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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. 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: with outstanding creativity in exhibitions or other public art presentations in the last three years which explores a unique viewpoint.. Artists must live/work in San Diego County and Baja Norte region (Fallbrook to Ensenada).   No previous San Diego Art Prize recipients are eligible.

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? Central Library Gallery is currently the host for the SD Art Prize. Bread and Salt was the host in 2020 and 2021. Athenaeum Music & Arts Library hosted exhibitions of all the artists from 2010 to 2019. Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show has hosted the artist every year since its inception. In the past, 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. A special exhibition of all nominated emerging artists New Contemporaries was held every year for 10 years at a changing venue

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. It is given to help expand the reputation of the excellence of art in our region. .

Who chooses the artists? Since 2022, the artists are selected by a changing panel of art professional/curators from major institutions world-wide. The artists are nominated by a committee that also changes yearly and by the SD Art Prize committee. The nominating committee now consiste of the art professionals who have contributed to the SD Art Prize catalog and the previous year's artists. . All artists nominated are considered worthy of the award. but each year their is an effort 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 Lara Bullock.

Who produces the SD Art Prize? The SD ART PRIZE is produced by the San Diego Visual Arts Network. Patricia Frischer, Debra McGinty-Poteet, Alessandra Moctezuma, Erika Torri and Felicia Shaw make up the SD Art Prize Committee who volunteer their time and effort and are aided by the SD Art Prize administer. Larry Baza, who passed away in 2021, is now an honorary member.

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.Some years, we may add 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. 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.