If you look at many of the winners in the Arts & Entertainment section, their recognition often has less to do with the past year than their overall contribution to their craft. Take James Lee Burke-Rain Gods was good and all, but he’s being honored for a body of work that has made him one of the most popular writers of our time. Same goes for our own Chad Harder.
This last year was perhaps Harder’s most challenging-nearly a year ago, the Indy’s photo editor was injured in a freak accident while on assignment, and had his right hand almost completely severed at the wrist. Through quick action from friends at the scene, expert care from doctors and therapists in both Salt Lake City and Missoula, and his own determination, Harder has healed in remarkable fashion. He couldn’t take as many photos as he wanted this year, and he may feel a tad undeserving under the circumstances, but Indy readers sent a clear message that the body of Harder’s excellent work keeps him atop this category for another year-and, if his recovery continues as it has, for many more years to come.
2. Michael Williams