Herb Lockwood Prize in the Arts

About Herb Lockwood

Those standards proved to be magnetic. His Burlington home became a gathering place for artists of all kinds. Young people came to him for instruction; older people declared that he had started them singing again after years of silence.

It must be said, however, that Herb Lockwood was also full of the unexpected. He was a connoisseur of the inside joke and loved whimsy. He specialized in finding comedy in darkness and in the mundane. But behind his humor and modesty lay immense talent and even greater compassion. Herb was a loving man, and his art was but one form of his love.

When Herb died in a Burlington workplace accident in 1987, his impact did not diminish. First, his friends and fans pulled together recordings and drawings to make posthumous CDs and books. Then they continued creating, and many of them persist to acclaim to this day.

Listen to Herb Lockwood performing in 1984

A native of the Adirondacks, Herb Lockwood moved to Vermont in 1982. Immediately he gained recognition in a breathtaking variety of art forms: cartooning, painting, writing, woodworking, sculpture, storytelling and tai chi.

But above all, Herb was a masterful musician. Formally trained on classical guitar, his musical inclinations knew no bounds — whether adapting ancient Irish jigs to a baritone bouzouki, creating a new vocal twist on an old showtune, or ripping out riffs on jazz guitar. The trademark of his work in all cases was discipline, a fastidious attention to craft of the highest standards.