Local Art Advocates Honored at Inaugural Artie Awards

Sandi Cottrell, managing director for ArtWalk San Diego recieves the proclamation from Interim Mayor Todd Gloria
Sandi Cottrell, managing director for ArtWalk San Diego recieves the proclamation from Interim Mayor Todd Gloria

Mission Federal ArtWalk, the largest fine arts festival in Southern California, unveiled the recipients of the inaugural Artie Awards at a private event held last night at the Westgate Hotel. In celebration of the festival’s 30th anniversary, festival organizers recognized several local arts advocates for supporting the community event and fostering the talent of local artists. Interim Mayor of the City of San Diego Todd Gloria presented a proclamation to commemorate Mission Federal Credit Union’s long-standing support of the arts as part of the preview event which also included the unveiling of this year’s featured artists.

“As we celebrate Mission Federal ArtWalk’s 30th anniversary, it is our great pleasure to honor some of the people who have supported us over the years,” said Sandi Cottrell, managing director for ArtWalk San Diego. “The Arties are ArtWalk’s way of recognizing individuals who appreciate the power of art and help us use it to connect communities.” 

The inaugural Artie Awards were bestowed on the following influencers:

· Remedios Gomez Arnau, the Consul General of Mexico, has been helping bring up to 30 artists from all over Mexico to ArtWalk each year. This influx of bi-national flavor creates an art installation that is one of the most popular features each year.

· Rana Sampson, wife of former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Union Bank Promotions Manager, has been a non-profit leader and passionate supporter of local artists as well as ArtWalk for many years.

· Constance White is known for overseeing a large public art budget as Art Program Manager for the San Diego International Airport. However, she is also a powerful advocate for emerging local artists. Constance has been involved with ArtWalk since she moved to San Diego in 2006.

· Patricia Frischer, coordinator at San Diego Visual Arts Network spends almost all of her time on activities that support artists in San Diego in varied ways.  San Diego Visual Arts Network sponsors the interactive arts area at the festival, and Patricia is a mentor to artists throughout the County.

· Debra Schwartz, CEO and Neville Billimoria, Senior Vice President of Membership/Marketing and Chief Advocacy Officer at Mission Federal Credit Union and the entire Mission Federal team have been tremendously supportive of the San Diego art community for many years and as a result of their title sponsorship, ArtWalk remains a free community event. The festival as it is known today would not be possible without Mission Federal.

“We believe that the mark of every great civilization is its art,” said Neville Billimoria SVP Membership/Marketing and Chief Advocacy Officer of Mission Federal Credit Union. “We are proud to support ArtWalk’s mission to introduce artists to collectors and cultivate relationships within the art community. Mission Federal is honored to be recognized.” 

About Mission Federal ArtWalk

In its 30th year, Mission Federal ArtWalk brings more than 120,000 spectators and art buyers dozens of musical performances, interactive elements and 17 blocks of art to enjoy in the heart of Little Italy. The two-day fine arts festival is well-known for connecting artistic communities, while creating the opportunity for individuals to fall in love with original pieces of art. Mission Federal ArtWalk is held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a packed schedule of opportunities for individuals and families to engage in, create and purchase art. This free event features thousands of pieces of artwork created by artists from California, neighboring states, and Mexico. All must be accepted into the event to ensure attendees experience a range of fine visual and performing art including painting, sculpture, glasswork, photography, select jewelry and other artisan work.  For more information, visit www.missionfederalartwalk.org, Twitter: @ArtWalkSD, or Facebook: ArtWalkSD.


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