SD Art Prize



 2020 SD Art Prize 

Alanna Airitam

The San Diego Art Prize begins its 14th year with an exciting first! This year marks the first time all four nominees are women. Coincidentally, 2020 is the centennial for women's suffrage in the US and aptly named "Year of the woman". We are so pleased that, through an anonymous vote, the Art Prize committee selected Alanna Airitam, Kaori Fukuyama, Griselda Rosas, and Melissa Walter as the four nominees for the prize. Congratulations to these extraordinarily talented artists who have graced San Diego with their creativity and unique visions. 


Founded by the San Diego Visual Arts Network in 2006, the SD Art Prize is dedicated to the idea that the visual arts are a necessary and rewarding ingredient of any world-class city and a building block of the lifestyle of its residents. Conceived to promote and encourage community dialogue about San Diego's contemporary art scene, as well as engaging the public in critical dialogue about San Diego’s artistic and cultural life, this annual award honors exceptional artistic expression.


Originally, the Art Prize committee selected 2-3 established San Diego artists who then chose emerging artists to feature in the final exhibitions. This year the committee has eliminated the "established" and "emerging" artist distinction and focused the prize on celebrating the artists in SD who have demonstrated outstanding creativity and who have added vitality to our arts community through their extraordinary contributions. San Diego has a wealth of amazing artists and the Art Prize endeavors to recognize artists of merit by supporting and promoting those artists who are actively working to build their career and contribute to the San Diego arts community.

Photographer ALANNA AIRTRAM was born in Queens, New York and now resides in San Diego, California. As a portrait photographer, her work focuses on identity and representation, and proposes an investigation into the concept of wholeness. Her use of chiaroscuro lighting creates a painterly effect, that coupled with her use of symbolism allows her to explore the duality of light and dark both metaphorically and literally. Her subjects are illuminated in a way that calls for them to be viewed as the counter to contemporary stereotypes.


Airitam’s images have been published in a variety of national and international media outlets such as Chicago Tribune, BBC News, VICE!, The Huck, Lenscratch, Range Finder, Feature Shoot, and the San Diego Tribune, among many others. Airitam has exhibited at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, San Diego Art Institute, Art Miami, and Bread & Salt in San Diego, California. An award winning short film From Haarlem to Harlem about Alanna Airitam’s body of work The Golden Age has been screened at various film festivals around the United States.

Kaori Fukuyama

KAORI FUKUYAMA is a multi-disciplinary

artist from Japan, who lives and works in San

Diego.  She creates paintings, drawings,

sculptures, and site-specific installations that

explore the interactions of color, light and shadow.  Her subtle and delicately balanced work plays with our visual perception, and often invites us to slow down and be present in the moment.  


Kaori Fukuyama was an Artist-In-Residence at Bread & Salt in 2018, and recently completed a large-scale public art installation in North Park (San Diego).  Her work is a part of private collections internationally and has been exhibited at multiple institutions including Oceanside Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Diego Art Institute, The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, and William D. Cannon Art Gallery.  Fukuyama enjoys teaching at The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, and continues to expand her artistic boundaries.

Griselda Rosas

GRISELDA ROSAS, Born and Raised in Tijuana, Mexico, is an artist and educator from the border region. Her artwork falls under the umbrella of Post-Colonial art, in the way it addresses issues of identity, ethnicity and gender practices creating installation, sculpture, site-specific, curatorial projects and stitching-Paintings decolonizing imagery. 

Griselda’s work has been exhibited in national and international venues, The Florence Biennale, Italy, The Barrett Art Centre, New York, art residency at the Camac art Centre- UNESCO program Marnay, France, Bread & Salt Gallery, San Diego, CA and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

Granted a fellowship through the minister of Mexican Culture -FONCA, 2016-2019 -   developing a research on the aesthetics of Mexican female traditional clothing, -presenting and publishing her research at the 56th International Congress of Americanists (ICA) Salamanca, Spain 2018. Griselda's work has a strong relationship with poetry and mind wandering, speaks about the ecosystem’s fragility through an implicit construction of historical-imagery-memorabilia. 

Griselda Rosas

Melissa Walter

MELISSA WALTER is best known for her optically stimulating sculptures of twisting paper and drawings of detailed geometric patterns. She visually explores concepts concerning Astronomy and astrophysical theories. Walter has worked as a graphic designer and science illustrator for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and as a team member of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Her experience has inspired her to visually articulate wonders of the Universe, such as black holes, supernovas, neutron stars, dark matter and more recently, dark energy.


Walter has completed artist in residence programs at 1805 Gallery and Bread & Salt, and participated in exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center, Quint Gallery, the San Diego Art Institute, Torrance Art Museum, Helmuth Projects and the San Diego International Airport for a temporary exhibition titled Intergalactic Dreaming in 2017. She received her BFA, cum laude from the University of Rhode Island in 1998.

The SD Art Prize is presented by 
SD Visual Arts Network
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