On September 10, 2016, the John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio will present its annual top collector honor, the Vallone Award, to Vivien Azer. Azer, a financial analyst in New York City, is the first non-Houston-resident to receive the prize since its inception in 2009. The Vallone Award is named after Houston’s most famous restaurateur, Mr. Tony Vallone and his wife Donna, the 2010 winners of the top collector accolade.
Azer met artist John Ross Palmer in 2015 when they volunteered on a Habitat for Humanity build in Trinidad & Tobago. First attracted to Palmer’s spirit and keen mind for business, Azer soon fell in love with his talent and abstract paintings. In March of 2016, Azer traveled to Houston and was treated to a private dinner in Palmer’s chic Historic Houston Heights art gallery. That evening Azer selected a classic Palmer Escapism painting as well as a spectacular piece by one of the artists in Palmer’s prestigious Escapist Mentorship Program, Hugo Perez. Later this year, while overseas on another Habitat build in Chile, Azer added Carnivale panels to her collection of Palmer originals. At the conclusion of her volunteering, Palmer created an original painting of the Chilean mountains for his 2016 top collector and gifted prints of the piece to all of her teammates on behalf of Azer. Honoring Azer with the 2016 Vallone Award recognizes not only her tremendous support of Palmer’s career but also her worldwide philanthropic work and boundless generosity of spirit.
Azer is humbled by receiving the Vallone, “I am truly honored to be recognized as a supporter of John’s work, to which I feel so grateful to have been exposed. It’s clearly apropos that we met through a Habitat build. When I delight in John’s work hanging on my walls, I am reminded of the importance of being present. John’s commitment to that through service and mentorship rings through in his work and it inspires me every day.”
Prior Vallone Award winners include Christopher F. Brown, LCSW, MBA (2009), the Vallone Family (2010), David, Lamar, Steven & Brittany Douglas (2011), Brian & Janet Franklin (2012), Dr. Lynn Dickens (2013), Karen Bean (2014) and Steve & Darlene Steen, Morgan Steen and Chris & Jennifer Black (2015).
If you have any questions about the Vallone Award, its history, or its 2016 recipient Vivien Azer, please contact gallery co-owner Ryan Lindsay at 713-392-6882 or [email protected].