Conway Alliance for the Arts

7 receive awards at the CAFTA Awards Banquet

Conway Alliance for the Arts (CAFTA) celebrated its annual Arts Awards at The Max event venue in downtown Conway on Tuesday, June 20. These awards include:

  • Outstanding Student Achievement (K-4): Skylen Boyd
  • Outstanding Student Achievement (5-8): Zélie Vaughan
  • Outstanding Student Achievement (9-12): Jasmine DeFreitas
  • Outstanding Student Achievement (College): Evan Gilliard
  • Gene Hatfield Outstanding Individual Artist: Jeanetta Darley
  • CAFTA Advocate for the Arts: Marilyn Rishkofski
  • Outstanding Arts Educator: Roger Bowman

The award for Roger Bowman, who passed away last month, was received on his behalf by his wife of over 49 years, Jima Clark Bowman. In addition to being a prolific working artist, Roger Bowman was a retired professor of art, having taught at several universities but most recently at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) for 26 years.

Skylen Boyd, a fifth-grade student and “fashionista,” is already a star in Conway’s Young Designers Academy. She’s created bags, clothes, and other items by hand and recently placed third in a contest hosted by the Greenbrier Art Jam.

Nominations described Zélie Vaughan as “an artist, a poet, a jewelry-maker, and an advocate for change in her Simon Middle School.” Jasmine DeFreitas is already an accomplished singer/songwriter. The Conway Junior High School choir performed her original composition, “I’m Open,” just last school year.

Evan Gilliard
Evan Gilliard

Evan Gilliard is a senior at UCA majoring in art with an emphasis in sculpture. He works tirelessly toward graduating this December and volunteers at community events like Conway Art Walk. Jeanetta Darley is a long-established Conway artist with “excellent technical skill” and a “willingness to educate both peers and aspiring artists,” according to one nomination.

Marilyn Rishkofski has advocated for all arts in Conway for many years. She’s supported the Conway League of Artists, CAFTA, and has recently started the St. Peter’s Artists Collective (SPARC) at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, where she will help feature artists in the historic building.

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