Marcos Ramirez ERRE with emerging artist Allison Wiese
Roman De Salvo with emerging artist Lael Corbin
Eleanor Antin with emerging artist Pamela Jaeger

San Diego, CA. August 17, 2007–The San Diego Art Prize is awarded each year to three established and three “new contemporaries” who have exhibited outstanding achievement in the field of Visual Arts. Both the established and emerging were nominated by professional visual arts leaders in the San Diego Art Community. In June 07 the three established artists were announced and given the task of selecting an emerging artist to mentor and exhibit with from the 17 artists in the New Contemporary exhibition at SimaySpace at the Art Academy. The following artists were selected from that show to be mentored in the coming seas on and to collaborate with on an exhibition at the L Street Fine Art Gallery, at the Omni Hotel. Each established artists will receive $2500 and emerging artists $1000. The choice was made with consideration of the display of the images together and is not a reflection of the quality of work not selected.

Marcos Ramirez ERRE selected Allison Wiese for the first exhibition of the season September 30 2007 – Jan 15
Roman De Salvo selected Lael Corbin for a show occurring at the end of January/February 2008.
Eleanor Antin selected Pamela Jaeger and will show in April/May 2008.

The SD Art Prize is dedicated to the idea that the visual arts are a necessary and rewarding ingredient of any world-class city and a building block of the lifestyle of its residents. Conceived to promote and encourage dialogue, reflection and social interaction about San Diego’s artistic and cultural life, this annual award honors excellence in artistic expression. Our mission is to fuse energy for San Diego visual arts through mentorship, education, recognition, and collaboration. The San Diego Visual Arts Network,, The Omni Hotel and The Smart Family Foundation sponsor the San Diego Art Prize. SD Art Prize is a non-profit project and is supported by donations to San Diego Visual Arts Network.

Marcos Ramirez "Erre" was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico in 1961. He studied law at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. He has exhibited throughout Mexico and in the United States since 1993. His most critically acclaimed installations have been "Century 21 ” for inSite '94, and "Toy and Horse" for inSite '97.

His most "memorable exhibition", as Robert Pincus writes, was "Amor como primer idioma/Love As First Language" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in 1999. In the year 2000 at the Whitney Biennial, he presented "Stripes and Fence Forever - Homage to Jasper Johns," a metal structure in which two flags (Mexico and the United States) are built as if they were the fence that divides Tijuana and San Diego.

Excerpt from Whitney Biennial, 2000. “ Marcos Ramirez, also know as “ERRE” from the Spanish pronunciation of the first letter in his surname, creates large-scale public installations informed by a political and social consciousness......he addresses the dynamics of the border between the United States and Mexico....and calling attention to the gap between poverty and wealth in Mexico by building a shanty and yard with discarded construction materials and setting it against the showy exhibition facade (inSite94). For InSite 97, he installed a 33-foot-tall wood horse with wheels on the boundary line between the US and Mexico. This evocation of the Trojan horse had two heads, raising questions about who was invading whom.”

Allison Wiese is an interdisciplinary artist who makes sculptures, installations, sound works and architectural interventions. Wiese learned to walk and talk in Brooklyn, drive in southern California and everything else important in Texas. Her work makes poetry with the ready-to-hand, altering spaces through christening and commemoration. Wiese's projects often employ the diversion of commodities or language through space and time. She recently negotiated a large awning off an empty office tower in downtown Houston, for instance, and installed it, capsized, on the floor of a tiny residentially-scaled gallery. She has also developed a site-specific solar audio work for the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. In the above work, archaic sentiments grace highway signs fabricated according to contemporary standards for cultural and historical attractions. Root Hog or Die is one of a series that also includes: I Ain’t Rich But I’m Free and Industry Need Not Want.

Artist Statement: “I am interested in work that makes poetry with the ready-to-hand, and my sculptures, installations and architectural interventions often employ simple material diversions to make meaning. I’m just as likely to drag ideas through time - my recent work finds its vocabulary within a certain vein of populist Americana. I’m interested (with a simultaneous and perverse kind of hopelessness and optimism) in re-plumbing the social and political landscape of the near past as a way of both querying the lingering presence and viability of certain very American myths and pointing to truths about the present. The materials and subjects I choose are the result of an ornery insistence on using stuff from everyday experience, minimally transformed, as relevant art material – often dragging it into the space of the art institution to point to a different kind of (infinitely less sterile) space and experience.”

San Diego based artist Roman de Salvo received a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA. In his sculptures and installations, de Salvo manages to be both restrained and high-spirited, blending his fascination for machines and craftsmanship with an interest in language and wordplay. He has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, including solo shows at Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla (2001), CA, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (1998). Recent group exhibitions include Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast in Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum, WA (2003; traveled), and the 2002 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2002). He's taken his skills into their largest arena yet with “Nexus Eucalyptus,” which he and his crew are installing at the new Caltrans District 11 headquarters in Old Town. The 115-foot-long, 50-foot-wide construction in wood is more readily recognizable as an art object than many of his creations. But it shares with them his sense of play and the ability to execute with precision an imaginative, outlandish concept.

Roman de Salvo was the only local artist commissioned to create work for the new Museum of Contemporary Art in the David C. Copley building in downtown San Diego with multiple works from the Electrical Conduit Series. His work, Utility Filigree, is located in the Kresge Foundation Stairway and is comprised of de Salvo’s modular macramé, made from electrical conduit, boxes, and connectors—materials that are customarily hidden within the finished surfaces of buildings. The stairway where the work is located has a raw, industrial, and utilitarian feel, and the modular macramé has a similar feel yet it is also decorative. With modular macramé, these materials are used as ornamentation as well as functionally at MCASD to provide lighting in the stairway.

Lael Corbin is a San Diego based artist. His work has taken the form of installation, individual sculptures and photography. He lived in Hawaii where he studied figure sculpture at the Honolulu Art Academy. He received his MFA in sculpture from San Diego State University in 2007. Currently he teaches drawing, design and photography in the Department of Art and Design at Point Loma Nazarene University, as well as overseeing their workshops and facilities. His installations and sculpture have been seen at local venues such as the Produce Gallery, San Diego State University, and The University of California, San Diego as well as Simayspace Gallery at the SD Art Academy.

Excerpt from Simayspace New Contemporaries Exhibition by Kevin Freitas, Art as Authority July 2007. “Lael has installed against one wall of the gallery a testing ground for an experiment he calls “Peculiar Velocity”. Indeed there are some peculiar objects that are being readied for their maiden flight or should I say fall, and their rate of speed of that action – the tossing, dropping, throwing of these objects will be calculated, to what end is unknown as the experimentation appears to have stopped in mid-course. No one seems to be too concerned about the results though, a few calculations are scribbled on the wall, and sketches of a better design are notated while a few of the actual cast plaster models lie smashed upon the floor. Not that they had a chance of surviving intact since someone has intentionally placed a large square steel plate underneath the drop zone.”

Eleanor Antin is internationally renown for her work in photography, video, film, performance, installation, drawing, and writing. She has had one-woman exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum, etc. as well as a major 30 year retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which published a book ELEANOR ANTIN by Howard Fox. Her retrospective also traveled to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis and toured the U.K. She has been in major group exhibitions at the Hirschhorn Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Sydney Biennale, and the Beaubourg, among others.

She is represented in major collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Jewish Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, etc. As a performance artist she has appeared in venues around the world including the Venice Biennale and the Sydney Opera House. Several of her mixed media, groundbreaking works such as "100 BOOTS", "CARVING; A Traditional Sculpture", "The Angel of Mercy", "Recollections of my Life with Diaghilev", "The King of Solana Beach", "The Adventures of a Nurse," are frequently referred to as classics of feminist postmodernism. She is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York.

Excerpt from Art in America by Leah Ollman, 2000. “Antin’s ability to imbue this bodiless amalgam with pathos is remarkable, a hint of what was to come in her various personae. Each of her characters strives for centrality yet remains caught at the periphery─the Nurse is instrumental yet undervalued, the Ballerina cast off by history as
marginal. Antin has written her own fate, or perhaps her own fears, into these roles. .....Purposefully aligning herself with outsiders and exiles, she thrives on the margins, where she stirs up trouble with her devious antics. In creating her personae, she created herself, a pantheon of tricksters bent on blurring the boundaries between past and present, reality and fiction, life and performance. When those borders dissolve, Allan Kaprow wrote in 1966, describing the Happenings that were to transmute into performance work like Antin’s, “Not only does art become life, but life refuses to be itself.

Pamela Jaeger lives in San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. She has studied drawing, painting, color theory, costuming and design. The influence of costume design is apparent in many of her painted characters. She studies fashion and beauty traditions of the past and also finds inspiration for paintings in childhood memories, dreams and journal writings to create a story of truth and fiction. In her paintings she creates an ethereal, fanciful world for the characters to live in."

Excerpt from Simayspace New Contemporaries Exhibition by Kevin Freitas, Art as Authority July 2007. ”Jaeger’s paintings are generally modest in scale, painted in a classic figure-foreground composition, typically portraits of women with generic faces and changing hairstyles, often in Victorian style gowns and/or “boudoir” lingerie – they want to be like Marie-Antoinette but all the decadence and steamy sex has been left out. Jaeger has created a saccharin world of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, pink and blue cotton candy, cats, dogs, butterflies, bubbles, daffodils, pink and violent roses and Pixy Sticks for her heroines to exist in.”

Excerpt from Edgy Charm: Works frame a surreal take on life by Robert L. Pincus , Union Tribune, July 3, 2005. ”The world is a touch enchanted and sometimes unnerving in the paintings of Pamela Jaeger. Her "Rodeo Queen," a young girl, sits atop a toy horse with wobbly, stiltlike legs and a ladder leaning against its flank. In "Sweet Nothings," a bird whispers in a woman's ear. Since 2003, Jaeger has been showing steadily in San Diego, where she lives and works, as well as Los Angeles, creating images that are attuned to folk tales, dreams and her own memories of childhood. Her style carries strains of storybook illustration, surrealism and folk painting.....From her touchstones, in particular medieval religious art and Frida Kahlo's self-portraits, Jaeger has surely gleaned ways of making life look fantastical.”

The SD ART PRIZE is produced by The Art Girls : Joan Seifried, Ann Berchtold and Patricia Frischer who volunteer their time and effort.

The San Diego Visual Arts Network
2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007

Image courtesy of the San Diego Visual Arts Network.

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