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The Art Prize Committee

Sponsors & Supporters

SD ART PRIZE: Recognition of Excellence in the Visual Arts
presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network
at the L Street Fine Art Gallery of the Omni Hotel
SD Art Prize Catalogs

Founder, San Diego Visual Arts Network
Patricia Frischer was awarded an MBA Magna cum Laude in sculpture from California College of Arts and Craft before becoming director of a sales gallery in London, England , and then Gallery Director for three exhibitions spaces at California State University in Humboldt where she was an art professor. She then returned to London to head the Art Department at an international school in Nottinghill Gate. She was able to build the department, which awarded the International baccalaureate degree to over 300 students. She has written the book, "The Artist and the Art of Marketing" and has lectured extensively on marketing for artists. She currently trains Artist’s Agents and is a dynamic part of the arts community in San Diego. Frischer is a former board member for the Combined Organizations for the Visual Arts (COVA), coordinator for the COVA's prestigious Art Collectors Round Table, and coordinator and founder member of the San Diego Visual Arts Network. The SmART Collector on that site is designed to create more art buyers for the San Diego region. She has curated the Little & Large Jewelers and Sculptors promotion and Movers and Shakers: Who's Who in SD Visual Art portrait exhibibitions. Her own painting have shown internationally in numerous one women exhibitions including Oxford University.

Director, Mutual Fund Services
Debra McGinty-Poteet is responsible for managing Brandes’ sub advisory and mutual fund business, as well as Brandes proprietary institutional mutual funds. Prior to joining Brandes, she was the Chief Operating Officer for North American Trust Company. Before that she was Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Bank of America Funds Management. Her positions with the bank included product management and marketing, compliance, operations and administration for retail, institutional, domestic, and offshore mutual funds, as well as product management and development for personal trusts. She was responsible for growing the proprietary fund business to $22 billion during her tenure. Prior to Bank of America, McGinty-Poteet was at CNA insurance companies with various management positions in property casualty rating systems and management and systems training and human resources. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters from California State University at Long Beach. She has 28 years of financial and investment management industry experience. McGinty-Poteet also currently serves on the following Boards; President and Trustee of Brandes Investment Trust, Director Brandes Investment Funds, PLC, and Director Vista Hill Foundation. Shehas been a past Chairman, Director or Officer of the following profit and not for profit organizations; Del Mar Schools Education Foundation, Sierra Boys Ranch, Horizon Offshore Funds, Broadgate Asset Management, North American Trust Company, Berkeley Investment Trust, Polycystic Disease Foundation Los Angeles Chapter, Women in Business Los Angeles Chapter, and YWCA Los Angeles Chapter – Investment Committee.

Director of San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery
Alessandra Moctezuma is an artist, curator and professor of Fine Art and Gallery Director at San Diego Mesa College, where she supervises the Museum Studies program. Born in Mexico City, Moctezuma grew up in Los Angeles and earned both Bachelor of Art and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Moctezuma serves as a member of the San Diego Foundation’s Arts and Culture working group, which spearheaded the Creative Catalyst grants. She is on the Advisory Board of the San Diego Art Institute. From 2014 to 2015, she served in the City of San Diego Public Art Committee. In 2017 she curated the exhibition unDocumenta for the Oceanside Museum of Art, as part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, she curated two other exhibitions at the museum (Borderless Dreams, 2005 and Through a Lens Sharply, 2006). From 1994- 1998, she worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as public art project manager. Previously, she was the Gallery Curator for the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California. She also has authored articles with her husband, urban historian, Mike Davis.

Felicia W. Shaw is a seasoned professional in the field of nonprofit arts management, a career that has spanned more than 30 years and has included an executive leadership position with the Regional Arts Commission of St Louis, and director positions with the San Diego Foundation and City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.  An active and  life-long advocate for the arts, Ms Shaw currently serves on the boards of Californians for the Arts and California Advocates and on the Steering Committee of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition. Previously, she served on the boards of Grantmakers in the Arts, CERF+, and as member of the Americans for the Arts  - United States Urban Arts Federation. She is an active donor to arts, culture and women’s issues and also fulfills her commitment to philanthropy as a member of Women Give San Diego. A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Communications, Ms Shaw completed additional undergraduate study at the University of California San Diego with a focus in art history, theory and criticism. She also completed a certificate in Museum Management from Palomar College. She is also an alumna of the James P Shannon Leadership Institute.

Director of The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library
The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library has earned a reputation as one of the outstanding art galleries and art collectors in San Diego. The Athenaeum’s art exhibition program, begun in the 1920s, has grown tremendously. Exhibitions in the Joseph Clayes III Gallery focus on nationally and internationally recognized artists. The Rotunda Gallery emphasizes community partnerships or emerging regional artists. The North Reading Room is devoted to showcasing the Athenaeum’s Erika and Fred Torri Artists’ Books Collection.

Administrator, SD Art Prize
Chi Essary   is a curator, artist, writer and photographer. Her cross-disciplinary exhibitions bring artists together with other fields of creative inquiry such as contemporary literature and science. She is a firm believer that "the best gift to humanity is bringing people together." In 2017 she curated Extra-Ordinary Collusion, pairing almost 50 scientists and artists to promote and explore the intersection of art and science with the public.  She also curated several lofts for SENSORIUM which was featured on the NatGeo Channel. She studied at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon and has an active practice in oil painting and found objects. A board member of Vanguard Culture since 2014, Essary has applied her talents as a photographer toward content management of Vanguard’s social media pages. She also writes and photographs for her artist studio visit series: Poetic License. Having traveled extensively in Europe and Mexico assisting the multimedia artists, The de la Torre Brothers, with their museum residencies and exhibitions, Chi Essary brings a unique perspective to her mission to help build a culture that supports world class art in San Diego..

Our thanks go to Larry Baza, committee member who passed in 2021.

Vice chairman of the California Arts Council
Larry Baza is a professional arts administrator with more than three decades of experience in advocating for the arts at the local, state and national level. He is the immediate past Chair of the San Diego Arts Commission. Baza has served on the boards of various nonprofit arts organizations and provided his expertise as a panelist for arts commissions and foundations. In his professional career, he has directed and managed San Diego arts organizations and businesses including Centro Cultural De La Raza, Sushi Performance and Visual Arts, Fingerhut Gallery, and Community Arts of San Diego. His wealth of knowledge and experience includes affiliations, consultancies, site visits and panel participation with multiple arts organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, California Association of Local Arts Organizations, Chicano Federation of San Diego County, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the San Diego Community Foundation. Baza was appointed to the California Arts Council by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins in February of 2016. On January 25, 2018, he was elected Vice Chair of the Council. His term expires January 1, 2020.

Our current advisory is: Advisory: Johnny Tran, Thumbprint Gallery and Arturo Rodríguez, La Caja Arte y Cultura

With thank to ANN BERCHTOLD for her years of support of the SD Art PRize

Ann Berchtold has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Internet Marketing. She is the founder of, launched in April of 2000 to showcase the work of local, emerging artists. She is also the founder of INSPIRE! San Diego Art Kidz (, an elementary school program that brings local artists into the classroom to share with students their personal sources of inspiration from the world of art history through activity-based presentations and demonstrations. Berchtold has designed and developed numerous web sites for various artists in San Diego. In addition to her non-profit endeavors, Ann has worked as an event planner for over fifteen years. Following her positions as Catering Director for the La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla, CA and the Ritz Carlton Hotel, San Francisco, Ann started her own event planning company, called Forderer Design Group specializing in up-scale events for both corporate and social gatherings. Ann Bercthold is the producer of the Beyond the Borders Interational Art Fair held annually in San Diego.

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.
  • 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.

If you believe in our mission, we are happy to accept your donations to support the San Diego ART PRIZE Send any amount with checks made out to SDVAN to 2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007. Please mark them for SD ART PRIZE. Visit the Support page of SDVAN to donate online.

SD Art Prize Frequently Asked Questions