For more than 30 years, the Erie Arts & Culture Appreciation Awards have recognized individuals, businesses and organizations that use arts-based disciplines or have delivered cultural programming in the Erie region.

This year, retired Edinboro faculty member Sue Amendolara earned the Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year Award for her work in jewelry design and metalsmithing.

The Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year Award recognizes an individual artist of any medium who is process-oriented and has served as an influencer or mentor in Erie's arts and culture community.

This award is named for the late Bruce Morton Wright, a graduate of Strong Vincent High School in Erie, Pa., who served as director and conductor of the Erie Chamber Orchestra and Erie Opera Theatre.

Amendolara’s metalwork has been exhibited regionally and nationally in galleries and museums, including the American Craft Museum in New York City, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tenn. and the Seattle Art Museum. She has also exhibited her work internationally in Germany, Switzerland and Japan.

In 1994, 1999 and 2003, Amendolara received a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and, in 1995, earned a fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic/NEA Regional organization.

Her work is part of the permanent collections at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, Ohio, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

Amendolara concluded her tenure at Edinboro in 2022. During her time as an educator, she invested her time and talents into cultivating the talent of emerging artists enrolled at Edinboro. Now in retirement, she is redirecting her time, energy and attention into her personal arts practice.

Amendolara received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Miami University in 1985 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing from Indiana University in 1988.

She joined Edinboro’s faculty in 1991 as an instructor in Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing at Edinboro. During her time at Edinboro, she served as president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths from 2011-2014.