richmond so frustrated Tom Robinson six years ago that he began a project he called Vacant Spaces = Artful Spaces to ask owners of vacant buildings […]
Tom Robinson of Catalyst accepted the Top Muse award at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday night.
(Photo by Travis Fullerton, © 2008 VMFA)
Urban blight in Richmond so frustrated Tom Robinson six years ago that he began a project he called Vacant Spaces = Artful Spaces to ask owners of vacant buildings for permission to clean their windows, paint, install draperies and even add lighting so that local artists could display their work in the transformed spaces.
“The ‘new look’ immediately attracts positive attention,” says Robinson, who owns Catalyst, a real estate development company.
At a celebration last night, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts awarded Catalyst its Top Muse award for exceptional creativity in business. Eight other Virginia companies also won VMFA Muse awards. They are The Art Cheerleaders, Belmont Butchery, Impact Makers, Momentum Resources, Project: SoldierHelp, Ravenchase Adventures, Stephens & Company, and Watershed Architects.
The awards are sponsored by the VMFA Business Council, which promotes an active dialogue between Virginia’s business community and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“The 2008 Muse award winners reflect the state’s economic and the creative diversity of Virginians,” says VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. “The Muse awards offer the commonwealth’s business community a forum in which leaders and entrepreneurs can come together to acknowledge the major role that creativity plays in their businesses. VMFA – itself a resource for stimulating creative inspiration through its collections, exhibitions and programs – is delighted to provide that forum.”
The nine winners were selected by a panel of judges who reviewed each of 18 semifinalists’ applications. The semifinalists had been winnowed down from 74 applications. Panel members were Bill Chapman, co-founder, former president and creative director of RightMinds, now with Enon Hall renovation project; Teresa DiMarco, managing director at COPC and artist and former CEO of First Health Services; Kelly O’Keefe, CEO of O’Keefe Brands and executive education director at the VCU BrandCenter; Jeff Segal, CTO of Cinea/Dolby Laboratories; and Susan Winiecki, editor-in-chief of Richmond Magazine.
Muse award winners receive cast-aluminum spiral trophies, designed and produced by Cushing Manufacturing Co., that are patterned after a chambered nautilus, symbolizing the natural evolution of creativity. Winners and semifinalists also receive a complimentary one-year VMFA Corporate Patron membership (valued at $1,000) and recognition in a variety of media.
Muse Awards sponsors for 2008 were Richmond Magazine, CXI, SunTrust, RBC Wealth Management, AMPA Events, and Creative Office.
The eight Muse award winners provide a variety of creative services:
- The Art Cheerleaders raise awareness of the value of creative expression and lobby for funding of the arts and arts education.
- Belmont Butchery is an artisan butcher shop that seeks to combine passion for an age-old craft and quality products.
- Impact Makers provides strategic consulting services and contributes all profits to charitable community partners, thereby transforming economic value into social value for the community.
- Momentum Resources helps women balance family and career demands by matching women and businesses.
- Project: SoldierHelp provides resources for former servicemen and -women centered on a software package titled “Healing the Soul.”
- Ravenchase Adventures creates customized treasure hunts, adventure races and “advergaming” events to allow participants to see the “new” around them.
- Stephens & Company invented and sells CharCones – pre-stacked charcoal briquettes packaged in a combustible container.
- Watershed Architects is a design firm that seeks to build healthy, sustainable communities through sound ecological principles.
The VMFA Business Council is sponsored by Hilb Rogal & Hobbs.
– The information above was provided by Suzanne Hall at the VMFA