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Photo Courtesy of  The Islander

One Person Can Make a Difference ...

Genevieve Novicky Alban  did.  

GENEVIEVE NOVICKY ALBAN, March 7, 1919 - September 22, 2010

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Genevieve was a daughter of Joseph and Mary Sofranec. Receiving a teaching certificate from Kent State University in 1938, she taught in the Youngstown area schools until elected to public office serving as Clerk-Treasurer of Boardman Township, Ohio until her retirement. She received the Teachers Medal from the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge.   


A prolific artist, she loved to paint and to be around other artists.   In 1989, she put out a call to artists in the local Anna Maria Island newspaper.  Painters, wood workers, sculptors, musicians, and writers, all interested in sharing their experiences, expertise, and the willingness to support each other responded by showing up at the local Island Community Center to meet.     It was at that meeting that the Artists' Guild of Anna Maria Island was founded with the mission to promote art and culture on the island and to provide a venue for local artists. 


Genevieve  was a published author and poet; her writings include an instructional handbook, which fostered reading skills, and the poem, "Ode to Anna Maria Isle." She co-authored "The History of the Slovak People of the Mahoning Valley," which is noted in the Congressional Record. Genevieve is survived by her children, Carolee Monroe, Genevieve Parm, John Novicky, Sally Anstrom, Marita Novicky and Mary Susan Clark, who like her, support the arts.

In recognition of her, the Guild has created the Genevieve Alban Award.  This award recognizes members who have exhibited extraordinary service to the Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island and who are a faithful Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island member and a regular gallery participant.  This is awarded to a leader of the Guild who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in promoting, supporting and exemplifying leadership and is a role model to the members and the public.

The Award need not be given every year if there is no obvious recipient, and the recipient can be nominated by any Guild member and voted on by the Board of Directors.

Alban Award Recipients

2008 – Karen Ellsworth

2009 – Shirley O’Day, Nancy Sullivan

2010 – Chris Huntington, Faye Nierman, Don Sheda, Darlene Holbrook, Judy Strom

2011 – Midge Pippel

2016 – Karen Ellsworth

2019 – Wendell Graham

2022 – Sharon Tarras

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