Chapmans richly deserve arts award

Monday, October 28, 2002

The awarding of the Otto Dingeldein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts was so poignant this year it bears a moment's reflection.

Otto Dingeldein was an accomplished silversmith. He also was Dr. Jean Chapman's patient. Thirty years ago, he badgered Chapman about joining him on the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri's board of directors.

Busy Chapman, though he joined the arts council, declined the responsibility of board membership. Dingeldein went on to have the award named for him and become the first recipient in 1975. He died in 1991.

But Chapman remembered the invitation and, three years ago, became an arts council board member along with his wife, Nona Chapman. Both are accomplished in the medical profession. He's an allergist. She's a Harvard-certified pollen and mold counter. But more important to them is their adoration of all things artistic. She sings, plays the flute, carves and is accomplished in the fiber arts. He paints and sculpts.

It would be difficult to find a more suitable couple for the award. No doubt its originator would have been elated.

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