Press Release: Feb 5, 2011
SD Art Prize 2011 Award Announced

The San Diego Visual Arts Network is announcing the two established artist awarded the 2011 San Diego Art Prize in its fifth year. Jay S. Johnson and Rubén Ortiz-Torres will show with their choice of emerging artists at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair September 1 - 4, 2011 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Hotel .


Recognition of Excellence in the Visual Arts

Award Recipients for 2011

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

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 pairs them with emerging artists each season whose outstanding achievements in the field of Visual Arts merit the recognition.

Over the course of the year, a series of exhibits featuring the recipients will run simultaneously at a variety of local galleries as well as at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, which has designated the San Diego Art Prize as it non profit beneficiary for specified events. The prize is fully documented on (SDVAN). Each exhibition will pair an established artist with an emerging artist.


The Art Prize is produced by Art Girls Inc: an arts advisory group dedicated to furthering the growth of the Visual Arts in the San Diego region. (Acting Officers :) Patricia Frischer and Ann Berchtold.


San Diego Visual Arts Network
Patricia Frischer, coordinator patricia [at] sdvisualarts [dot] net 760.

L Street Gallery /
Ann Berchtold ann [at] sandiegoartist [dot] com 858.254.3031

SD Art Prize Mission: Fusing Energy for San Diego Visual Arts: Mentorship, Education, Recognition, Collaboration

The Goals of the SD ART PRIZE, as presented by the San Diego Visual Arts Network, are to:

• Recognize and celebrate existing visual art accomplishments by spotlighting local artists and to motivate, inspire and guide others.
• Create an exciting event that facilitates cross-pollination between cultural organizations and strengthens and invigorates the San Diego Visual Art Scene.
• Broaden the audience of the visual arts in San Diego by gaining national attention to the competition through a dedicated media campaign.
• Promote the vision of the future role that the visual arts will play in the San Diego community as lively, thriving, positive and empowering.
• Expand the infrastructure of spokespeople/art celebrities who can bring awareness to San Diego and perform as role models for our student artists
• Stimulates private sector investment in the visual arts that is many times greater than the cash value of the prize
• Encourage informed discussion about the visual arts and encourage expanded coverage of the arts.

Rubén Ortiz-Torres

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

Jay S. Johnson

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.
2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007

Image courtesy of the San Diego Visual Arts Network.

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