Sarah Stieber with on of her acrylic paintings. Photo by Chris Jennewein
Sarah Stieber with on of her acrylic paintings. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Eight of the 350 artists expected for spring’s Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy — a sculptor, a photographer, two illustrators, a jewelry designer and three painters — were recognized Tuesday for their outstanding work.

Neville Billimoria, a senior vice president for sponsor Mission Federal Credit Union, said one of his company’s business goals is to “foster a colorful, imaginative economy for San Diego — which is where artists come in.”

ArtWalk’s 2016 featured artists were introduced at a reception at downtown’s posh Westgate Hotel. The eight are:

  • “Winter Leaves” by Dave Ness

    Dave Ness, a former engineer who found his passion behind the camera by capturing the peace he found in nature and sharing it with others.

  • Deanna Rae, a sculptor whose inspiration derives from her years growing up on a working ranch where she cared for and trained young horses.
  • Desarae Lee, an illustrator known for her detailed cross-hatching pen and ink drawings that explore themes of beauty in decay and light in the darkness.
  • Irina Negulescu, a painter whose work captures the soul and essence of her subjects, especially children and the female figure.
  • Leslie Pierce, a painter whose series “Code Defied” focuses on the different ways images can be reduced, re-assembled, translated and interpreted by thought.
  • Lynden Saint Victor, an illustrator and cartoonist who uses the canvas to express his journey though life.
  • Sarah Stieber, a painter whose contemporary style of electric realism is a spectacle of saturated colors — a kaleidoscope to her world of wishful seeing.
  • Theresa Kwong, a metalsmith whose jewelry art is inspired by organic forms like a blooming flower or seashell.
A brooch by Theresa Kwong

Also on Tuesday, the organizers of ArtWalk announced the 2016 Artie Awards, which recognize the supporters of San Diego’s art scene. Winners included Kevin Hellman, publisher of San Diego CityBeat; Angela Carone, arts and culture writer at KPBS; Alan Ziter, executive director at the NTC Foundation; and Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg, president of Olive PR Solutions.

ArtWalk takes place April 30 and May 1 along 17 blocks in Little Italy with artists from the United States and Mexico participating. ArtWalk was the city’s first outdoor fine art festival and will celebrate its 32nd anniversary this year.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.