Garfield creator to receive Governors Arts Awards

The Indiana Arts Commission announced Jim Davis, the creator of the Garfield comic strip, will be one of the recipients of the Governor's Arts Awards.

“The Governor’s Arts Awards recognize significant contributions to and achievement in the arts, but this year’s event will have the added notable significance of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Indiana Arts Commission and has been designated a legacy project of the Indiana Bicentennial,” said Governor Mike Pence in a press release. “This year’s recipients have contributed greatly to the cultural heritage of our great state through their creative talents and dedication. The First Lady and I look forward to honoring their achievements.”

Davis was born in Marion and lived on a farm with his family and 25 cats. He attended Ball State and majored in art and business.

Garfield debuted in 1978 in 41 newspapers. It is now in nearly 2,100 newspapers worldwide.

“It is indeed an honor to be an Indiana Governor’s Arts Award recipient,” Davis said in a press release. “This recognition further validates cartooning as a legitimate art form, and, I might add, a uniquely American art form. Joseph Pulitzer first published a comic strip called The Yellow Kid in the New York World in 1895. That’s even before Garfield!”

Davis resides in Albany, Indiana where he and his staff produce Garfield at Paws, Inc. headquarters, which employs nearly 40 artists and licensing administrators.

Davis will be honored at a ceremony at 5:30 p.m., April 9 at the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University.

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