The Art Directors Guild, IATSE Local 800 (ADG 800) is honoured to extend Lifetime Achievement Awards to guild members David Lowery, Greg Papalia, Wynn P. Thomas and Francine West. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will be celebrated at the 28th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, on Feb. 10, 2024.
“It’s our honor and privilege to recognize and award these trailblazers in our guild,” says award show producers Michael Allen Glover, ADG and Megan Elizabeth Bell, ADG in a joint statement.
The Illustrators and Matte Artists (IMA) Council are bestowing their lifetime achievement award on Lowery, who has worked on more than 100 award-winning blockbuster films, with many of Hollywood’s greatest directors, including: Jurassic Park, The Lion King and all three Sam Raimi Spiderman films. He was the Co-Head of Story on Shrek, as well as Head of Storyboards and Associate Producer on every episode of The Mandalorian.
“David’s 36-year career as a storyboard artist is full of blockbuster movies and beloved franchises with every A-List Director in Hollywood. From Willow to every episode of The Mandalorian, including the Jurassic franchise, The Rocketeer, True Lies, and Iron Man, to name just a few, David’s work has spanned over 100 shows and counting. His contributions to the cinematic art of storytelling through his storyboards are a testament to his great talent. We are very proud to honor him and his work with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award” said Tim Wilcox, ADG Illustrators and Matte Artists Council Chair.
Papalia will receive his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Set Designers & Model Makers (SDMM) Council. He began his career designing sets for now-classic films including Coming to America, Die Hard 2, Father of the Bride and The Patriot. As his skill and reputation grew, Papalia added the title of Art Director to his resume, but combined that new role with his previous one. He has served as both Art Director and Set Designer on projects including Air, Godzilla vs. Kong, Hail, Caesar! and Those Who Wish Me Dead.
The Set Designers and Model Makers Craft of the Art Directors Guild say: “We are proud to honor Greg Papalia with our Lifetime Achievement Award. Greg’s work and dedication to his craft have been an inspiration to us all. He has served the members, inspired future Set Designers, and created beautiful drawings and sets on many productions, throughout a long career.”
The Art Directors (AD) Council is also set to honor Wynn P. Thomas, the first African American Production Designer to join the ADG. Thomas has won two ADG Awards for his production design on Hidden Figures and Da 5 Bloods. His additional credits include classic films such as A Beautiful Mind and A Bronx Tale, as well as the 2023 Academy Award Best Picture nominee King Richard. During his long-standing creative relationship with Spike Lee, Thomas has designed the director’s major films including Malcolm X and Do The Right Thing. Thomas recently completed a six-year term as one of three Governors of the Designers Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
“Wynn P. Thomas has significantly shaped the landscape of filmmaking, and his diverse body of work reflects his innovative approach and commitment to storytelling. Beyond his artistic achievements, Thomas is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of designers. Thomas has not only broken barriers but also paved the way for future generations,” says Evan Rhode, AD Council Chair.
West will receive Lifetime Achievement Award recognition through the Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists (STG) Council. She was the first female scenic artist ever hired to work on film and television by both MGM and the NBC Television Network, as well as the first woman to be a Charge Artist at Grosh Scenic Studios in Hollywood. During her career, she worked at the ABC, NBC and CBS scenic shops, on television shows including Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, The Carol Burnett Show and Three’s Company. She also worked on live event programs such as The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards and Super Bowl XVII.
“Francine West stands out as a trailblazer and pioneer for women in the Scenic Arts. Francine embodies the qualities of a hard worker, team player, mentor, and teacher. Her influence continues as she imparts these qualities to the upcoming generation of Scenic Artists,” says Clint Schultz, STG Council Chair.
As previously announced, during the ADG Awards ceremony legendary production designer Lawrence G. Paull will be inducted into the ADG Hall of Fame and director, producer and showrunner Mimi Leder will receive the 2024 Cinematic Imagery Award.