Hall of Fame

The UAA Arts Hall of Fame honors community members who have made significant contributions to the growth and well-being of the arts in Rock County. Since 2001, UAA has honored those who keep our county creative and vibrant through the arts.

The 2017 Hall of Fame induction is Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Janesville Woman’s Club, 108 S. Jackson Street in downtown Janesville.

2017 UAA Hall of Fame Call for Nominations 



Tony Farrell photo (1)Anthony (Tony) J. Farrell, Sr., Janesville:   musician, private music teacher & mentor, community volunteer and business leader

Tony Farrell has been active in the arts for the past 49 years. While he has served on many boards and volunteered for many community events, his first and foremost interest has been the arts, particularly music.

Starting at the young age of eight his interest evolved as a percussionist.  While still in high school, Tony started his first band, The Nocturns.  In 1966 he started his own business by giving private percussion instruction at Gould School of Music in Janesville.          Early in his professional career he performed at many benefit concerts raising much needed financial support for the arts.  For a short while he was a member of the Beloit Janesville Symphony and continues to support them today.  One of his favorite ventures was, for three years, being involved with the United Way’s successful Doc’s Who Rock production, earning funds for the United Way.

In 1970 he started a full line music store in Janesville called the Band Wagon. After

three years the Band Wagon merged with Voigt Music Center of Beloit becoming one of
the area’s largest full line music retailers. Tony was the first music service
representative to make weekly visits to music directors in the Janesville School District
and other Rock County school districts, thus saving the many band and orchestra teachers from having to bring equipment in for repair or adjustment.  He is presently the longest serving school representative in Janesville and Rock County.  He not only provided the service that was needed weekly but would always go beyond what was expected of him. He gave much free time before and after school to give free percussion clinics to any music class or student that wanted them. He would also tune all of the percussion equipment and replace drum heads when needed.  He always maintained the thought that music was one of the most mind- enriching activities a student could have. Because of that he never wanted one child to be left out. He made sure that any child who wanted to join band or orchestra would be given that opportunity.  Up until a few years ago he was able to provide music stands to each band and orchestra student renting from Voigt Music.

Over the course of his career, there have been over 260k music folders donated to the public and private school music departments of Rock County, a practice that continues today.  He has also sponsored numerous school music special events, clinics, concerts, performances and trips, making it possible for students to achieve their best in academics as well as performance.  He would donate his time and talents on Saturdays as a repair person when schools had local solo/ensemble contests.  He would also give percussion lessons and tune all of the percussion equipment on his own time. He was never too busy to bring a needed instrument or repair to the teacher’s home at the last minute.

Tony is a big advocate of the performing arts. He continues to give back to the community and the local arts through the many hours of volunteering or financial support to the following: Beloit Janesville Symphony, Janesville Performing Arts Center, and The Doc’s Who Rock.  In addition, he volunteers countless hours to a number of other activities such as Freedom Fest and River Fest; the Janesville and Beloit City Councils; Hedberg Public Library; and the Rock County Coroner’s Office to name just a few.   In 2012 he was named the Forward Janesville “Volunteer of the Year”; and one of the Janesville Gazette’s   “People Who Matter”.

He has been a performer for most of his life.  He continues to perform any chance he gets, presently playing percussion at his local church where he is an important part of the music and arts department, giving counsel on their various musical needs and has donated needed instruments to the church.

Over the years, Tony has helped introduce hundreds of children to music and has helped to make many child performers into adult performers. Tony is an excellent percussionist.  He has played in many local bands over his career as a drummer.  Where many individuals only use their musical abilities for personal profit, Tony Farrell

has used them for the good of hundreds of children as well as of the larger community.
He has dedicated almost a half century of his life to musical education and to providing
access to the joys of music to all people regardless of their ability to pay.  It seems certain that Tony will continue his efforts to keep Janesville and the surrounding communities ever so mindful of the gift that music has to offer.

Jim Lyke photo 1 (1)Jim Lyke, Milton:   author, playwright, actor, director, radio personality, and community volunteer

Jim Lyke is not only a creative writer, author, playwright, actor, director, comedian and Master of Ceremonies for numerous events, but he is also a passionate supporter of the arts and has consistently demonstrated this by his volunteerism and involvement in the community.  Jim contributes a large amount of his personal time to acting, writing and directing for local performances and never requests anything in return.

Jim has volunteered to emcee and sometimes perform at numerous community fundraising events throughout the years including as an entertaining Groucho Marx in 2004 for a Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra fundraiser; as emcee at a talent show fundraiser at JPAC in 2006 for JATV; and as one of the hunks in the comedic skits of the “Hee Haw Hunks” for Janesville’s Independent Disability Services fundraising events.  In addition to numerous hosting or emceeing of various community events, Jim was the host of each of the Janesville Area Creativity Awards from 2011-2013.  He not only emcees the JAC Awards, which raises funds for UAA Scholarships for students involved in the arts, but he has assisted in the planning of this event, as well.   In 2010, Jim joined the local “Music for Haiti” committee which raised close to $3500 for the victims of the quake. These are only a few of the many community non-profit organizations which have benefited from Jim’s creative talents and generosity.

Jim is also well known in the community as a writer, with credits including:  a 2001 published book of short stories titled Five Trips to the Edge;  Janesville in Stages the play that opened JPAC in 2004;  several short films including three accepted into the Beloit International Film Festival;  and his “Lykeminded” column, which showcases Jim’s humor and wit, bringing joy and laughs to the Janesville Messenger readers every month.

He is also very talented in acting as well as writing. Jim has won several awards on his own, as well as jointly with various collaborators for filmmaking.  In collaboration with Drywater Productions, “Tripping With the Plankettes”  won “Best Writing,” “Best Use of Dialogue” “Best Use of Character,” “Best Acting” (for the ensemble), and was the ”Runner-Up for Best Film” through the judged 48 Hour Film Competition in Madison. Jim also won the 2013 UAA Janesville Area Creativity Award for “Outstanding Creative Writer”.

Jim was working at Forward Janesville during the time the Janesville Performing Arts Center was in capital campaign mode. He was a great ambassador and advocate for the arts–making the case for a dedicated performing arts space to the many businesses and community organizations he worked with. Jim spearheaded the Publicity/Marketing

Committee and worked to develop strategic publicity and marketing opportunities to raise awareness (and funds) for the project. He continued to carry on these duties after JPAC opened during his service as a board member.

In February, 2004 the staff of JPAC had been charged to come up with a creative way to involve the community arts organizations in the opening of JPAC. The idea to create a show centered on the history of the Auditorium was crafted. After much research in the archives at the Rock County Historical Society to outline “landmark” dates during the life of the Janesville community.  Jim took all those notes and ideas, and adding his incredible creative writing skill, wrote “Janesville in Stages.”  This landmark premier production featured members of 13 arts organizations including the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, for oneperformance on September 10, 2004 to open the Janesville Performing Arts Center.  Jim was an incredible visionary for this production.

In his work as a board member at JPAC, Jim worked with the program committee developing the artistic programming component. It was during one of those meetings that Jim suggested the concept of doing a “really creative” Christmas program at the Center, maybe a live radio broadcast. The JPAC Radio Players were born!  They met with staff at WCLO and the plan was developed to do a live broadcast of “A Christmas Carol” complete with live music and sound effects. This broadcast was a smashing success, reaching thousands of people in Southern Wisconsin and ultimately won a broadcast award for WCLO, and Jim was the winner ofthe Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Award for Best Special Programming for the show.   All the advertising revenue went to the Good Samaritan Fund and a food drive for ECHO also took place.

Jim is willing to not only share his talents, but to cultivate those talents in others. The pastor of his church reveals that over the years, Jim has helped to develop their creative drama ministry by teaching, producing, directing and sharing his acting skills.  “But perhaps his greatest contribution has been his ability to develop and encourage budding performers”, said his pastor.

Jim says that he came to acting late, as an adult in a 1990s Spotlight on Kids production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Since then, he has appeared in manylocal productions such as in Theatre Unlimited’s Guys on Ice, Stage One’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and Bower City Theatre’s White Christmas, as well as in productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, and Camelot to name just a few.

Jim’s most recent, and possibly his most significant accomplishment to date, was the January, 2014 debut of his original play, Mirror Image, which he adapted from his short story originally published in 2001; the production was a part of JPAC’s  first Local Talent Month.

Frequently mentioned in descriptions of Jim Lyke are his professionalism, his attention to detail, his unique sense of humor and his unending dedication to the local arts community.  He has certainly earned a place in the local Arts Hall of Fame.

Past Inductees

Congratulations to last year’s 2013 UAA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Jeff Suarez photoJeff Suarez

Jeff Suarez has impacted the musical arts in Rock County as an educator, director, performer, board member and coordinator of a variety of arts endeavors.

In 1998, he began teaching at Beloit College, where he taught music theory courses, private French horn lessons and music composition lessons and directed multiple ensembles, bands, and the Help Yourself youth choir. He continues to teach there today.

Suarez became an assistant professor of music in 2002 at UW-Rock County, where he formed an orchestra, restarted the big band and brought new life to the school’s music program. He was promoted to associate professor in 2009, a position he still holds today.

Suarez took over direction of the Rock Prairie Concert Band and founded the Rock Prairie Chamber Orchestra, the Rock Prairie Big Band, the Rock Prairie Jazz Combo and a pep band and co-founding the Rock Prairie Youth Orchestra.

He has given free public performances of his own music compositions and others’ music as well as public lectures on music topics. Suarez wrote the lyrics for and composed the music to the UW-Rock County school song, “Go, Rattlers, Go.”

Suarez has served as Walk-In Messiah music director; local church choir director; Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra personnel/production manager and principal French horn player; Spotlight on Kids music director; and French horn player with Brassa Nova, the Janesville Choral Union and other groups throughout Rock County.

Suarez was a board member of Theatre Unlimited and directed a show for the organization in 2011. He served as the UW-Rock County representative to the United Arts Alliance for one year and was board vice president of the newly formed Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra in 2012.

Barbara Mathews photoBarbara Mathews

Barbara Mathews has contributed to the community through her art, teaching, and profession as a beautician.

Mathews is self-taught painter and a member of the Wisconsin Watercolor Society, the Janesville Art League, Wisconsin Regional Art Association and the Wisconsin Regional Artist Alliance. She has received awards from these and other art assciations over the years. She volunteers for Artsfest, the Wisconsin Regional Art Program, Friends of Noah’s Arftic Artfest, Tallman Festival and other art-related causes.

Mathews helped develop the Mercy Hospital program that gives free wigs to patients who have lost their hair from medical treatments. The salon she owned at the time was the source for ordering, cutting and styling of the wigs, a practice that continues to this day and helps patients throughout Rock County.

Mathews teaches a weekly art class in Janesville and offers art instruction each June on Washington Island in Door County.

Traveling is one of Mathew’s passions, and she partnered with a local travel agency to create painting adventures to other countries.

David Lundahl photoDavid Lundahl 

Lundahl, a former Beloit Fine Arts Incubator board member, taught sculpture at Beloit College for several years. He now creates self-portraits—photographs—that are created completely with natural light, theater makeup, scarves and sometimes large mirrors to direct sunlight onto his face in certain patterns.

His innovative use of light earned him the national DaVinci Prize, and his works have been included in competitive entry shows such as the World Trade Center twin towers before 9/11, John McEnroe’s Manhattan gallery and the Wisconsin Triennial.

In addition, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art own examples of Lundahl’s artwork in their permanent collections.

Lundahl has shown his work in competitive arts exhibits nationwide. Locally, he has been featured in the annual Beloit & Vicinity Exhibit at Beloit College and in the 2007 Taste of Culture that benefited the UW-Rock County Foundation.

Previous Hall of Fame Nominees:



…participants in acting, directing, community volunteering, & preserving community theatre


…participating in volunteering, producing, financially supporting, & preserving local arts venues


KJelinek2.JPG - 2Kathleen Jelinek visual artist, art educator

Janet Kassel – youth leader and mentor in music & dance

Vechinsky photo.jpg8Dennis Vechinsky – actor, director, community theatre leader


Carl Balson – educator, director, community theatre leader
Richard D. Severing – musician, conductor, composer, arts educator


Susan A. Blumer 2Susan A. Blumer – voice professor, choral director

Laurel A. Canan
Laurel A. Canan – arts executive, arts leader 

Loren M. Sass
Loren M. Sass – director, actor, community theatre leader


Edie Baran – theatrical arts educator
Nancy Hawkins – visual artist, community activist
Ellen Knutson – musician,community arts leader


Connie Glowacki – visual artist, art educator
George Gutmann, MD – arts community leader


Claudiadair Fitzgerald – visual arts community leader
Marilyn Keating – visual arts instructor
Richard Krake – visual & performing arts educator
Elizabeth “Betty” Reinholz arts educator
Thomas F. Sanborn – performing arts educator


Nancy Belle Douglas – visual artist, art educator
Harvey & Virginia Turner – arts philanthropists and volunteers
Joyce & William Wartmann – arts philanthropists


Carol H. Campbell – arts volunteer and philanthropist
Ellen Jensen Malsch – arts educator


Lois Buell – arts educator
David Collins – musician and philanthropist
Ellie Conway – volunteer arts instructor, 4H Youth  art educator
Bernhardt H. Westlund – musician, arts educator


Thelma Wilcox arts educator, founder Golden Strings
Mary Lou G. Williams – arts educator

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