Rubén Ortiz Torres with emerging artist Tristan Shone
Jay S. Johnson with emerging artist Adam Belt

San Diego, CA (May 10, 2011) - The San Diego Visual Art's Network, and the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair are the proud sponsors of the San Diego Art Prize now in its fifth year. The Prize is given annually to several established and several emerging artists who have exhibited outstanding achievement in the field of Visual Arts. The Prize recipients will receive a cash grant and new this year, a booth exhibition for three days at the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair September 1-4. 2010. This year recipients are Jay S. Johnson who has chosen Adam Belt as the emerging artist to share his exhibition. Belt is one of this year’s New Contemporaries IV artists. Rubén Ortiz Torres has chosen emerging artist Tristan Shone from the New Contemporaries I exhibition held in 2001 at SimaySpace.

These four artists will exhibit at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Hotel on September 1 - 4, 2011 and at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library from
March 31 – May 5, 2012

Jay S. Johnson has worked with several materials, from clay to wood and metals. He has experiment more with paint recently, and has incorporated it beautifully into his wooden sculptures. An expert craftsman, he has worked off and on in construction, refining his wood-working skills. Whether his works are figurative or symbolic, they are most often wry and thought-provoking. Johnson himself says, “Utilizing the neutral background of the wall I attempt to draw the viewer closer to my objects by employing simple yet seductive materials and forms. Familiar images applied to these interior shapes may sometimes be clues to deciphering the content of the work, which typically deals with issues concerning man’s relations to each other and to nature.” Robert L. Pincus, art critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about Johnson’s solo exhibition at the Athenaeum Music & Art Library, saying: “The two major qualities that make Jay Johnson’s art so persistently compelling come together gracefully in “Smoking Room,”… One of them is his genuine gift for elegance – not easy elegance, but the taut sort of understated beauty that emanates from a keen sense of how to use materials and employ symbolic images. The second quality is his fascination with the relationship between a single form and surrounding objects, which takes a new form in this show.” Johnson work has been widely exhibited, reviewed, and collected in California including the important Museum of Contemporary Art solo show in 1997. Jay Johnson has been a UCSD lecturer for sculpture since 2001.

Adam Belt works with physical manifestations of the unseen including the inherent properties of materials such as salt, ice and concrete, our interaction with the landscape and our wonder of the cosmos. Currently he is working with and documenting a small portable phenomenological installation. “A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not” is comprised of two full-length mirrors with a lit wall in between. Experienced and documented outside at various locations during the naturally changing light of afternoon/evening the viewer observes and experiences a heightened sense of time and the presence of the self. Adam Belt received his BFA from the University of San Diego and completed his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2001 and is now working as an artist and a professor in San Diego. His work is included in many local collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the La Jolla Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. Adam has been published in Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology magazine. His work has been reviewed in The San Diego Union Tribune, Art Week, Riviera and various other publications.

Rubén Ortiz Torres was born in Mexico City in 1964. Educated within the utopian models of republican Spanish anarchism soon confronted the tragedies and cultural clashes of post colonial third world. After giving up the dream of playing baseball in the major leagues he decided to study art. He went first to the oldest and one of the most academic art schools of the Americas (the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City) and later to one of the newest and more experimental (Calarts in Valencia CA). After enduring Mexico City's earthquake and pollution he moved to LA with a Fullbright grant to survive riots, fires, floods, more earthquakes, and proposition 187. During all this he has been able to produce artwork in the form of paintings, photographs, objects, installations, videos, and films. He is part of the permanent Faculty of the University of California in San Diego. He has participated in several international exhibitions and film festivals. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid Spain and others.

Tristan Shone’s layering of differently guitars, keyboard, and electronic percussion to create the sound that is the justification for the shapes of his sculptures. Just as the music has melody and discordance, the structures he forms have flow and angle. This contrast of mechanical and emotional is confident, intense, and impressive. Alongside fabricating machines and composing sound for performance, Shone works at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research as a mechanical engineer and the Center for Research and Computing in the Arts at the University of California, San Diego as a researcher in sound interface design. Tristone Shone as Author & Punisher is an industrial doom and drone metal, one man band utilizing primarily custom fabricated machines/controllers and speakers. He has performed and shown these machines in festivals and exhibitions in the United States and abroad extensively, releasing his third album, yet first sculpture/art based album entitled “Drone Machines” in 2010 on Heart & Crossbone Records out of Tel-Aviv. His new record, focused primarily on the newer Dub Machines, will be released in the Summer/Fall fo 2011.

The 2011 nominating committee, which changes yearly, consists of SD Art Prize recipients for the previous year, writers for the SD Art Prize Art Notes, Honorary Hosts and the SD Art Prize committee: ALL emerging artists in the SD region are eligible to be chosen by the established recipients each season including but not limited to nominated artists in this and previous New Contemporaries exhibitions.

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 artistic expression. The SD ART PRIZE, a cash prize with exhibition opportunities, spotlights established San Diego artists and emerging artists whose outstanding achievements in the field of Visual Arts merit the recognition.

San Diego Art Prize 2011 at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair
Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Tristan Shone, Jay Johnson and Adam Belt
September 1 - 4, 2011
Opening Reception Thurs. Sept 1 from 7 to 9 pm
Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Hotel, 1 Park Boulevard, 92101
Hours: Fri and Sat, Sept2/3 from noon to 8 pm, Sun, Sept 4 from noon to 5
More info: Patricia Frischer 760.943.0148 Ann Berchtold 858.254.3031

SD Art Prize 2011 at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
March 31 – May 5, 2012
Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Tristan Shone, Jay Johnson and Adam Belt
Reception on March 29, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037
More info: 858.454.5872

New Contemporaries IV at Alexander Salazar Fine Art
Opening Reception: Monday. August 1, 2011 from 6 – 9 pm
Panel discussion with artists: Monday, August 8, 6 - 9 pm
Alexander Salazar Fine Art 1040 7th Avenue Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Exhibition hours: Tue - Sat 11 - 6, Saturday and Sunday by appointment
For more info: Patricia Frischer 760.943.0148 Alexander Salazar 619.531.8669
For more information contact
Patricia Frischer, coordinator San Diego Visual Arts Network Tel. 760.943.0148 Email |
Ann Berchtold: director, Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair Tel: 858-254-3031 Email |

Related Links:

Professor Rubén Ortiz Torres

Lecturer Jay Johnson

MFA Alum Tristan Shone (aka Author & Punisher) or

Adam Belt

Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair

Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Hotel

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Image courtesy of the San Diego Visual Arts Network.

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