What We Do

We select our region’s finest artists through a competitive process using independent expert panels, and honor these artists with unrestricted cash prizes, promotion, and recognition at the annual SVArts awards celebration.

Who We Serve

We serve Santa Clara County artists across multiple disciplines, as showcased in our SVLaureate Directory. These artists were selected for the quality of their work and their commitment to enriching our community with exhibitions, performances, presentations, and service. Additionally, we serve the broader community by introducing new artists and new artwork to arts lovers, students, and community leaders.

Why It’s Important

Artists contribute socially and culturally to a vibrant and creative community, challenge our hearts and minds, and bring joy, new insights and learning to our lives. We believe they deserve our encouragement, recognition, and financial support.

What’s Been Done

  • Celebrated the achievements of over 150 artists since 1991, across a wide range of artistic disciplines, and invested over $400,000 in their work.
  • Developed SVLaureate Directory to highlight the work of these artists and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Artist Laureate program in 2015.
  • Expanded the annual celebration into SVArts, including a special edition of Content Magazine featuring the Laureate.

Meet our 2020 SVLaureates:

Artist Laureate: Rodrigo García
Rodrigo García is an accomplished actor, director, educator, and playwright originally from Mexico City. As the current Artistic Director of Teatro Visión, Rodrigo has driven the creation of a youth program to create a pipeline for young Latinx artists. In addition, he is leading the development of a new work through a binational collaboration between Teatro Visión, La Quinta Teatro ensemble from Mexico City, and music artist Guillermo Galindo. He is also a founding member of the theater ensemble Teatro Alebrijes. He has worked with other companies including Santa Clara University, Los Altos Stage, San Jose State University, Tabia Theater, and Opera Cultura among others. Rodrigo graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City and has trained with Double Edge Theater, De’ll arte International, Le Théâtre du Soleil, Sojourn Theater, and Julian Boal. He is a Theater Communications Group (TCG) fellow, and a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) Class of 2009.

Artist Laureate: Fanny Retsek
Fanny Retsek combines printmaking with drawing, collage and stitching. Some of her pieces use the multiple of print to create larger-scale installations. Her work focuses on animal rights, species decline, and the cohabitation of humans and wild animals. She exhibits internationally and her prints are included in the collections of Fine Art Museums, San Francisco, Oakland Museum of Art, and the Corcoran in Washington DC. Her work has received honors, including an award from the curator of prints and drawings at the Chicago Art Institute. She received her MFA from San Jose State University. In addition to her own studio art practice, Fanny has worked as a professional master printer collaborating with artists on print projects. She is the Adult Studios Program Director at the Palo Alto Art Center.

Artist Laureate: Dana Harris Seeger
Dana Harris Seeger was born in El Granada, California. She received her MFA in Printmaking from San Jose State University in 2011 and her BA in Painting from Anderson University in 2004. She has been a member of the California Society of Printmakers since 2011, and a board member until 2014. In 2012, she was an Artist in Residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California, and taught Lithography courses there. In 2014 she co-founded an art studio and school in San Jose called the School of Visual Philosophy. She currently runs the school with her husband, a sculptor, and holds her studio there. She exhibits her work nationally and has been published in Studio Visit Magazine. She has won awards for her work including 3rd Place Print for her lithograph “Toledo” at the Triton Museum’s Annual 2D Salon in 2017. She was recently named one of KQED’s 10 Bay Area Women to Watch. She resides in Ben Lomond, California with her husband Yori Seeger, daughter Lyla and twin boys Hayden and Esben.

Content Emerging Artist: Oscar Pangilinan
Saxophonist Oscar Pangilinan is a performer, educator, and community organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a performing member with the ensemble The SJZ Collective, an international touring ensemble comprising teaching artists from the San Jose Jazz Summer Camp. Their 2019 tour included performances at Motion Blue in Yokohoma, the Hong Kong International Jazz Festival, and the Blue Note in Taipei, Taiwan. Oscar is also an in-demand educator and woodwind coach with over 15 years’ experience. He works with the Alum Rock Jazz Band and has been a faculty member at San Jose Jazz’s summer camps since 2009. As a community organizer, Oscar leads a team of volunteers that organize a weekly session held at the Five Points Bar in San Jose. This session has featured over 50 unique artists as bandleaders, with over 250 hours of music performances since June of 2018. Oscar holds a B.M. in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University, where he studied under Dr. Aaron Lington as well as Jason Lewis, Wayne Wallace, and the late Frank Sumares.

Content Emerging Artist: Harumo Sato
Harumo Sato is a Japanese visual artist living in Mountain View. After traveling and living in Japan, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, and Spain, she earned a BA from University in Buffalo, NY 2015. Through experiencing sudden sickness and severe natural disasters in her early life, her work aims to seek coexistence with nature and harmony with others for our true happiness and peace by combining psychology and the spirit of prehistoric to medieval artifacts in the Mediterranean Sea and Japan. Her painting and hand-pulled screen prints are in public and private collections and have been exhibited in diverse solo and group shows in California and New York. She has received commissions for murals and installations from Pow! Wow! San Jose, Superfine! Fair, Facebook, and Target Corporation. She also creates colorful and whimsical illustrations for organizations which make positive impacts on the community, clients include: SJMADE, San Jose Taiko, SV@Home, Culture Magazine. She has a studio at the Cubberley Artist Studio Program in Palo Alto.

What’s Next

The 2020 SVLaureates were celebrated at the Virtual Content Magazine Pick-Up Party on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

The next SVArts Awards application cycle is to be determined. Updates will be provided in mid-2021.