Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at St. Andrews, William J. Loftus presents art instructor, Jack Pinkerton (right) with the award
Jack Pinkerton, an art instructor at UNC Pembroke, received North Carolina's prestigious Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award on October 9.
The 22nd annual Sam Ragan Fine Arts Awards was created in 1981 to honor Ragan and his contributions to the state of North Carolina. Once a year the award is conferred on a maximum of three people for their contributions to the arts in North Carolina.
Sam Ragan was both a journalist and a poet, writing for many state newspapers and penning several award winning books of poetry and works of fiction. He was also North Carolina's first secretary of Cultural Resources and first chairman of North Carolina's Art Council. He was appointed North Carolina's Poet Laureate in 1982 by Governor Jim Hunt.
The award was presented to Pinkerton during an awards dinner at St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, N.C. Stephanie McDavid, chair of the Art Department at St. Andrews College, nominated Pinkerton for the award and introduced the artist. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at St. Andrews, William J. Loftus presented the plaques to each recipient.
Prior to receiving the letter notifying him of the award, Pinkerton said he did not understand its significance until other people in his field began congratulating him.
"They sent me a program from the previous year's awards and that's when I figured out that this must be pretty good stuff," Pinkerton said.
He said he feels honored to be in the company of past recipients all of whom made significant contributions to the arts in North Carolina. Pinkerton said having his work prized in such a way was exciting.
"This is nice. This really nice," Pinkerton said.
The others receiving the 2002 award were author and North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell and musician James L. Morgan, Jr. Past winners of the award are Roy Parker Jr., a Fayetteville newspaper editor and historian, Shelby Stephenson, a poet and English professor at UNCP, and David Brinkley, a retired television journalist.
Ragan was the editor of the News and Observer in Raleigh and later owned The Pilot newspaper of Southern Pines until his death. He was a longtime advocate for the arts through his newspaper and his own artistic endeavors.