2011 Class of Inductees Announced for the Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame

October 21, 2011

The second class of the Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame was inducted by the Frederick Arts Council on Wednesday at the sixth annual Celebration of the Arts Dinner, held at Ceresville Mansion.  The Frederick Arts Council launched the Hall of Fame in 2010 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the artistic ethos of Frederick community.  The Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, and honors those who have made contributions as performing or practicing artists in various disciplines. 


A total of eight nominations from the community were received this year, which were reviewed and scored by a selection committee to determine the actual honorees.  The committee scored the nominations based on the following standards:


-Individuals must have been born or raised in Frederick County, or have adopted Frederick County as their home and base of operations for a period of at least five years.  Preference will be given to persons who have maintained strong affiliation with Frederick County while achieving prominence.


-Individuals must be able to demonstrate that they have made a significant contribution to the enhancement of the arts at the local level and/or beyond. For example, the individual has received national or international recognition through achievements in an artistic discipline, including, but not limited to, music, dance, theatre, literature, film, architecture, visual arts and crafts, folklife/traditional arts, fashion, photography, and the execution or exhibition of other such allied, major art forms. An artist is defined as one who creates, performs, or interprets works of art.  Recognition should also be a reflection of accomplishments over a period of time.


-Must be or must have been involved in the arts community in Frederick County and/or received artistic training/education in Frederick County


The four inductees for 2011 represent Frederick County’s past and present and include Toby Mendez, Claire McCardell, Russell Beaton, and Tom Waters.


Toby Mendez is an accomplished sculptor whose works can be seen across the globe.  Against acclaimed national and international competition, he has been chosen as sculptor of such memorials and projects like The United States Navy Memorial in Washington, DC, the Thurgood Marshall Memorial at the MD State Capitol in Annapolis, The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Commemorative Monument in Cumberland, the, John Hanson statue in Frederick, and many others.  He has also been commissioned for eight coins for the United States Mint.


Fashion designer Claire McCardell is acknowledged for her creation of the “American Look” and included contributions such as the Popover dress, spaghetti ties, wrap-and-tie separates, ballet shoes for everyday footwear, and many others.  McCardell was named one of the ten best designers of women’s apparel in the United States.    Her work was recognized by President Harry S. Truman, who presented her with the Women’s National Press Club Award, making her the first fashion designer to be voted one of America’s Women in Achievement. In addition to this award, McCardell became the third fashion designer to ever be featured on the cover of Time magazine.  In 1990, Life magazine named her one of the 100 most important Americans of the twentieth century.    


Russell Beaton has served as a Curriculum Specialist for Visual and Performing Arts for Frederick County Public Schools for the past 13 years.  However, his primary artistic accomplishments come with his role as a teacher of Irish Dance, which he has done in collaboration with a local comprehensive dance school for over twenty years.  Beaton is a certified teacher and certified adjudicator from the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin:  He has adjudicated major international Irish Dance Championships including the All Ireland, European, North American, Great Britain, and World Championships.  He was appointed Examiner by the Irish Dance Commission to serve on panels designated to certify new teachers and judges of Irish dancing and served as a certification examiner in Los Angeles; Toronto; Manchester, England; Dublin, Ireland; Sydney, Australia; and Boston.


Tom Waters had many opportunities to leave and probably achieve much more fame for himself as his dream was to dance professionally.  However, he chose to remain in Frederick, adding so much to our community.  Tom’s legacy in his 50 years as a dance instructor allowed him to train many dancers, some of whom went on to have careers in dance — from Broadway to cruise ships to passing their passion for dance on to the next generation.  He took students to national dance conventions and mentored many to become strong dancers and fine citizens.  At Artistic Dance Studios he produced national competition winners in tap and jazz dancing, including Mr. Dance 1993.


The Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame resides at the Cultural Arts Center, a 14,000 square foot arts incubator and community arts space.  At the Cultural Arts Center, a plaque will be installed for each year, providing an interactive educational opportunity for the general public.  A plaque dedication ceremony will be held on Friday, November 4th at 7 p.m.  Each inductee also receives a commemorative plaque in recognition of his or her recognition.  Nomination forms for 2012 will be available in the Spring.  For more information, call 301-662-4190.