WSCC horse photography exhibition

The Evelyn Burrow Museum is seen during its showing of “Equus” by photographer Arden Ward Upton. Her fine-art photography collection is a series of large-scale images spotlighting the wonder, grace and majesty of horses.

Wallace State Community College

The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) has honored the Evelyn Burrow Museum with the 2016 Organization of the Year award. The award is among 11 that comprise the PEAK Awards that were presented Thursday, September 22 during the AMLA Annual Meeting at Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence. Accepting the award were Museum Director Donny Wilson and Museum Administrator Kristen Holmes.

Representing the highest achievement in North Alabama tourism, the annual PEAK Awards honor individuals and organizations that have had a major impact on tourism in the 16 northernmost counties of Alabama. The Organization of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member organization that has contributed significantly to the betterment and development of tourism in North Alabama in the past year.

Located on the campus of Wallace State Community College, the Evelyn Burrow Museum welcomes thousands of visitors to Hanceville and Cullman County to experience different cultures and enjoy images and artwork created by talented artists. Along with attracting visitors from across the southeastern United States, the museum is open to the college where they utilize the exhibitions as teaching tools for students. Visits to the museum more than tripled during 2015-2016, due to the popularity of an exhibit featuring hundreds of pairs of Nike Air Jordan shoes and Michael Jordan memorabilia. The Evelyn Burrow Museum constantly works to bring in revolving exhibits that appeal to a wide variety of visitors. Recent exhibits have included folk artists Mose T and Jerry Brown, Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Georgia Museum of Art, Images of Australia, just to name a few.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we congratulate all winners of the 2016 PEAK Awards,” said Tami Reist, President/CEO of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. “Their efforts to showcase our region as a premier tourist destination have not gone unnoticed and these awards give us an opportunity to publicly thank the recipients for their continuous hard work and contribution to North Alabama’s $2 billion tourism industry.”

"We strive every day to provide exhibitions and programming to inspire and educate the students and communities we serve,” Holmes said. “It was WSCC President Dr. Vicki Karolewics' vision when we opened the museum on campus in 2010 that it play an important role in the college's serving as a regional center for cultural arts, so we are especially honored to be recognized by Alabama Mountain Lakes with this prestigious award. We've had an outstanding year of exhibitions and we invite anyone who hasn't been to the museum to please come for a visit."

The full list of awards and winners is as follows:

· Organization of the Year – Evelyn Burrow Museum

· Event of the Year – Downtown Decatur 3rd Friday

· Attraction of the Year – Jesse Owens Memorial Park

· Good Neighbor Award – LaRue Kohl, KFC franchise owner

· Northern Star Award – Kathy Marko

· Young Professional of the Year Award – Kathryn Balch, Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau

· Tourism Professional of the Year – Don Dukemineer, Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau

· Lasting Impression Award – Lamar Pendergrass, Alabama State Parks

· Chairman’s Cup – Ron Presley, author and freelance outdoor writer

· President’s Award – Dr. Kenji Hamada, retired optometrist and humanitarian, Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow and Dr. Martha Morrow

· Legacy Award – 2016 Forrest L. Wood Cup

The Evelyn Burrow Museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Currently, the museum is featuring the work of 14 sculptors in the Burrow Invitational Sculptors’ Exhibition “Rendezvous.” For more information call 256-352-8457 or visit www.burrowmuseum.org.

For more information about the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association call 800-648-5381or by visit their website at www.NorthAlabama.org.

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