By Barbara Zaragoza
The judges made their final decisions on Monday, February 23rd for the 8th annual Dia De La Mujer hosted by The Front Art Gallery in San Ysidro. The theme was Cleansing: Spiritual-Emotional-Magical and thirty-five emerging and established artists competed for first place and two honorable mentions in each category. Three additional visiting artists participated, including the Mayor of Chula Vista’s mother.
Three judges spent an afternoon carefully considering the works:
- Angelica Villagrana, President of the San Diego Museum of Art Artist’s Guild,
- Mary Beebe, Director of the Stuart Collection of Outdoor Sculpture at UCSD, and
- Kevin Linde, Livespan Learning Coordinator at the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Liz Vaillard received first place in the established artists category for Purificacion (salvia blanca). In her artist statement she wrote, “I use organic material for my work, such as plants, especially from Baja California, one of those is the Savila blanca-sage which was utilized by natives from North America for centuries as a product for cleanliness.”
The painting hangs on a canvas with hooks. Luz Camacho, Arts and Culture Officer for The Front said, “She didn’t want the piece to be constrained. She wanted the piece to breathe, so it floats.”
Paula Flores took first place in the emerging artist category. She wrote: “Through my art I explore the relationship that we create with the universe, these complex necessities that we have as humans with the rest of the universe. How do we display these necessities? In what way do we live to satisfy these evolved needs? What ways of living and thinking still remain the same and which ones have changed? What changes happen to humanity as a whole and which ones are individual? The universe to me is a web which is filled with mirrors that let us find answers in everything that surrounds us.”
Kevin Linde explained why the judges chose Flores’s work. “It’s about looking at the piece and about how they use the medium, but then also looking back toward the artist statement and seeing how the artist statement is informing the piece and vice versa. This piece talked about the complications of modern society, just basically looking to the world around us for answers sometimes to the simplest things. It was reflective. It was meditative. It was just a really beautiful statement.”
Linde will also be the curator tasked with arranged the pieces within the gallery before opening night. He said, “A strength could be for emerging and established to be side by side. As opposed to saying this is all established and this is all emerging, I think to weave the two together.”
Artist Olya Dubatova entered her video “-awake-,“ which was given a special honorable mention because The Front wants to encourage more multi-media pieces
Four other artists received honorable mentions. Their names will be announced at the show’s opening on Thursday, March 5th at 5pm. The show runs through April 16, 2015.
The Front is located at 147 W. San Ysidro Blvd. You can also see a sneak peek of the other competition entries at: Dia de la Mujer Art Preview | Casa Familiar