Cape artist wins Otto Dingeldein Award

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Craig Thomas is this year's winner of the Otto Dingeldein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri bestowed the honor on him Friday evening during the intermission of a performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Thomas, a Southeast Missouri State University graduate, has worked full-time as a freelance artist in Cape Girardeau for several years. He teaches numerous painting and drawing classes, started the annual Cape Girardeau Street Painting Festival using chalk art, paints numerous murals in local schools, businesses and homes, makes street paintings at local events and now assists with the River Heritage Mural on the floodwall in downtown Cape Girardeau.

He has won eight other awards and recognitions for his artistic contributions including first place at the St. Louis Street Chalk Competition and third place at the National Madonnari Street Painting competition in Grazie, Italy. His work is also featured in the Peace Project, a traveling exhibit in Europe of art made entirely from recycled materials, each exhibit addressing in some way the need for peace.

Otto Dingeldein, the award's namesake, was a silversmith who founded the council in the 1960s and, in 1975, became the first recipient of the award. He died in 1991.

Last year's winners were Dr. Jean and Nona Chapman.

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