By Susan Redden
Globe Staff Writer
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
Carthage artist Andy Thomas was honored twice Friday at the annual banquet for the Carthage Chamber of Commerce.
Thomas received the Citizen of the Year award and his Maze Creek Studio received the artist award presented at the chamber’s annual gathering held on the campus of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix.
The Citizen of the Year is the highest honor given by the chamber. Named for the late Missouri Sen. Richard Webster of Carthage, the award is to recognize someone “who has devoted much time to the improvement and enhancement of the Carthage community.”
Known for works featuring the Civil War and the American West, Thomas’ paintings also include characters from politics, history and other themes. His work has been featured by the National Park Service and National Geographic, and is in galleries and corporate collections throughout the U.S.
Thomas designed the theme artwork for the Carthage Maple Leaf Celebration in 2011, which also marked the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
More than 275 chamber members and others were on hand for the banquet, which also recognized outstanding teachers, business leaders, volunteers and community members.
Two awards also went to Lora Phelps of Southwest Missouri Bank, who received the Chairman’s Award in recognition of contributions to the chamber and community in 2012 and also was honored as an outgoing member of the chamber board of directors.
Karen Fenstermacher received the Athena Award to honor a local businesswoman who has inspired colleagues and helped the local business community. The Spotlight Award went to Carthage Vision Clinic and Greg Goetzinger, to honor a business that has improved its business location, while Scott and Shirley Hoenshell and S&S Computers received the Small Business of the Year distinction.
The chamber presented a new award called “Emerging Leader of the Year,” which went to Sheila VonHolten, owner of Sheila’s Photography. The award is to honor an individual who has started a career and demonstrated excellence, creativity and initiative in the profession, contributed to the community and served as a role model.
Golden Key awards honoring top teachers went to Brittany Nixon, a kindergarten teacher at Steadley Elementary School; Bridgett Triplett, fourth-grade teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School; Jacob Osborne, social studies teacher, Carthage Junior High School; and Jaime Horton, a science teacher at Carthage High School.