San Antonio Artist Foundation Honors 2015 Winners

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"Rainbow Coalition" is a feature length documentary that will explore the rise and fall of a multi-ethnic political movement in 1960's Chicago. Courtesy Image.

"Rainbow Coalition" is a feature length documentary that will explore the rise and fall of a multi-ethnic political movement in 1960's Chicago. Courtesy Image.

Patricia Pratchett, a former USAA executive, and Bettie Ward, a visual artist and arts advocate, served together on the 2006 Cultural Arts Collaborative for San Antonio’s Office of Cultural Arts. They were working together on the long-term goal of enriching San Antonio’s creative capital. Yet, to achieve this, they felt an important component was missing–the recognition and support of individual artists. They dreamed of an organization that would honor these artists, and together, formed the Artist Foundation of San Antonio.

A decade later, the foundation has awarded more than $627,500 to artists residing in Bexar County. This week, the foundation announced the 2015 award winners, which included 10 artists, who received $5,000 for the production of new work. An additional  $7,500 prize, the Robert L.B. Tobin Grand Prize for Artistic Excellence, was awarded to filmmaker Ray Santisteban, who is among the 10 award winners.

Award-winning professionals serve as judges in the foundation’s award selection process,  which allows for objectivity and provides larger exposure for the artists. The 2015 judge’s panel includes a producer and director for HBO; a film critic and Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center; a Los Angeles casting director; a head choreographer with the Dallas Ballet; the New York Arts Editor of “Hyperallergic; and an award-winning novelist and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.

The 2015 winners include:

Ray Santisteban

Robert L.B. Tobin Grand Prize for Artistic Excellence and the Department for Culture & Creative Award for Media Arts

Photo Ray Santisteban. Courtesy Image.

Photo Ray Santisteban. Courtesy Image.

Santisteban is a critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose feature-length documentary, “Time of the Phoenix: Rainbow Coalition,” will explore the rise and fall of a multi-ethnic political movement in 1960’s Chicago comprised of African Americans, Latinos, and Southern Whites. “What began as a drive to achieve a voice for poor communities quickly grew into a formidable political movement, attracting the support of other disenfranchised groups and the attention of a threatened Chicago political machine and FBI determined to destroy it,” said Santisteban. The grant money will allow Santisteban to complete the production of his film, which Felix Padrón described as one of “meticulous research, powerful interviews, rare footage and seamless editing.” Santisteban returns to Chicago this weekend to continue his work.

Department for Culture & Creative Development Award for Literary Arts

Benavides is a writer, editor and teacher who has contributed to multiple literary journals and hosted shows for National Public Radio. She teaches English Composition and Literature at Our Lady of the Lake University. Her award supports her novel, “Pobrecito, Texas,” which contains stories on poverty, physical and mental illnesses, and broken hearts.

Sabine Senft

Rick Liberto Award for Visual Arts

Uprooted, handcarved limestone mixed media. By Sabine Senft. Photo Courtesy of Artist.

Uprooted, handcarved limestone mixed media. By Sabine Senft. Photo Courtesy of Artist.

Senft is a painter and sculptor who uses a wide variety of materials, including stone and gold, to combine the ancient with the contemporary. She will use her grant money to branch out into video installation.

Diane Malone

Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Award for Costume Design

Malone is an artistic director and designer of sets and costumes. She will use her grant money towards purchasing material and designing the costumes for Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” a play that was set and written in 19th century Russia. Malone’s version will be produced by The Classic Theatre of San Antonio in February.

Tamara Adira

Department for Culture & Creative Award for Choreography

Adira is a dancer, choreographer and producer.  She has over 41 years of background in dance, and specializes in flamenco with a classical background. Adira is founder and director of Arte y Pasión, a nationally renowned contemporary Spanish dance company.

Andrei Renteria

Friends of Chuck Ramirez Award for Visual Arts

Hopscotch, 2015. By Andrei Renteria. Photo Courtesy of Artist.

Hopscotch, 2015. By Andrei Renteria. Photo Courtesy of Artist.

Renteria is a multimedia artist who uses prints, lithographs, painting and installation to deal with the themes of colonialism and globalization. Using an investigative process, Renteria researches real life events to inform his artistic process.

Richard Slocum

Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Award for Set Design

Slocum is an actor, director, set designer and educator who has been working in theater for over 40 years. He works at multiple venues throughout San Antonio. Slocum will also be using his grant money towards his involvement in Anton Chekhov’s “The Sea Gull,” produced by The Classic Theatre of San Antonio in February.

Nicole Geary

Department for Culture & Creative Development Award for Multidisciplinary Arts

Geary is a visual artist with a background in printmaking. Geary plays with idea of layers/strata, both in geography and printmaking, and works with diverse materials to combine art with science and geology. Geary also teaches at the Southwest School of Art and St. Philip’s College. She says she will use her grant money to “help strengthen and explore her sculptural works.”

Fossil Experience. By Nicole Geary. Photo Courtesy of Artist.

Fossil Experience. By Nicole Geary. Photo Courtesy of Artist.

Ethan Wickman

Alan Beckstead Award for Music

Wickman “finds musical inspiration in non-musical forces, places and phenomena,” and has been called “a composer of facility and imagination” by The New York Times. He is Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Wickman will use his grant money to compose a 30 minute production, “Relics from the Conquest,” for the Soli Ensemble and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio.

José Rubén De León

Department for Culture & Creative Development Award for Original Production

De León is a bilingual singer, writer and actor who shares new cultural and historical perspectives with his audience. He is currently adapting Euripedes’ “Medea,” setting the play in Mexico, in the year 1519, to help raise consciousness about contemporary issues of injustice, and to deal with themes of survival and transformation.

2016 Finalists include:

Literary Arts – Jacinto Cardona, Jenny Browne

Visual Arts – Sarah Castillo, Adriana Corral, Joe Harjo, Chris Sauter

Media Arts – Robert Gonzales

Original Production – Anna DeLuna, Carolina Quiroga

Music Composition – Federico Chavez-Blanco, Saakred Rodriguez, Edwin Stephens

Costume Design – Rick Frederick

Multidisciplinary Arts – Jose Cardenas, Seme Jatib, Mark Menjivar

*Top Image: “Rainbow Coalition” is a feature length documentary that will explore the rise and fall of a multi-ethnic political movement in 1960’s Chicago. Courtesy Image.

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