Saturday, September 17, 2022

SD Art Prize at Central Library Art Gallery

by Patricia Frischer

SD Art Prize recipients receiving District 4 County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s certificate of recognition.  
(Left to right) Angélica EscotoAlida Cervantes,  Cog • nate CollectiveAmy Sanchez Arteaga & Misael Diaz  absent for the photo due to delay Carlos Castro Arias. Abbey Reuter presenter (Photo: Maurice Hewitt)

The San Diego Art Prize produced by the San Diego Visual Arts Network has 15 years of coming-of-age exhibitions. This year for the first time, we had selectors from the Whitney Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Foster Museum in Florida and a curator from Mexico City. Works have been shown at the L Street Gallery, the Athenaeum, Bread and Salt and this year at the Central Library in downtown San Diego. The Art Prize and the artists were recognized by the county through District 4 Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the City of SD Commission for Arts and Culture’s Jonathon Glus. The San Diego Art Prize embraces the best visual arts and it is fitting that the exhibition is shown in this fabulous gallery on the 9th floor with views that go on forever. 

Some art pulls you in immediately and all four of our recipients have done that in this show. 

Alida Cervantes large portraits of Hispanic colonial figures take a bit of history and twist it into a statement about not just our past but our present and even future. The juiciness of the paint and the glorious colors can not be denied.  

Carlos Castro Arias reclaims the same sort of invading colonial dignitaries as Cervantes, but he reclaims his sculptural portraits with beading which forces them to become indigenous. The terrific video shows the same statue made of bird seed with pigeons not only decorating them, but destroying them while thriving on the food stuff of life.  


(Photo: Maurice Hewitt)


Angélica Escoto is giving us an insider view of the 15 year birthday celebration of every Latino girl’s dream and at the same time we are walking through her community and seeing street life through her eyes.  

Cog • nate Collective presents a large photographic mural of the night lights of Tijuana which are as beautiful as any image captured by the Hubble telescope. It sets the tone for the entire gallery. The three scripted stories by Amy Sanchez Arteaga & Misael Diaz are as emotional and heart rending as the original dialogues must have been. They are careful not to reveal any of these stories tellers, and an additional level of complexities is added by having them read by those waiting to cross them border themselves.  

I recently read an article about the new denser housing being built in our county and the objections based on more traffic congestion.    

“If you want to make traffic better, you can either (a) get people out of their cars, (b) get people who do drive to make shorter trips less often, by bringing destinations closer to them, and/or (c) create more viable alternative routes for people who drive to avoid choke points.” Mental Models

So I would like to make a pitch to show more art in all of our libraries. There are libraries in every area and I actually see them as community enhancing chain stores.  Making art easily accessible to a wider audience, free to view, and in every town is as important as showing in a private museum.   


Jonathon Glus, City of SD Commission for Arts and Culture

Chi Essary, curator extraordinaire and Patricia Frischer, SD Visual Arts Network (Photo: Maurice Hewitt)

Maurice Hewitt and his wife Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Maurice took a number of these images as labeled. 

Watch for this sign on the ground floor of the Central Library and take the elevator to floor 9

Free Catalogs are available on a first come basis. The wonderful cover design is by Alexander Kohnke and each cover is different as the words slowly melt away. Thanks to Rosemary KimBal for proofing.  

We want to thank members of the public that donated to make the catalog free including especially Erika Torri, Naomi Nussbaum, Jonathon Glus and thank the entire Library Art Gallery staff including Bonnie Domingos and Friends of the Arts of the Central Library including Patrick Stewart for their special support. Special thanks to our SD Art Prize Committee: Debra Poteet, Erika Torri, Felicia Shaw, Alessandra Moctezuma and this year's advisors Arturo Rodriguez and Johnny Tran

2022 SD Art Prize at Central Library Gallery
Sat, Sept. 17, 2022 to Jan. 7th, 2023.
Presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network
Curated by Chi Essary
Including SD Art Prize 2022 recipients
Alida CervantesAngélica EscotoCarlos Castro Arias, Cog • nate Collective
Central Library Gallery
9th Floor, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
More info:
Mon/Tues: 1 – 7pm
Wednesday/Thurs/Fri: 12  - 5pm
Saturday: 12  - 5pm Sunday: closed

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