Artists and prize winner Beliz Iristay’s installation at Lux Art Institute in Encinitas. Photo credit:

The San Diego Visual Arts Network has awarded four local artists with the San Diego Art Prize, an honor for those who create contemporary works.

The recipients are:

  • Hugo Crosthwaite – the San Diego State graduate splits time between San Diego and Rosarito. He won the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition in 2019, and his works are included in the permanent collections of several museums, including San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego Museum of Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
  • Beliz Iristay – the Turkish-American ceramic and mix-media artist, lives as a “border artist” between Baja California and San Diego. In her work, Iristay refers to the traditions of her “home countries,” Turkey, Mexico and the U.S. Her work has been exhibited at the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, El Paso Museum of Art in Texas, and many more. She also placed first at the El Paso Museum of Art Border Biennale.
  • PANCA – the Chula Vista native is an illustrator, painter, muralist and installation artist who resides in Tijuana. She has been working between Mexico and the U.S. since 2004. . Her art has been featured in museums, galleries and magazines, on Netflix movie sets, on the streets and in tattoo design.
  • Perry Vasquez – the UC San Diego and Stanford graduate has produced works across different media, including The Gates of Heck, inspired by Rodin and the mythologies of superheroes, and Under the Perfect Sun, a series that explores the myths of Southern California. He was recently selected to create murals for the San Diego County and has work in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Their work will be featured in the Rave San Diego live stream at 4 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. The artists will be interviewed during Friday’s broadcast.

Two exhibitions of their work are scheduled for the fall – at Art San Diego, from Oct. 1-3, and a longer-term showing at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights, beginning Oct. 9.

Founded and supported since 2006 by the San Diego Visual Arts Network, the prize attempts “to promote visibility and public interest in talented local artists, and encourage community engagement and critical dialogue with San Diego’s contemporary art scene.”

This year’s award also was dedicated to the memory of Larry Baza, a committee member who helped select the 2021 recipients. The local gallery owner chaired the California Arts Council before he died in February of COVID-19.




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