The College of the Arts at the University of Louisiana has announced that the honoree for the 6th Annual Festival of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s recipient will be Joe Stewart, a Lafayette native and award-winning television and theatre production designer.

Stewart attended Cathedral Carmel High School and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now UL) before transferring to Carnegie Mellon University to graduate with a B.F.A. in Drama (Design).

His illustrious career had humble beginnings. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Stewart moved to New York to work in theatre and television set design. He went from working with stage clothing to Assistant Art Director with the television series Days of Our Lives.

Stewart has worked on sitcoms, award shows, special events, game shows, charity telethons, talk shows, music and variety series and specials, and live theatrical productions. To date, he and partner John Shaffner have received three Primetime Emmy Awards for their work on David Copperfield Specials, three for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, one for The George Lopez Show, and one for the George and Alana Show.  They were also awarded an Art Director’s Guild Award, and a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award.

In addition to being the Festival of the Arts Honoree for the UL College of the Arts, Stewart will also be Artist in Residence with the College of the Arts for 2011-2012.   He will work with theatre, design, architecture and choreography students for the production of The Rabble, a play about Acadian life by Acadian writer Antonine Maillet that will be featured during the Festival of the Arts. Stewart’s specialty is “creating an environment for storytelling,” with which he will be assisting during the production of The Rabble. He will also give periodic lectures on the art of stage and set design during his residency.

The Festival of the Arts will be held March 22-30, 2012. For information as it becomes available please visit the College of Arts website or call 337-482-6224. The COA Calendar of Events is available here.

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