Mary Mikelson, outside her Mind and Matter Gallery on 16 Avenue, will be awarded an honorary degree by Kwantlen Polytechnic University in a ceremony scheduled for May 30. Contributed photo

South Surrey arts advocate to receive honorary KPU degree

Mary Mikelson to be recognized May 30 for her contributions to art and culture

Long-time South Surrey arts advocate Mary Mikelson is to receive an honorary degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

According to a news release from KPU, the degree, to be presented May 30, recognizes Mikelson’s “unwavering dedication for over half a century to Surrey’s arts and culture sector.”

More than 7,000 artists have shown their work at the Mind and Matter Gallery created by Mikelson and her late husband, sculptor Arnold Mikelson in the late 1960s and curated by her after his death in 1984.

The annual arts festival they began in the early 1970s ran for more than 40 years until 2013, and the gallery continues to provide a showcase for both local artists and others from throughout Western Canada.

Currently president of the South Surrey and White Rock Art Society, Mikelson has also served as a White Rock councillor, as president of the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce and as a member of Surrey’s Public Art Advisory Committee.

She also received the Surrey Civic Treasure Award in 2008 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

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