Fifth Annual Artie Awards Celebrates San Diego’s Arts and Culture Influencers

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At the fifth annual Artie Awards on Thursday, January 25, three leaders in the San Diego art community were honored for their dedication and passion for the arts. The 2018 Artie Award winners included Patrick Stillman, a local artist and founder of The Studio Door art gallery and Chantal Wnuk and Tracy Ann Thalo, local artists and co-managers of Artist and Craftsman Supply San Diego.

In addition to owning The Studio Door, Stillman is known for his work on orchestrating The Business of Art Scholarship, a program that offers one talented student a mentorship on professional development and marketing, and gives them the opportunity to have a booth at Mission Federal ArtWalk to showcase their work. The second Artie Awards winners, Wnuk and Thalo, were recognized for their contribution to ArtWalk San Diego by providing an innovative, interactive art activity at all ArtWalk San Diego events—sharing their supplies and new art techniques with the community each year.

“We’re pleased to honor these outstanding community members that we’re lucky to have supporting arts and culture in our city,” said Sandi Cottrell, director of ArtWalk San Diego. “Mission Federal ArtWalk thrives on the hard work and dedication of these art influencers, and we’re thankful and proud to share our same vision in the power of art in connecting communities and individuals.”

In addition to recognizing the Artie honorees, the 2018 Mission Federal ArtWalk featured artists comprised of local, regional and international artists were announced for the 2018 arts festival. Chosen from over 350 participating artists at this year’s festival, these artists stand out for their commitment to the craft, passion for inspiring others to create art and their unique styles.

San Diegan’s can find the featured artists work at Mission Federal ArtWalk, the largest fine art festivals in Southern California and San Diego’s premier arts and cultural event on April 28 – April 29, 2018. Mission Federal ArtWalk will transform 17 blocks of San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, creating an arts and culture event visitors travel thousands of miles to experience and purchase art. Over 350 local, national and international emerging and established artists are at the free two-day festival.

The featured artists include:

AkZhana/ Maxim

AkZhana and Maxim are a creative collective duo, hailing from the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan. AkZhana brings more than 20 years of art education, including time at Almaty College of Applied Arts, Kazahk National Academy of Arts and Mimar Istanbul University. Maxim also has a Masters of Fine Arts from Istanbul University. AkZhana and Maxim describe their genre as figuratively decorative expressionism using bright expressions of a complex emotional world to create art.  Their paintings often incorporate a female figure they refer to as “she” that appears in different settings and conveys a variety of emotions.

Ann Golumbuk

Originally from Oklahoma, Ann Golumbuk attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a degree in interior design. She moved to San Diego in 1984, where she lives today with her husband and three children. While her artistic impression was constant throughout her life, her foray into the art world was developed over the past 15 years working as a volunteer art teacher for children at the elementary level. During this time, she was also the prop, costume and backdrop designer for the elementary school’s performances and directed the art and talent shows for many years. Now coming full circle, Ann is once again involved in instructing new and aspiring artists on her painting methods. In her commitment to being a green artist, Ann creates vivid paintings using recycled materials, finding items of interest in her environment and using every drop of paint to add dimension to her paintings.

Harut Hakobyan

Harut Hakobyan is an abstract industrial artist, originally from Armenia where he attended Yerevan State Academy and learned from several of Armenia’s top artists. Harut expresses himself through the vast colors and abstract textures in his work. His work is owned by private art collectors all over the world, and featured in several interior design companies’ works.

Carolyn Johnson

Carolyn Johnson is a mixed media fine artist with her own unique multi-level process, incorporating everything from painting, free-hand drawing, design elements, hand dipped paint marbling and detailed textured gels, mostly depicting nature-inspired themes. Carolyn is the communicator and voice of her work; she channels her creativity and passion to create a dimensional appeal on canvas that is expressionistically unique.

Tesa Michaels (represented by Adelman Fine Art)

Tesa Michaels studied Fine Art and Graphic Design at The Art Institute of Colorado where she earned her degree. She worked in the graphic design field for some time, before re-discovering her roots as a fine artist. She picked up oils and found her true calling. Her work is inspired by nature’s abundant landscape and the energy and spiritual properties of earth’s beautiful semi-precious stones.  Her unique paintings incorporate stones into one of a kind works of art.

Gedion Nyanhongo

Master stone sculptor, Gedion Nyanhongo was born into an artistic family in Zimbabwe, Africa. Gedion’s sculptures offer the viewer endearing elements of his Shona culture—the traditional values of the importance of community, positive and respectful human relationships and the sacredness of life with the intention to seek, evoke and inspire these same values in other’s families and cultures. His sculptures are created from Opal stone, Springstone and Zimbabwe Nayanga stone.

Dany Paragouteva

Originally from Bulgaria, Dany Paragouteva began drawing at the young age of one. She was raised in Plovdiv, Bulgaria until she was 15 and then she moved to the United States. Later she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration with distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. Dany uses her European heritage and soulful appreciation of the power of fairytales to bring people into a fantastical world of the subtly surreal.

John Straub

John Straub is a photographer and current member of the Motor Press Guild, San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild and the San Diego Art Institute, allowing him the opportunity to constantly improve his craft. John’s photography celebrates memories—rusted or old, shiny or new, and immerses the viewer in their soul, color, texture, and design. His interpretations of motoring emotions result in uniquely different vintage images, with attention to color, composition and quality of light.


Mission Federal ArtWalk will showcase every medium, including painting, sculpture, glass work, photography, fine jewelry and more. Attendees can enjoy art, live musical performances, “Spoken Word” performances, interactive art activities for kids and those kids at heart, street food and many other special attractions. Unique to this year’s event, Artist & Craftsman Supply will be hosting an interactive art project where attendees will come together and create an abstract painting using Ampersand panels, Jacquard alcohol inks, and POSCA acrylic paint markers.

For more information on the Artie Awards, Mission Federal ArtWalk, the featured artists or other details, please visit Become a fan at or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ArtWalkSD for updates.

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