Peter Walker, the man with a plan for transforming campus, is the first recipient of the newly created Richard Brettell Award in the Arts. With a generous gift from philanthropist Margaret McDermott, UT Dallas created the biennial award to recognize the lifetime achievements of established artists in any medium.
A renowned landscape architect with more than 50 years of experience in practice and teaching, Walker designed the ongoing enhancement project that includes a magnolia tree-lined mall, a trellised plaza and a wooded area surrounding University Parkway.
Walker received $150,000 and participated in a campus residency that included lectures and interactions with faculty and students.
“I am grateful to the University, Professor Brettell and our great patron, Margaret McDermott,” Walker said during the award presentation in the spring. “Working on the campus over the years has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my career.”
The award honors Richard Brettell, the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair. He is also the founding director of the University’s Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.
“The arts, especially through the leadership of Mrs. McDermott, have come to play an increasingly important role at UT Dallas,” Brettell said. “This award will further emphasize that role and ensure that artists in all mediums — architects, photographers, dancers, digital artists, choreographers, poets, novelists — will regularly visit UT Dallas and the Dallas metroplex.”