Spirit of Carefree Award Recipient for 2016, Harry Vardakis

The first Spirit of Carefree Award was first announced in 2014, underwritten by Sanderson Lincoln, as part of its "giving back to the communities" effort, and is now an annual award given to a Carefree resident who shows above-and-beyond dedication to the community and its residents. 

Spirit of Carefree Recipients
2016 Award Winner Harry Vardakis   
2015 Award Winner David Schwan
2014 Award Winner Arthur Gimson
Harry Vardakis with Spirit Award
From Left: Glass Artisan, Peggy Pettigrew Stewart and 2016 award winner Harry Vardakis alongside Mayor Les Peterson
The Spirit of Carefree award consists of a dichroic glass sculptor, handcrafted by local glass artisan, Peggy Pettigrew Stewart, who is known for her fascination with light and prismatic color in her glass art. 


Authorized and blessed by the Hopi Tribe and Clan, thereby protecting the spirit, the glass is a portrait of a life mask of Native Hopi, Second Mesa. He represents the past, and yet sees and helps guide the future and is the oral historian of his tribe preserving, protecting and guiding the past and future. The colors of the glass change with the light and tend to mimic the desert sunrise and sunsets seen over Black Mountain due to the native minerals of gold, copper and silver formed and melted into the glass at 1600 °F degrees. 


"Transcendence Of The Storyteller"  Series 

"Earth, Wind Sky & Water".  Inspired by Hopi Native American story telling. The various aspects of their culture, people, art & beliefs are intertwined in the glass. Their "circle of life" story is incredibly inspiring, and has been interpreted by the artist into each piece in this series.  The faces featured in this series are members of the Hopi Tribe.  Many of these pieces have hidden icons & attributes that  are part of the Native culture.

More on Peggy and her gallery at: