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Check Out the Finalists of the 2021 San Diego Art Prize at Bread & Salt Gallery

This week, an exhibition is opening in San Diego at the historic Barrio Logan neighborhood, presenting work from the four 2021 San Diego Art Prize finalists. The annual award aims to foster discussions and social interactions around San Diego’s art and culture scene, celebrating creative expression with a focus on artists in the San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico region for their exceptional accomplishments.

Celebrating Artistic Creativity

Established on the belief that arts are a crucial component of any top-tier city, the San Diego Visual Arts Network introduced the San Diego Art Prize in 2006. Reflecting the bi-national essence that defines Southern California and Northern Baja, the finalists Beliz Iristay, Hugo Crosthwaite, PANCA, and Perry Vásquez offer distinct perspectives on life and artistry across borders.

Beliz Iristay

Originally from Izmir, Turkey, Beliz Iristay relocated to the US in 2005 and now resides as a “border artist” splitting time between Baja California, Mexico, and San Diego with her family. She specializes in ceramic and mixed media, using local clays in her artform, exploring both traditional and contemporary techniques. Her work often features influences from the cultures of Turkey, Mexico, and the US, as well as addressing political and gender issues from her lived experiences. Iristay has exhibited at various venues including the El Paso Museum of Art, Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, and has set up a ceramic studio in the Guadalupe Valley, Ensenada.

Hugo Crosthwaite

Hugo Crosthwaite, an American citizen with ties on both sides of the border, was born in Tijuana and grew up in Rosarito. Valuing storytelling, Crosthwaite uses a variety of textures and tones in his compositions, allowing his drawings to guide the narrative across a broad spectrum of works ranging from large murals to intimate drawings. Winner of the Smithsonian’s 2019 National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, his pieces can be found in collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, and various private collections globally.

PANCA

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Residing in Tijuana and working between Mexico and the US since 2004, PANCA is an illustrator, painter, muralist, and installation artist. Drawing from her personal experiences in both Tijuana and San Diego, she infuses her art with symbolism, emotion, loneliness, and nostalgia. PANCA’s work has been showcased in museums, galleries, magazines, and even on Netflix sets. Recently, her art was featured in a book in collaboration with Bread & Salt Gallery and at La Doña restaurant in Ocean Beach. Additionally, she unveiled a mural for Volcan tequila on Mexican Independence Day, September 16.

Perry Vásquez

Inspired by the bi-national cultural environment of the region, Perry Vásquez resides in the San Diego/Tijuana area. His upbringing in a predominantly white, Protestant, and evangelical setting in North Carolina has shaped his work, blending Mexican, American, Catholic, and Protestant influences. Working across various media, Vásquez’s series “Under the Perfect Sun” delves into the myths of Southern California and its evolving landscape. He was recently commissioned to create murals for the new San Diego County Probation Building and has pieces in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s permanent collection.

Bread & Salt

At Barrio Logan, Bread & Salt serves as a cultural center featuring galleries and studios, fostering the creative community since 2010. The 2021 San Diego Art Prize Annual Exhibit opens to the public at 5 p.m. on October 9 and continues until December 31. Masks are required indoors for safety measures. For more details, visit breadandsaltgallery.com.

Image Source: The Leader News

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