Burlington City Arts

JANUARY 27, 2017

BCA Announces 2017 Herb Lockwood Prize


For more information contact:      

Todd Lockwood

P 802.658.1270


Winner Selected for 2017 Herb Lockwood Prize

Largest Statewide Prize in the Arts Awarded to Howard Frank Mosher

Photo credit: Jack Mosher

Friday, January 27 :: Burlington, VT: Burlington City Arts is pleased to announce the fourth recipient of the Herb Lockwood Prize - the largest arts prize in Vermont. Author Howard Frank Mosher from Irasburg, Vermont was presented with the $10,000 prize at his home today. Mosher’s wife Phillis and his daughter Annie were present for the presentation.

The Herb Lockwood Prize aims to reward the pinnacle of arts leadership in Vermont by honoring the state’s most influential artists. The Prize recognizes artists who produce significant work in the areas of visual arts, music, writing, drama, dance, film, and fine woodworking—while also having a beneficent influence on the Vermont community. The recipient of the 2016 Prize was filmmaker Nora Jacobson from Norwich, Vermont; the 2015 recipient was fine artist and typographer Claire Van Vlietfrom Newark, Vermont; and the 2014 recipient was actor/theater director Steve Small from Middlebury, Vermont.

About Howard Frank Mosher

Howard Frank Mosher is a Vermont literary institution. A resident of the state for 53 years, he has published eleven novels set in Vermont (four of them made into films by director Jay Craven), and two memoirs.

His titles are iconic and instantly recognizable: A Stranger in the Kingdom,Where the Rivers Flow North, Disappearances, Waiting for Teddy Williams.

His subject is always Vermont, but not in a postcard way. Rather, he brings rough and tumble hill folk to life, exposes racism and narrow mindedness, and finds generosity and humor in the most modest of places. He is the bard of the Northeast Kingdom, although in his books it is called Kingdom County. 

After he was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 (and underwent 46 radiation treatments), Mosher embarked on a literary tour of America, covering 20,000 miles in his aging Chevy Celebrity as he visited the 100 best independent bookstores in the country. His book on that trip, The Great Northern Express, was hailed as hilarious and poignant, half memoir and half an American road book classic.

His craft and character have been widely recognized, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, the Vermont Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the New England Independent Booksellers Association President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

Mosher’s works are landmarks, but his personal style is modesty personified. At one writers' conference, in which the instructors were given 150 words to deliver their biography, his entire bio read: “Howard Frank Mosher is a writer in Vermont.” 

On his blog, Mosher uses his words to praise books by other Vermont writers worthy of greater recognition, to celebrate small bookstores, and to support small publishers—always the ones based in Vermont. He has helped many a Vermont writer with words of encouragement, even those yet to be published.

Howard Frank Mosher is a Vermont treasure in the fullest sense of the word.

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More about The Herb Lockwood Prize

The Herb Lockwood Prize was founded in 2014 by Burlington photographer and writer Todd R. Lockwood. The Prize has no application process, and artists do not know they are being considered for it. Nominations are provided by an anonymous network of arts advisors, located throughout Vermont. BCA is honored to administer this prize created through the generosity of private donors.

The purpose of the Prize is fourfold: to validate the work of the recipient, to energize that artist’s future, to encourage other artists to work ambitiously, and to honor Herb Lockwood’s memory by continuing his inspirational influence.

About Herb Lockwood

Herb Lockwood was an inspirational figure in the Burlington arts and music scene in the 1980's. His impact on the region’s arts and artists has proved to be enduring and profound. The breadth of art forms he practiced, and his influence on other artists in all manner of disciplines, created a legacy that remains inspirational decades later. The Herb Lockwood Prize seeks to recognize a person of comparable creativity and influence.

A native of the Adirondacks, Herb Lockwood moved to Vermont in 1982. He gained recognition in a breathtaking variety of art forms: cartooning, painting, writing, woodworking, sculpture, storytelling and tai chi. 

Above all, Herb Lockwood was a masterful musician. Formally trained on classical guitar, his musical inclinations knew no bounds—whether adapting ancient Irish jigs to a baritone bouzouki, creating a new vocal twist on an old standard, or ripping out riffs on a jazz guitar. The trademark of his work in all cases was discipline, a fastidious attention to craft of the highest standards.

Those standards proved to be magnetic. His Burlington home became a gathering place for artists of all kinds. Young people came to him for instruction; older people declared that he had started them singing again after years of silence.

It must be said, however, that Herb Lockwood was also full of the unexpected. He was a connoisseur of the inside joke and loved whimsy. He specialized in finding comedy in darkness and in the mundane. But behind his humor and modesty lay immense talent and even greater compassion. Herb was a loving man, and his art was but one form of his love. Herb Lockwood died in a Burlington workplace accident in 1987 at age 27.

For more information about the Prize, please visit

Media contact: Todd Lockwood 802-658-1270 or

The Herb Lockwood Prize is an important part of Burlington City Arts, celebrating over 30 years of supporting the arts, which is dedicated to the promotion of excellence, experimentation, and education in all forms of contemporary art. For more information about gallery exhibitions, special events, classes and workshops, please call 802.865.7166 or visit BURLINGTONCITYARTS.ORG