Eyes on the Prize


By Lorena Nava Ruggero

(Published in the September 2010 issue)

Now in it’s fourth year, the San Diego Art Prize has proven to be a reliable indicator of the local artists people will be talking about tomorrow. Today, Gail Roberts, who’s been nominated for the past three years in a row, has finally won.

“It’s an honor to be chosen,” says Roberts, a faculty member at the San Diego State University School of Art, Design and Art History. “I feel like I’m in good company.”

One look at Roberts’ explorative new works provides an immediate sense of why she was picked. Her paintings document the things she’s accumulated throughout life-paperbacks, bouquets of flowers, even the weekly trash pile. With new takes on landscape and still-life paintings, Roberts has, in a sense, been marking the trail of her life through her art.

“As I get older, I become more and more conscious of how time is passing so quickly,” she says. “I became more interested in defining a particular moment in these piles of things.”

It was this work that caught the eye of the local arts community, says Patricia Frischer, director of the San Diego Art Prize and coordinator of the San Diego Visual Arts Network. Frischer says that Robert’s latest pieces should propel her, along with fellow Art Prize winners like David Adey and Julio Orozco, into the national spotlight.

“With this brand new series, she is still representing San Diego, but seems to be even more widely speaking to basic human relationships,” says Frischer.

Most of the series of paintings will be on display September 2 through 5, during the Art San Diego Art Fair at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. For a more intimate viewing, see Roberts’ solo show, opening September 25 at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla.

Need more coolture? From dance to short films, mark your calendar for these September events:
9/2-9/6: EASEL-A San Diego Arts Affair

(Corner of 7th Avenue and C Street, Downtown
Featuring more than 50 California artists, this art fair showcases some of the best in local talent, including the works of Eric Wixon, Mike Maxwell and Rich Walker. A portion of sales benefits the It’s All About The Kids Foundation.

9/9: alt.pictureshows Film Festival

Museum of Contemporary Art, Downtown

The museum’s eighth annual showcase features more than 20 provocative short films, animated shorts and short-subject documentaries. Highlights include Elevated (pictured), a horror short from Splice director, Vincenzo Natali, as well as the animated short Madagascar, which recently screened at Sundance


9/25-9/26, 10/2-3: Trolley Dances

Trolley stops throughout San Diego

Trolley Dances needs to be seen to be believed. Spectators can ride MTS (or drive) to various stops along the route to see site-specific performances choreographed to match the rather unexpected locations. More than 50 dancers from Jean Issacs Dance Theater will perform at the 12th annual event.

for times and locations.