Press Release: Metropolitan Bank Presents Emmett O'Ryan Award to Leandra Urrutia

For immediate release

MEMPHIS, TN - (Feb. 27, 2014) – Leandra Urrutia, an associate professor and department head of ceramics at Memphis College of Art, is the recipient of the Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration. 

The Emmett O’Ryan Award is given annually by Memphis-based Metropolitan Bank to a visual artist for an original artistic creation that also bears promise for future artistic significance. The honor comes with a $2,000 cash award and the nominating organization receives $500.

Ms. Urrutia was nominated for the Emmett O’Ryan Award by Memphis College of Art.

Ms. Urrutia is ceramic sculptor, but her work also extends beyond the ceramic art she creates and exhibits across the country and internationally.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing and ceramics from Southwest Texas State University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in ceramics from the University of Mississippi.

The Emmett O’Ryan  Award was created in honor of the late Emmett O’Ryan, a founding board member of Metropolitan Bank. Mr. O’Ryan was an avid art collector and artist. Metropolitan Bank created this award to honor Mr. O’Ryan and his contributions to the community. The winning entry and artist is selected by committee composed of Metropolitan Bank associates, a member of the ArtsMemphis board of directors and a member of Mr. O’Ryan’s family.

“Emmett O’Ryan was not only a very influential founding board member of Metropolitan, but also he was a friend to many of us,” said Phillip May, Metropolitan’s Market CEO, Memphis.  “It is important to us that we continue to honor his contribution to both the bank and to the arts.  We are grateful to ArtsMemphis and the nominating organizations for their help in making this event a reality, and we were overwhelmed and thrilled with the quality of the nominees and the impact they are each having on the city of Memphis.”

Area nonprofit visual arts organizations are eligible to nominate affiliated artists for the Emmett O’Ryan Award. Other artist nominees this year included: Rachael Grant, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Nick Pena, Christian Bothers University; Adam Farmer, Crosstown Arts; Haley Morris Cafiero, Dixon Gallery and Gardens; Emmanuel Amido, Indie Memphis; Virginia Murphy, Metal Museum; and Bobby Spillman, University of Memphis.

About Metropolitan Bank:
Metropolitan, the banking subsidiary of Metropolitan BancGroup, Inc., is a $840million financial institution. After its successful acquisition of Bancsouth Financial Corporation and its subsidiary, Bank of the South, in 2008 and its acquisition of a Tennessee state bank charter, Metropolitan currently operates eight full-service banking offices in Mississippi and Tennessee. Metropolitan offers a full range of financial products and services, including personal and business transaction accounts, online and mobile banking and bill payment, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, construction, commercial and consumer financing, treasury management, Xpress deposit, remote deposit capture and merchant card services. For more information, visit
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