1) They have great judges. Year in and year out, the Arts Fund taps the most visionary and impartial people in town to judge the entries.
2) They have high standards. The list of past winners on the Arts Fund Web site reads like a who’s who of Santa Barbara arts since 1988.
3) It’s a moving target. Each year the IAA covers a different set of art media. Awards are given to actors, guitarists, ceramicists, poets, painters, and many more kinds of artist in rotating sets of four categories every year.
4) Respect and exposure. Other artists in town know how much this award means, and dealers always check out the show to make sure they have the best talent.
5) This year’s winners. Works on Paper: Philip Koplin; Honorable Mention: Ethan Turpin. Works in Clay: Nina de Creeft Ward and Laura Langley, co-winners. Digital Art: Margaret Morrison. Acoustic Guitar: Chris Judge; Honorable Mention: Andrew Jackson.