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SD Art Prize FAQ

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SD Art Prize Mission: Fusing Energy for San Diego Visual Arts: Mentorship, Education, Recognition, Collaboration
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What is the Prize for? The SD Art Prize annually awards art of excellence made in San Diego County by established artists and emerging artists. There is no age, gender or ethnic requirements attached to the prize. Art can be of any media but consideration is given to the restrictions of the exhibitions spaces for work on display. The nominating committee looks for a body of work of excellence created in the last three years, which explores a unique viewpoint.

What is the purpose of the Prize? The SD Art Prize gives exposure to deserving SD County artists through a series of exhibitions, websites, published reviews, catalogues and educational materials. Art Professional are asked to contribute to these notes and those writers are part of the nominating committee for the next year of the prize. The SD Art Prize is growing a network of art professionals and patrons and facilitates collaboration with arts organizations and the media to raise awareness of the visual arts.

Who gives the prize money? The money is raised by the San Diego Visual Arts Network which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the arts and art education mainly but not exclusively within the County of San Diego. SDVAN believes art, in its diverse forms, enriches our lives, can be a catalyst for personal development, empowerment, enhanced creativity, community building and positive social changes. The SD Art Prize is a 100% volunteer effort just like SDVAN. No one receives a salary or makes a profit from these efforts.

Why is it held where it is held? Athenaeum Music & Arts Library has hosted exhibitions of all the artists since 2010 as has the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show A special exhibition of all nominated emerging artists New Contemporaries is held every year at a changing venue. The SD Art Prize looks for varied venues so that all within the SD region have an opportunity to view the works of these artists. The L-Street Gallery of the Omni Hotel sponsored the exhibitions by generously donating space and the supporting expenses of the exhibitions from 2006-2009.

Why is the prize given? The prize is given in recognition of work these artists have created in the three years previous to the award year. It is not a life-time achievement award.

Who chooses the artists? The artists are chosen by a nominating committee that changes yearly and by the SD Art Prize executive committee. The nominating committee consists of those artist recipients from the previous year and the art professionals who have contributed to the SD Art Prize catalog. Each nominator is asked to choose an established and an emerging artist. The New Contemporaries venue director is also allowed to make one nomination of an emerging artist. From 2006 to 2015, the Established artists for the current year choose the emerging artists to mentor and with which to exhibit. Emerging Artists are chosen by the Established artists who are encouraged but not required to choose from those emerging artists nominated for the New Contemporaries series of exhibitions. It is important for the established artist to feel confident working with the emerging artist that they choose to mentor and exhibit with at Art San Diego and the Athenaeum. In 2016, we are asking the chosen emerging artist to choose an established artist to recieve the prize and to mentor them. All artists nominated are considered worthy of the award. Established Artist are chosen by the SD Art Prize Committee each year to maintain a balance of age, gender, medium and ethnicity.

Who chooses the work for the show? The artists choose the work for the show in cooperation with the curator of the space.

Who produces the SD Art Prize? The SD ART PRIZE is produced by The Art Girls: Debra McGinty-Poteet, Ann Berchtold and Patricia Frischer who volunteer their time and effort and are aided by Erika Torri.

Is the public involved in the choice? The public can make suggestions of artist whom they think are worthy of the prize. Public suggestions are passed on to the nominators through the SD Art Prize Survey. In 2016, we are adding a Public Choice Award. Voting will be held at the gallery and through the smart device app SD View Art Now

How can the public comment on the show? There is a guest book at the exhibition and all visitors are welcome to make comments about the show. Viewers can also rate the show through SD View Art Now . Comments can also be sent to or as above you can help us Enliven the SD Art Scene by filling in our SD Art Prize Survey.