Edmonds, Shelton given Arts honors

Sunday, January 6, 2013
Chris Edmonds, left, was awarded the Friend of the Arts Award, and Dr. John Shelton received the Otto F. Dingeldein Award for Excellence in Arts and Lifetime Achievement at a reception Friday at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau. (KEITH LEWIS)

Two deserving recipients were presented with awards Friday during a reception held at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau.

Dr. John Shelton, professor emeritus of music at Southeast Missouri State University, received the 33rd Annual Otto F. Dingeldein Award for Excellence in the Arts and Lifetime Achievement.

Chris Edmonds, CEO and president of Element 74, received the Friend of the Arts Award.

"I consider it an honor to have been nominated with the other two finalists," Shelton said. "Thank you all very much."

Shelton taught music education and piano at Southeast for 36 years, from 1962 until his retirement in 1998. He served as the first conductor of Southeast's Choral Union and also as choir director at Centenary United Methodist Church for 25 years.

Shelton has devoted many years booking guests for Southeast's Artist and Lecture Series and recently helped establish the John and Ann Shelton Music Education Scholarship, awarded by Southeast's music faculty.

Other finalists for the Dingeldein Award were Jeanie Eddleman, author of two books and operations manager of Westray Photography and Studio in Cape Girardeau, and Don Greenwood, an engraver and visual artist who has designed logos for local businesses.

The Friend of the Arts winner, Chris Edmonds, has worked in the technology field more than 20 years. In 1998. he formed Element 74, a full-service website and software-development firm in Cape Girardeau.

Edmonds is a member of the boards of the United Way of Southeast Missouri, Chateau Girardeau and Beacon Health, an organization that serves children who are victims of sexual abuse. He serves with Heart of Africa as chairman of its fundraising committee and is involved with Real Hope for Haiti as chairman of its technology team.

Edmonds also is a Stephen Minister with LaCroix United Methodist Church.

"It's certainly an honor to receive the award," Edmonds said. "Our business has been blessed, and it's great to give back to the community."

The other finalist for the Friend of the Arts Award was Dr. Bob McCool, a painter and practicing psychiatrist at the Community Counseling Center.

Murielle Gaither, executive director of the Arts Council, was pleased with the finalists.

"I could not believe how accomplished the candidates were," Gaither said. "I know each of the finalists personally, and without them the art community would not be what it is today."

Jerry Ford, member of the Arts Council's board of directors, said the awards were a recognition of a lifelong love of the arts.

"It's not a fly-by-night thing with the finalists," Ford said. "They're some of the people that make Cape a great place to live."



Pertinent address: 32 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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