Salta pa' lante (Jump Forward) by Alida Cervantes — acrylic spray paint and oil on aluminum.
Salta pa’ lante (Jump Forward) by Alida Cervantes — acrylic spray paint and oil on aluminum. Image via City of San Diego

San Diego officials announced Tuesday that the city has acquired 100 works from 89 local artists — additions to the Civic Art Collection through the SD Practice initiative.

Purschase of these works was made possible through a $500,000 gift from the estate of Thomas O. Rasmussen, an avid contemporary art collector.

Rasmussen, who died in 2014, wanted to expand the presence of artwork in public facilities, the city said.

“With these artworks, many of which are the first by these artists to enter the Civic Art Collection holdings, we will be able to ensure that the collection continues to grow and deepens understanding of contemporary art and local art histories,” said Christine E. Jones, chief of civic art strategies of the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture. “It’s also important to grow awareness of San Diego artists and to help support them at such a difficult time.”

Télévoix 2 by Victoria Fu — single-channel video, color, sound. Image via City of San Diego

The SD Practice initiative aims to support artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, advance the mission of the Civic Art Collection, and increase collection holdings by acquiring new works that reflect the rich diversity of artistic talent and expression in San Diego.

The new acquisitions span artistic media from painting, sculpture, drawing, print, photography and video, installations and textiles. In most cases, they are the city’s first works by the respective artists.

The works will be featured in public places beginning this summer.

Some 552 artists living in San Diego County responded to a city request for art.

The city convened a panel of five jurors to assess eligible artwork applications:

  • Anthony Graham, associate curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Commission for Arts and Culture Public Art Committee member.
  • Eun Jung Park, assistant professor, Art Department, Southwestern College and Commission for Arts and Culture Public Art Committee member.
  • Derrick Cartwright, director of University Galleries and associate professor, Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History at the University of San Diego and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Timken Museum of Art.
  • Gaidi Finnie, executive director, San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art.
  • And Alessandra Moctezuma, artist and gallery director/professor, Fine Arts Department, Museum Studies at San Diego Mesa College.

“We are thrilled to be bringing such a rich and diverse selection of works into the collection this year thanks to Thomas O. Rasmussen,” said Jonathon Glus, executive director for the Commission for Arts and Culture. “We greatly appreciate his generosity to make these acquisitions possible and, in turn, for helping to enhance and more fully represent artists working in San Diego in this collection.”