Meier Achievement Awards for 2012 Gives Thanks for Work of Three Artists

Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier today released the names of their 7th Arts Achievement Awards. Their Foundation recognizes Chicago-based artists in mid-career who push the artistic envelope. “We give these gifts at Thanksgiving to show appreciation for their work,” says Helen.

The 2012 awardees are sculptor Mindy Rose Schwartz, sculptor Bernard Williams, and writer Jack Zimmerman.

Mindy Rose Schwartz is interested in the way an individual’s experiences with and memories of mass-produced objects can alter their intended meaning or function.  She makes sculptures that attempt to show the morphing effect that use, experience, and emotion can have on our perception of things. Her work is currently on exhibit at New Capital Gallery in Chicago. Helen Meier says, “Mindy’s work is textural and sometimes demonstrates a feminine aspect. She expresses the emotion contained in objects.” For more information, see

Bernard Williams is a painter, sculptor and installation artist. His works often reference architecture, history and industry, commenting on society, culture and design. A long time member of the Chicago Public Art Group, a premiere community based arts organization, Williams has produced painted outdoor and indoor murals (usually with youth participation) in many neighborhoods and schools around Chicago and abroad. Tim Meier says, “Bernard shows strong works of iconic Americana. He has a definite point of view.” For more information, see

Jack Zimmerman grew up on the Southwest Side of Chicago and graduated with a degree in trombone performance. He is a Navy veteran, and has worked as a college instructor, piano tuner, newspaper columnist, Ravinia and opera PR man, and for a time was a trombone player on WGN’s “Bozo’s Circus.” In 2010 he released The Gift, a collection of his stories on CD, accompanied by saxophone. Helen Meier notes, “Jack Zimmerman’s stories are harsh yet lyrical and poetic. They speak to our common humanity and our shared experience.” For more information, see

The Meier Achievement Award

The 2012 Meier Achievement Award recognizes past work of mid-career arts professionals with checks for $33,333.33 (which is $25,000 & 33% for income tax).  The Foundation uses nominators.  There is a research phase.  The Board makes the final selection.  There are no applications, no project to submit, and no outcome measurements.  This follows Tim Meier’s directive, “No strings.” For more information, see

Meier Achievement Awardees have won subsequent honors. Among them, 2006 awardee Jim Lasko was Chicago’s 2010 Artist-in-Residence, 2008 awardee Michael Patrick Thornton was cast in a TV series in 2009, becoming the first wheelchair actor to have a love affair written in for him and received a 3Arts award. 2010 awardee Homer Hans Bryant’s Multi-Cultural dance group performed at the White House in 2010. 2010 awardee Terry Karpowicz’ work has been installed at Prudential Plaza for a year. Timeline Theatre received a Tony award and was named best theatre company of the year by Chicago Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. 2011 awardee Nick Sandys has just been named artistic director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

Past Recipients : 

Jim Lasko, founding Artistic Director, Redmoon Theatre

James Bohnen, cofounder & former Artistic Director, Remy Bumppo Theatre

Meade Palidofsky, founder & Artistic Director, StoryCatchers Theatre

Patti McKenny, poet, librettist/lyricist, Founder of Chicago Musical Theatre Works

John Eskola, tenor, cabaret artist

Mark Messing, composer, founder of Mucca Pazzo gypsy marching band & Lullaby Project

PJ Powers, founder & Artistic Director, TimeLine Theatre

Michael Patrick Thornton, founder & Artistic Director, Gift Theater

Homer Hans Bryant, Director, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center

Elizabeth Doyle, composer, cabaret artist

Hallie Gordon, director, Steppenwolf Theatre for Young Adults

James Ginsburg, classical musical producer, Cedille Records

Terry Karpowicz, sculptor

Miroslaw Rogala, multi-media artist

Molly Shanahan, choreographer, Mad Shak company

Wesley Kimler, painter

Jeff Kowalkowski, new music composer

Nick Sandys, director/actor/fight choreographer, Artistic Director, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company