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Santo Foundation Individual Artist Awards (SFIAA)

Our original mission set out to assist the careers of emerging artists. It was clear that most granting agencies that gave money to artists went first to organizations and designated funds, who then trickled financial awards down to artists with extensive follow-up requirements. The concept of streamlining grants/stipends directly to artist was unprecedented.
Flaring near the Sarah Christianson.SFIA

Flaring near the Blue Buttes in the heart of the Bakken Sarah Christianson, SFIAA 2017

The process began in 2009 by selecting a Distinguished Juror connected to a contemporary museum. This allowed our candidates the rare opportunity to have their work seen first-hand by significant curators and museum directors.

Our Distinguished Jurors select award winners based solely on the quality of their work. Beyond the opportunity to have their work reviewed by our jurors, the award winners receive substantial monetary stipends. Some Distinguished Jurors have further included candidates in permanent museum collections and exhibitions.


From 2009-2018 SFIAA awarded  $250,000 to working artists.

The Santo Foundation Individual Artist Awards 2018

We send our sincere gratitude and respect to each artist who took the time and energy to apply for our 10th Anniversary Call for Entry. After diligent review of every portfolio submission by Distinguished Juror, Laura Copelin, the following exceptional artists have been selected; Three to receive the top honors and $5,000 each, and five artists selected to each receive $1,000. All awards are to be used at the artist’s discretion.
con amor, siempre.collographs on rice pa

$5,000 Award Recipients:  


Kimberly Zumpfe

Noritaka Minami

Jonathan Herrera Soto

$1,000 Award Recipients: 


Ivana Milojevic Beck

Sara Catapano

Yijun Liao

Jonathan Monaghan

Ashley Teamer


Con Amor, Siempre. Collographs on rice paper, nails; measurements vary
(15 x 20” each). Jonathan Herrera Soto, SFIAA 2018

Our past Distinguished Jurors include:

  • Paul Ha Executive Director of the List Visual Arts Center at M.I.T.

  • Peter Doreshenko, Director of the Dallas Contemporary

  • Barbara O’Brien, Executive Director of the Kemper Museum, Kansas City

  • Miki Garcia, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

  • Marilu Knode, Former Director of Laumeier International Sculpture Park

  • Pablo Helguera, Director of Adult Education at Museum of Modern Art NYC, also published author and critically acclaimed visual artist

  • Xandra Eden, Executive Director & Chief Curator of DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas

  • Lisa Melandri Executive Director, The Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis

  • Elyse A. Gonzales, Assistant Director/Curator of Exhibitions, The Art, Design & Architecture Museum at The University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Laura Copelin, Director and Curator, Ballroom Marfa

Past Individual Artist Awards 


New Wave- Mandarin Oriental Knot, Naoko Morisawa, SFIAA 2017 Handcrafted, Oli-stained, Wood and Paper Mosaic, Acrylic, washi on Board.

A Ray Array,  ..... Sarah Rara, SFIAA 2016

Charisse Weston.2015.grand hypnotism.jpg

.... .      .....    Charisse Pearlina Weston, SFIAA 2015

amery, trevor.merry go round.jpg

Merry Go Round,  . Trevor Amery, SFIAA 2014

Krishnaraj Chonat, from Bangalore, India

Turquoise. Steel, fiberglass, fake fur & epoxy paint. Krishnaraj Chonat, SFIAA 2013

Naoko Morisawa.New Wave- Mandarin Orient