San Francisco's Art Space 712 Announces Artist Awards Totaling $20,000

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Art Space 712 in San Francisco presented cash awards totaling $20,000 to three artists at the September 25th opening reception for the exhibition "I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now", juried by Theophilus Brown. Award winners were painters Ursula O'Farrell of Aptos, CA; Shilo Randall-Ratner of Pacifica, CA; and Jeff Bellerose of San Francisco, who were among twelve artists whose works were selected for the exhibition.

Art Space 712 in San Francisco presented cash awards totaling $20,000 to three artists at a crowded opening reception on Friday, September 25th, for the exhibition "I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now". William Gilmartin of Art Space 712 announced best of show awards selected by juror Theophilus Brown from the 18 paintings by twelve artists on view at the three-day exhibition. Aptos artist Ursula O'Farrell's painting "Blended Family" (2009) received the top prize of $12,000. Shilo Randall-Ratner of Pacifica was awarded the second prize of $5,000 for her painting "Tranquility" (2007). San Francisco artist Jeff Bellerose received the third prize of $3,000 for his painting "Names" (2009).

The juried exhibition also included paintings by Lin Fischer, John Goodman, Randy Kirksey, Barbara Lawrence, William McElhiney, Tom Mogensen, David Molesky, Kevin Moore, and Gary Ruddell, each of whom received $1,000 for participating in the exhibition. The twelve artists were selected from more than 100 artists who answered a call for recent portrait paintings that reflect the enduring legacy of Bay Area Figurative art, a movement with which Theophilus Brown was closely allied. Brown, recovering from recent knee surgery, was unable to attend the reception, but asked curator Anthony Torres to convey his congratulations to all of the participating artists, saying, "In my eyes, each of you is a winner."

After announcing the awards, William Gilmartin observed, "We're ecstatic at the turnout tonight, and the enthusiasm for this event. Art Space 712 is envisioned not as a commercial enterprise, but rather our intention is to help build a community where artists and collectors can meet, and people can see and support the work being done by the artists around us."

First place winner Ursula O'Farrell, whose work is represented in San Francisco by Toomey-Turrell Fine Art, said, "The spirit of Bay Area Figurative painting has just been given another breath of fire by Bill Gilmartin. This allows for a community of painters to step up to the next level."

"I'll Bet You Can't Paint a Portrait: The Genesis of Bay Area Figurative Art Now" remained on exhibit through Sunday, September 27, 2009, at Art Space 712, 712 Sansome Street, San Francisco. For information, call 415.421.9500, or visit http://www.artspace712.com.

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