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The Arts Fund Gallery to Host Individual Artist Awards Group Exhibition

Featuring the work of Santa Barbara County artists, it's free and open to the public and runs Sept. 10 to Nov. 5

The Arts Fund Gallery will host its 2011 Individual Artist Awards Group Exhibition featuring work by Santa Barbara County artists James Petrucci, Henry Rasmussen, Mary Carol Kenney, James Hapke, Alejandro Casazi and Stephanie Dotson from Sept. 10 to Nov. 5.

Geoffrey Hahn and Kristen Reed, 2011 IAA winner and honorable mention in the Solo Vocal category, will also be acknowledged in the gallery.

The exhibition will open with a public reception, award ceremony and silent auction to benefit the IAA from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at The Arts Fund Gallery, 205C Santa Barbara St. in Santa Barbara. The reception and gallery exhibition are free and open to the public. The Arts Fund Gallery is open 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.

The Arts Fund’s Individual Artist Award program identifies and rewards creative excellence in Santa Barbara County. Now in its 22nd year, the IAA has awarded more than $160,000 in cash prizes and showcased the work of 132 of the county’s best artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. Funded entirely through private donations, the IAA supports The Arts Fund’s mission of championing the arts through helping artists produce and promote their work locally.

This year, artists throughout the county competed for IAAs in the following categories: Two-Dimensional Figurative Works, Printmaking and Music: Solo Vocal. Winners in each category will receive a $2,000 cash prize. In addition to participating in this group show, visual arts winners are given a solo-exhibition in The Arts Fund Gallery in 2012. The solo vocal winner will be given a performance opportunity in a public venue in Santa Barbara at a later date.

“Every year I am amazed by the remarkable talent that emerges from our jurors’ decisions,” Arts Fund Executive Director Nina Dunbar said. “Just when I thought I knew the artists working in our community, new names win this award and The Arts Fund has the pleasure of showing them off in this group exhibition.”

The 2011 Individual Artist Award winners and honorable mentions include: Two-Dimensional Figurative Works, winner James Petrucci and honorable mentions Henry Rasmussen and Mary Carol Kenney; Printmaking: winner James Hapke and honorable mentions Alejandro Casazi and Stephanie Dotson; Music: Solo Vocal: winner Geoffrey Hahn and honorable mention Kristen Reed.

Jurors for this year’s awards included John Nava, Pamela Kendall Schiffer, Nicholas Price, Molly Concannon, Melanie Lancon and Justyna Kelley. IAA Award sponsors were Suzanne Bock, Robert and Christine Emmons, Chris Lancashire and Mary Beth Larkin, and Jon and Lillian Lovelace.

Petrucci lives and works in Santa Barbara. Formally educated in Phoenix, Ariz., where he received his undergraduate degree in studio art, he has worked and exhibited extensively in Phoenix, London and Santa Barbara. He received a master’s degree in fine arts at Wimbledon College in London. His work has been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery in London.

Hapke was born in 1986 in Newport Beach and studied at Westmont College, earning a master’s degree in English with a minor in studio art focusing on printmaking. After graduating in 2009, he co-founded the Santa Barbara-based writing group and journal FRAME, and curated a time line and visual expression of the development of the poetry journal for the exhibit and poetry reading, Monitored, at the Faulkner Gallery. He also co-wrote an ocean/ballad-based concept album, Water Will Rise, released in 2010 under the name Patience. His work as a printmaker is driven and influenced by his interdisciplinary background.

Hahn is a Santa Barbara High School graduate and recent grand finalist in the L.A. Music Center’s Spotlight Competition. He will be attending Columbia University and Juilliard School this fall. He performed on NPR’s From the Top in Chicago and provided a beautiful tone for The Education of a Young Singer for The Arts Fund Salon Series this June. His talent has taken him to New York, Edinburgh, England and France with casting in Hair and winning Merit Finalist in the Young Arts National Competition.

For images and more information on the IAA program or other Arts Fund programs, call 805.965.7321 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Catherine Gee is the manager of The Arts Fund Gallery.

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