f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

The first Otto F. Dingeldein Award

Posted Friday, January 3, 2014, at 12:00 AM

April 7, 1975 Southeast Missourian

Otto F. Dingeldein, longtime Cape Girardeau metalsmith, stands at left waiting to receive the first annual Otto F. Dingeldein Award sponsored by the Southeast Missouri Council on the Arts. The initial award, a copper sculpture of three doves symbolizing local interest in the arts, is held by Carroll Snead, chairman of the fifth annual Regional Crafts Fair which attracted about 5,500 visitors over the weekend. The award was presented to Mr. Dingeldein on Sunday by Mrs. Emily Rice, right, executive director of the Missouri State Council on the Arts. (Fred Lynch photo)

Craft award presented to Dingeldein

A special award, a grant, a record number of exhibitors-demonstrators and a large turnout combined to make the fifth annual Regional Crafts Fair here Saturday and Sunday the largest in history.

A highlight of the fair, sponsored by the Southeast Missouri Council on the Arts, came Sunday afternoon when the man who is credited with giving arts and crafts in Cape Girardeau the boost it needed was presented a surprise award.

Otto F. Dingeldein, a nationally-known metalsmith here, was presented the first annual award named in his honor. For Mr. Dingeldein, the award took the form of a three-foot copper sculpture of three doves symbolizing his association with the arts here.

Mr. Dingeldein was overwhelmed as he was called to the Arena Building stage at mid-afternoon to receive the surprise award.

Created by Tom Runnels, Marble Hill sculptor, from a design by Central Junior High School art instructor Bruce LaPierre, the sculpture consists of one dove moving downward, symbolizing a declining interest in the arts when Mr. Dingeldein arrived in Cape Girardeau. A second dove ascending symbolizes regenerated interest motivated by the metalsmith. The third dove in an upward thrust suggests the continued community interest.

The inscription at the base of the sculpture cites Mr. Dingeldein for "sharing of knowledge in the arts." The award, from the Southeast Missouri Council on the Arts, Inc., was presented by Mrs. Emily Rice, executive director of the Missouri State Council on the Arts.

She recognized Mr. Dingeldein for proving that "devotion, motivation and commitment to the area of the arts can move mountains."

Mrs. Rice also announced that the council has been approved for a $5,000 grant from the state council. Mrs. Sharon Dow, director of the local council, said the money will finance a variety of community programs.

Approximately 5,500 persons jammed the Arena Building to view the demonstrations and exhibits of more than 200 artists and craftsmen from five states. Saturday's attendance was 2,736. The fair attracted 2,523 on Sunday, according to Carroll Snead, chairman.

Mr. and Mrs. Dingeldein founded the Christian Arts Council here in 1961. He served as director for many years and now serves the council as its program director and representative to the River America Arts Council. The metalsmith is particularly noted for his silver art work for churches.

Here is a list of recipients of the Otto F. Dingeldein Award:

1975 - Otto F. Dingeldein

1976 - Marjorie Suedekum

1977 - Jake Wells

1978 - Dr. Dan B. Cotner & Jean Bell Mosley

1980 - Aileen Lorberg

1981 - Jack & Betty Palsgrove

1983 - Wendy Rust

1985 - Ruth Knote

1986 - Grant Lund & James V. Parker

1987 - Mary Ann Gudermuth

1988 - Dr. Frances Crowley

1990 - Judith Crow

1991 - Carol Berry Horst

1992 - Don & Beverly Strohmeyer

1993 - Bill & Jan Chamberlain

1994 - Nick Leist

1995 - John H. Wiseman

1996 -- Bill Needle

1997 -- Ann Abbott

1998 -- Freck Shivelbine

1999 -- Dr. Edwin Smith

2001 -- Dr. Gary L. Miller

2002 -- Dr. Jean & Nona Nan Chapman

2003 -- Craig Thomas

2004 -- Drs. Robert and Ann Gifford

2005 -- Narvol Randol Jr. and Herb Wickham

2006 -- William Shivelbine

2007 -- Vicki Outman

2008 -- Dodie Eisenhauer

2009 -- Mike Dumey

2011 -- Linda Buis

2012 -- Dr. John Shelton

2013 -- Don Greenwood


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  • Thank you Fred for being there to cover our story last night, and for providing this wonderful overview of the award's history. We are so blessed to have the talents, passions, and support for our community that is embraced by all of these recipients, past and present. Their gifts reside in a variety of artistic forms, and all have enhanced the quality of life in Cape Girardeau, and our surrounding counties. The Arts Council is honored to host this event, and it will remain in our mission to continue this tradition, honoring those that are also highly deserving.

    -- Posted by lori ann on Sat, Jan 4, 2014, at 10:10 AM