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Sanibel residents win Angel of the Arts Awards

By Staff | Apr 7, 2009

Sanibel shined brightly during a star studded art awards ceremony in Fort Myers on Monday night.

Two Sanibel residents, Lorraine Vail and Shareen Groce won an Angel of the Arts Award.

The 6th annual event designed to give recognition to artists and supporters of the arts throughout the region drew a crowd at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre where the Angel awards were given out.

Vail is named Literary Artist of the Year for her work with ArtPoems and overall involvement in the arts community. Sanibel resident Joe Pacheco, the 2008 Literary Artist of the Year, presented Vail.

“I couldn’t think of a better successor to that award than Lorraine Vail,” said Joe Pacheco.

Tears dotted Vail’s face as she accepted the smooth glass Angel award.

“Here is a moment in the creative process when everything comes together known as the aha moment,” Vail said. “This is my aha moment.”

Shareen Groce coordinator of the Founders Art Gallery at BIG ARTS and gift shop, is elated with winning an Angel Award.

“I thought I was going to cry,” she said. “I absolutely did not expect to win.”

In fact Groce said she has been nominated every year since the event began and has never won until now. She joked about and said her winning was like Susan Lucci finally winning the Daytime Emmy after 19 nominations.

Groce is quick to share the glory with her husband William who helps her with behind the scenes tasks such as picking up art work from stranded artists. She also gives thanks to BIG ARTS.

“We have a terrific organization,” she said.

Sanibel teen Kacie Phillips, a nominee for Young Artist of the Year, wowed the audience with her rendition of “Cry Me a River.”

She is the 2009 Young Artists Award Winner for Overall Contemporary Voice/Musical Theatre Winner and the Overall Event Winner.